Spotting Highlights

  • notable sightings at the airports

Words and pictures by Wayne Bennett, Iain Ashmore and Jack Crompton

While the main focus of our attention here at AirshowUK is military aircraft and displays, this area of the site will be used to showcase rare or interesting civilian aircraft that we come across on our travels. We hope you enjoy seeing these photographs,  as we feel they offer something different from the usual commercial aircraft that you may see every day.

Embraer E190-E2 Demonstrator

The Embraer E190-E2 is said to be the quietest and efficient aircraft in its class, entering service in April 2018 with Norwegian carrier Widerøe. 

This fantastic jet can cruise at an altitude of 41,000ft at Mach 0.82 some 629 mph. The plane is currently being flown around Europe, in what can only be described as a huge sales pitch to potential buyers.  After departing from Manchester, it has gone to Brussels trying to entice more airlines to separate from their profits. This aircraft was seen at Manchester on the 25th September 2018. 

2 Excel Aviation Boeing 737-3L9(WL)

2 Excel Aviation took delivery today of their latest B737. They now have 2 62 seat executive configured aircraft for their charters. What makes this different from the other aircraft is the red decal down the side of the aircraft. This stunning aircraft was seen at Doncaster Sheffield Airport on the 28th August 2018.

Icelandair Boeing 727-200 TF-FIU ‘Hekla Aurora’

This powerful scheme was painted onto this frame in 2014 attempting to capture peoples imaginations to have a layover in Iceland. The planes name Hekla is a traditional Icelandic girls name and is also the name of one of the volcanos within their country. The Aurora is a reference to the northern lights which can be viewed fantastically from Iceland. The plane also boasts a decorative interior with mood lighting and wifi. The plane had 6 previous operators before Icelandair where it has been since 2005. This stunning scheme was seen at Manchester on the 30th August 2018.

Aviro Air BAe 146-300 YR-AVR

This unusual looking BAe 146 is the sole aircraft operated by Romania’s Aviro Air and it has only made a handful of visits to the uk in this guise and so is a very rare sighting. Originally built in 1991 for defunct US operator Discovery Airways, this aircraft has changed hands many times before being acquired by Aviro and painted bright green in 2015. This sighting was a charter at Manchester Airport on the 16th February 2017

Rada Airlines Ilyushin Il-62MGr EW-450TR

Rada Airlines is an ad hoc cargo operator based in Belarus and Il-62 EW-450TR is currently their sole aircraft according to AFQR 2018 information, despite their own website claiming differently. Built in 1985, it was acquired from Russian operator Kapo Aviacompania on Rada Airlines formation in 2007. Doncaster Sheffield Airport has been graced by this aircraft twice so far and this was her first visit on 1/2 November 2016 for a night stop.

Aviastar Tupolev Tu-204 RA-64032

The Tu-204 was designed to be the Soviet reply to the Boeing 757, however it has never approached the us type in terms of popularity. Most Tu-204’s are now operated as cargo aircraft and this example from Aviastar has made a couple of recent visits to Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Seen here at DSA on 16 October 2016.

QANTAS Boeing 787-9 VH-ZND ‘Yam Dreaming’

Whilst not especially rare in itself, the significance of this particular Aussie Dreamliner lies in its Aboriginal inspired ‘Yam Dreaming’ colour scheme. Additionally, these photographs are of the departure of the inaugural London to perth non-stop flight on 25th may 2018

The Brussels Collection

Brussels Airlines, successors to the formerly well known Sabena, are a very spotter freindly operator and have painted several of their A320 fleet into themed special liveries.

The current specials are as follows;

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