The forecast for the weather on the Sunday leg of the Air Show weekend was a very mixed bag. In the event whilst it had its impact on proceedings it didn’t prevent a huge crowd enjoying a great afternoon on the Promenade.
The first weather intervention by the weather was from afar, Lincolnshire in fact. The Battle of Britain vintage element had to be cancelled before the start as crosswinds at their home airfield of RAF Coningsby prevented them setting off.
The event got off to a superb start however with the Typhoon putting on a great display visually and aurally. The local connection was pointed out to the crowd with this impressive aircraft still in production at Warton. Its exit was particularly impressive, spiralling higher and higher into the sky never to be seen again.
Some staple air show fare followed – it wouldn’t be a Blackpool airshow without the pair of aerosuperbatic biplane wing walkers. Next up was the only Fairy Swordfish Torpedo Bomber, the only one flying in the UK with one other in Canada.
Some duelling between a Yak 50 and a Hitec extra 300 was followed by Laura Wilson, who is soon to be a professional airline pilot and showcased some superb manoeuvres in the tiny 18 foot wingspan Pitt Special. A slot by the PST Musting ‘Miss Helen’ included a brief rendition of ‘flute’ music from the engines which occurs when conditions are right.
Following the interval first up was the Bulldog. The large section of the crowd keenly awaiting the Red Arrows were then given a tester by the Blades display team – three of the four pilots being ex pilots in the Arrows themselves. Their routine was slightly curbed by the weather but was spectacular and widely appreciated.
The pace then stepped back in the penultimate feature with the Tiger Club Turulent Team. In essence this is a display team in planes which are very slow. That in itself wasn’t a particular problem, but overall they probably slightly overstayed their welcome in a somewhat contrived set piece involving flour bombs and remote detonation of a model house…
All eyes were then on the tower awaiting the arrival of the Red Arrows. If you have never stood under the tower when the nine red planes come over in formation I suggest you put it on your bucket list, it’s an iconic image and I have borrowed one for the header. Unfortunately the weather put paid to the ‘high’ version of the Arrows routine, and they also had to curtail it a little to preserve fuel but there was enough of the signature moves to ensure that an enthralled crowd went home happy. So on balance Blackpool triumphed over the elements.
Photograph courtesy of Max Noble
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