Red Arrows on the runway, F-16 holding short, some thousand spectators: satellite imagery of Biggin Hill airport taken on airshow day

Seen through the indiscreet eye of the satellite, almost all airports seem quite quiet. Usually, you can spot some aircraft taxiing, other either taking off or landing on the runway, whereas the majority of the others sit on the apron.

Almost all airports.

If you check what Biggin Hill looks like on either Google Maps or Google Earth, as I’ve done following the heads-up by Alvaro Munoz-Aycuens, you’ll see a quite busy airport.

Indeed, the imagery was taken on Jun. 27, 2010, during Biggin Hill International Air Show 2010. Red Arrows, Belgian F-16 solo demo at the holding position, and many other planes and helicopters on static display.

If you count the Reds, you’ll find there are only eight Hawks rolling after landing. Where’s the ninth plane?

I swear to you it’s there, although not easy to spot!

Above: a close up view of the Red Arrows as they taxi.

Below: Biggin Hill airport as seen through Google Earth.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.