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.
“Since our last public display of the season in September 2012, there have been quite a few changes here at The Blades including a new pilot and a new look for our planes.
January saw the welcome addition of a new Blade 3 to our ranks.
Ian Smith, or ‘Smithy’ as he’s known to us all, joined the team straight from the RAF where his last posting was as Officer Commanding for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Smithy also flew with the Red Arrows during his time in the Air Force but, even with his solid flying background, we had a busy winter training period while Smithy learned the display.
2013 has also seen us return to our team colours of orange.
The week prior to our first display at Cosford was spent adding the finishing touches to our branding, which now include numbers on the tail so people can see who’s who, and a fantastic Union Jack design underneath the right-hand wing.
Our first air show of the season was RAF Cosford where we debuted our new branding for the very first time – so needless to say we were all pretty excited.
We ran a practice display at a very cold and grey Sywell before departing for the show and landed at a hot and sunny Cosford, which was a blessing!
We were closing the show so we had a little time before our display to watch some of our fellow display teams at work.
We arrived in time to see the Red Arrows which, as a team of ex-Reds, is always a pleasure to watch and it was brilliant to see the diamond nine back once more.
We also caught Captain Wales, AKA Prince Harry, in action as part of the Apache Attack Helicopter Display Team.
Finally it was time for us to close the show and it was with a particular thrill that we got our 2013 season under way to a sell-out crowd at Cosford.
Despite the number of shows we do every year it still brings a chill to the spine to hear the words “Blades running in... starting full” as Blade 1, our team leader, makes his call for us to begin our display.
Here’s to blue skies for the rest of the season!