Blades in salute to Armed Forces Day

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The Blades aerobatic team, based at Sywell Aerodrome, will be wowing crowds across the country again this summer – and the Telegraph will be keeping you up to date with their exploits.

“The next week in our display calendar was focused around our annual Armed Forces Day ball.

The ball includes a flying reception where 180 guests fly in a range of aircraft including The Blades’ Extras, helicopters, Tiger Moths and our King Air.

The ball is put together by our own team and it takes a lot of organisation to arrange a flying program for so many passengers, plus two air displays by The Blades and a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire, particularly in the middle of the display season, but luckily the evening went without a hitch.

We even had a famous face among our passengers as our Team Leader Mark Cutmore took ex-cricketing legend Allan Lamb up for a flight.

The aim of the ball as always was to celebrate Armed Forces Day and raise money for our charities.

This year we chose a number of different causes to support including the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Association, the Jack and Ada Beattie Foundation, the NSPCC and two local charities, the Cynthia Spencer Hospice and KidsAid.

One of the highlights of the night was the auction of one of the motorbikes used in the film Skyfall.

Ridden in the opening sequence, we created a film using clips from Skyfall and clips of The Blades to raise interest ahead of the auction and the bike alone on the night raised £16,000 for our charities.

We also got to test ride the bike to make sure it was running well before the event, as most of us are bikers it was a real rush to have a go on the Bond bike inside the aerodrome.

The ball is always a fantastic and fun event, but as a team of ex-RAF pilots it’s important to us to pay tribute to Armed Forces Day and take the opportunity to say thank you to all the men and women who are currently serving.

The generosity of our guests during the evening meant we raised more than £55,000 for our charities, some of which will be going to support the RAF family.

After the end of a busy ball weekend it was time to start the prep for some of our other events where more passengers will be coming flying with us.”