The Blades of Sywell

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One of the largest airshows in the world, Farnborough International Airshow 2012, was the culmination of nine months’ organisation and hard work from the team and proved to be a week of real success for us all.

Other than the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations Farnborough is the largest outdoor event to be held in the UK this year, which gives those who have never attended some idea of the scale.

The team flew down at 6.30am on the Monday of Farnborough week and throughout the next seven days flew 47 passengers, eight displays and hosted more than 300 guests in The Blades chalet.

Every single day was full of flying with passengers on close formation aerobatic sorties and the display in the afternoon.

There was a real mixed bag of weather at the show but luckily there was only one occasion where we were required to perform our flat display instead of the rolling display and all our passengers got up in the air and, more importantly, enjoyed their flight.

Other aviation companies hosting at Farnborough for the week were the likes of Virgin Galactic, Boeing and Airbus so we were in good company and in usual Farnborough style plenty of deals and orders were being announced every day.

Companies and organisations including the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, Selex Galileo, ATC Lasham, QBE and Aerobytes were among those who we welcomed to the chalet for undisturbed views of flying displays including the Red Arrows, the Typhoon and Tornado Role Demo Teams, the Brietling Jet Team and, of course, our very own Blades display.

More than 150,000 people attended the show during the course of the week and over US$72 billion worth of commitments and orders were announced throughout by various companies at Farnborough covering a total of 758 aircraft.

After one of the most full-on weeks of the year, the team spent a few days recuperating before preparing for another weekend of displays at Hatfield House, Rhyll Air Show and another visit to Northern Ireland for Bray Air Festival.