Fast jet participation in Farnborough's flying display today will be limited to the Lockheed-Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and the Saab JAS 39A Gripen.

Though there were rumours that an F-22 would be deployed to both the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough, it was never likely that the aircraft would fly displays.

The Russian super fighters which once formed a pillar of the Farnborough flying display are absent too, their manufacturers too cash-strapped to send them to a show which is felt to offer them little prospect of sales.

More puzzling is the non-appearance of Dassault's Rafale and Mirage 2000, though limited aircraft availability and a need to 'make up time' in the development programme could account for Rafale's absence.


Remarkably, Eurofighter's Typhoon is also absent, though three aircraft are expected to arrive in time to make straightforward flypasts on the public days.

Responsibility for displaying the Typhoon has officially passed from the manufacturers to the customer air forces, though at Berlin, the Luftwaffe provided an aircraft, which was then flown by an EADS pilot.

Flight Daily News understands that the way in which the 'Case White' contract is structured has prevented the RAF from training a display pilot or working up a full display, while three of the six aircraft delivered are out of the country, supporting Typhoon's first deployment outside Europe.

Eurofighter GmbH's fleet of development and instrumented aircraft is fully committed to urgent development tasks in the run up to the launch of the second production tranche.

As a result, no Typhoon will fly during the trade days. "At least the competition are absent too!" one exasperated Typhoon insider said.

Source: Flight Daily News