If you follow us on social media you will have seen that 2 weeks ago we took Cody to the Farnborough International Air Show. Daddy is a die hard fan of planes and we’ve been here before child free. This time though we wanted to take the boy and introduce him to some of our favourite airplanes.
Farnborough International Air Show is predominantly an industry show where aviation companies show off their latest technology and build partnerships with other companies. Orders are placed by big name airlines for new aircraft and transactions equaling millions of pounds take place. It’s a big event!
On Saturday and Sunday they open the show to the public and put on a full afternoon of flying displays. There are loads of food and merchandise stalls everywhere and the exhibition hall is open for visitors. Cody was lucky enough to get some freebies while we were looking round the exhibition hall including lanyards, wristbands, stickers, a desk calendar/notepad, paper airplanes, a toy airplane and his own personalised dog tag! He was thrilled!
Another thing we loved in the exhibition hall was the space rover demonstration. It was amazing to see it in real life. There were lots of scientists answering questions and some astronaut suits to try on. We also saw lots of hands on experiments for kids to have a go at. It’s a great interactive experience.
Outside there are plenty of static aircraft on display. Daddy’s favourite is the Airbus A380 which is simply enormous. It dwarfs everything else at the show! They offer tours around the Airbus A380 for a couple of hours in the afternoon but be warned you need to queue early as its very popular and they usually have to close the queue off fairly early on. Unfortunately this year we missed out as the queue was closed when we got there an hour after the tours started.
Also on display are military airplanes, helicopters, luxury private jets and more. I particularly like the Dakota as it really stands out from the crowd. The Red Arrows are my absolute favourite though and Cody has decided they are his favourite too (good decision son! ).
This year we were lucky enough to have runway enclosure tickets. This gave us access to the runway enclosure grandstand seats and deckchairs. It was great to be guaranteed a seat with a good view and I highly recommend getting these tickets if you can. The enclosure has its own bar and food sellers as well as ‘premium’ toilet facilities. It’s a lot easier with kids than having to traipse around looking for portaloos!
The flying displays this year included a Harrier, the Red Arrows, Red Bull Display Team, the Great War Display Team, Sea Fury, Spitfire, Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers and more. The Red Bull air race demonstration was a bonus as we’d seen it on TV but never in real life. It’s fab!
If you have young children I would recommend getting them earphones to block out the noise. The Harrier in particular and several other aircraft are incredibly loud – as Cody found out!
The bonus with this airshow is that kids under 16 go free! This makes it an affordable day out with all the family and there is plenty to keep everyone occupied. It was very hot on the day we went but the exhibition halls have air conditioning so it’s worth having a wander round those when you want to cool down for a while (or shelter from the rain if the weather takes a turn!). Failing that there are plenty of ice cream vans around to help you cool down – any excuse!
Next year we are thinking of trying out the Royal International Air Tattoo with the kids as that’s one we haven’t been to yet. Let us know in the comments below if you recommend it.