Midlands Air Festival

2020 Venue to be confirmed

Date to be confirmed
Bristol Blenheim

The Bristol Blenheim: one of the displays in 2018

The Midlands Air Festival will return in 2020 but, although there has been speculation about the details, the venue and dates will not be confirmed until early December 2019.

In May 2019 The Midlands Air Festival was held at Arbury Hall, Arbury Park, Nuneaton. It featured a Nightfire and virtually all kinds of aviation over the weekend. Fascinating special shapes were amongst the balloons that took part in the night glow on Friday and two mass balloon ascents. Although there were cancellations, most of the aircraft also displayed.

The first Midlands Air Festival had been held in 2018 at Ragley Hall and was a massive success.

Nightfire on the Friday evening featured a night time aerobatic air display with lights and pyrotechnics, followed by a hot air balloon glow: balloons inflated and burning to a choreographed music track and a fireworks finale.

Arbury Hall (2019 venue)

Arbury Hall, set in lakes and parkland of over 100 acres, was built on the ruins of a 12th century Augustinian Priory and remodelled into the Gothic style in the second half of the 18th century.

The Estate includes Arbury Hall, park and farms, residential properties, a commercial estate and Astley Castle & Manor.

About Ragley Hall (2018 venue)

Ragley Hall, a stately home completed in 1750, is the ancestral seat of the Marquess of Hertford and is currently the family home of the 9th Marquess and Marchioness.

Nightfire on Friday
Originally due to fly at dusk, with fireworks
Brendan O'Brien in J-3 Cub
Brendan O'Brien & Otto the helicopter
Silence Twister solo with Grob x2
Red Devils Parachute Display Team.
30 Balloons
Aircraft originally due to fly in daylight
Due to fly on Saturday and Sunday unless noted
Fournier RF4 Motorglider (Bob Grimstead) (also Friday)
Catalina PBY-5A (Catalina Society 'Plane Sailing')
Yakolev YAK3-U (Will Greenwood)
Team Raven
Brendan O'Brien in J-3 Cub
Brendan O'Brien & Otto the helicopter
Westland Wasp (also Friday)
Calidus Autogyro, Peter Davies (also Friday)
Strikemaster pair, G-SOAF and G-RSAF Cancelled - pilot unwell replaced by Jet Provost Mk3
SIAI Marchetti F260
Stampe Formation TeamStampe Formation Flying Team (four SV.4 Stampe biplanes)
Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers
P-51D Mustang 'The Shark' (Norwegian Spitfire Foundation)
Sea Fury T-20Hawker T20 Sea Fury (Norwegian Spitfire Foundation)
Red Devils Parachute Display Team
Auster (Friday only)
Silence Twister solo (Friday only)
Appearances are always subject to technical, weather and other constraints and some were affected.

Midlands Air Festival, Ragley Hall Estate

18 - 20 May 2018
Bristol Blenheim

The Bristol Blenheim: one of the displays

This new aviation event for the Midlands, featuring virtually every type of aviation, was a massive success.

Nightfire on the Friday evening featured a night time aerobatic air display with lights and pyrotechnics, followed by a hot air balloon glow: balloons inflated and burning to a choreographed music track and a fireworks finale.

Most of the air displays were on Saturday and Sunday. They included classic WW1 & WW2 fighters, high energy aerobatics, classic jets, flying circus, helicopters, a gyrocopter and a full hot air balloon festival with around 75 balloons, mainly special shapes.

On the ground there were trade stalls, catering, exhibitors, arena events and activities, including Battlefield South’s Commando laser shooting experience: free of charge on a first come first served basis. Ragley Hall itself was open and could be visited for an additional donation.

The flying displays are listed in the table.

About Ragley Hall

Ragley Hall, a stately home completed in 1750, is the ancestral seat of the Marquess of Hertford and is currently the family home of the 9th Marquess and Marchioness.

Aircraft
Due to fly (tap / hover over icon for more detail)
P-51D Mustang 'The Shark'
Bristol Blenheim
Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1 'N3200'
Lauren Wilson in Pitts S-1S
Turbulent Team
Hawker Fury FB11
Calidus Autogyro, Peter Davies
Westland Wasp: Terry Martin
Fournier RF4 Motor Glider
Catalina
Strikemaster
Harvard
Beech 18
Great War Display Team
Auster
P-47 Thunderbolt
Stampe Formation Flying Team ‘Belgian Ballerinas’
Otto the helicopter, flown by Brendan O'Brien (also Friday evening)
Twister (solo) (Friday Evening)
Sydney Charles Display Team (Grob Motor Gliders x2) (Friday evening)
All appearances are subject to technical, weather and other constraints

Location

Local area

Getting to the Show

By car

Use postcode CV10 7NF in the sat nav until you get close, but ignore the sat nav in favour of local directions signs as soon as you see them. There are links to route planners in the Travel Advice column if you prefer to plan ahead or don't have sat nav.

By Train

The nearest main station to Arbury Hall is Nuneaton, which is a little over 10 minutes from the Hall by taxi.

Click here to create a pocket timetable for your journey between any stations on the National Rail network.

The variety of rail tickets and fares can be very confusing. Trainline and Raileasy web sites list all ticket and fare options for the time and day of travel you choose but they both levy an admin fee. Click either of the blue ticket agency names to go to their web site.

Travel Advice

Road traffic updates
Highways Agency
Rail
Incidents and enquiries
National Railway Map
DIY pocket timetable
Journey planning by public transport
Traveline
Route planners (Road)
AA
RAC
Bing (Microsoft)

Accommodation near the show

It is best to book as far as possible in advance. This is not only because nearby hotels and guest houses tend get booked up well before the date of an airshow but also because prices can be better when you book early online.

There are plenty of booking agencies. We find that many of the well known ones are better at finding hotels from international or larger UK chains and may suggest hotels in main towns or cities quite a distance from the show site.

Expedia lists a good selection of smaller, as well as bigger, hotels and will find accommodation in villages and small towns as well as the main centres.

Click the blue Expedia name for a list of hotels and guest houses near the show. The venue is already built into the link but when the list comes up you do have to enter your dates and change the number of rooms and guests, as necessary.

The International Hotels Group have a Holiday Inn Express hotel at Nuneaton, about 2 miles away and there are Premier Inn hotels in Nuneaton (2 miles away) and Hinkley (4 miles) as well as several more in the Coventry area, around 10 miles away. If searching for a Holiday Inn, be sure to put 'Nuneaton' in the search box. If you try 'Arbury Park', you may get results from Australia.

Weather for the show area

UK Met Office Forecast

A full 7 day Nuneaton weather forecast from the UK Met Office

The Met office seven-day forecast includes maximum, minimum and "feels like" temperatures, the likelihood of rain, wind direction, gusts and visibility: the latter can have an impact on the viability of displays.

The BBC's five-day forecast has overall conditions including temperatures, UV range and a description that may help to determine how pleasant the day will be for the visitor.

Click the blue-text link to go to the forecast. The location is already built into the links.

2020 Show Basics
Date

to be confirmed

Airshow links

Midlands Air Festival website

Show Management

Slipstream Management Ltd.
info@midlandsairfestival.com.

Travel

For links to travel and route planning web sites, click the 'Getting there' tab