When the Blades met the Red Arrows

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Flying high with the Blades of Sywell

The past few weeks in our display calendar have seen us flying no fewer than 15 displays.

Three at venues that we’d never flown at before, another formation trip with the Vulcan and flights with some very familiar passengers.

Traditionally the busiest month of our display calendar, the last two weeks of August were non-stop for the team and kicked off with our display at Falmouth.

This was one of our new venues and, unfortunately, also one of the worst weather displays we’ve had to endure.

Just ten minutes before take-off there was still a thunderstorm brewing at Sywell but luckily the cloud base lifted enough for us to set off and, despite an extremely bumpy journey down south, we were able to get into Falmouth to display for the 20,000 strong crowd.

We also took to the skies to support Chris Evans’ event to raise money for Children in Need, CarFest, organised for the first time in 2012.

Having new display venues in the calendar is always exciting for us as it’s a fresh challenge, particularly when, as with CarFest, it is a completely different crowd than at an air show and most of the people there will be seeing the display for the very first time.

The views of the event were spectacular from the air and our only regret is that we couldn’t spend any time on the ground taking a closer look at Chris Evans’ ‘magnificent 7’ collection of Ferraris in the paddock!

Towards the end of the month we made our annual return to Bournemouth Air Festival.

This year we spent one day of the four-day show filming the second part of our ‘Blades Blue Peter special’ with presenter Barney Harwood.

Barney flew some solo loops down the display line at Bournemouth under the watchful eye of our qualified flying instructor, Blade 4 Andy Evans, in a special flying challenge before we flew in for our display in the afternoon.

Over the same weekend as Bournemouth we were also flying at the RAF Association Shoreham Air Show.

We’ve continued to support the Royal Air Forces Association’s Wings Appeal this year and Shoreham Air Show is an important part of that.

It is the association’s main air show so it means a lot to us to be able to display at the event in front of thousands of people who are all there to show their support for the Wings Appeal and help raise money and awareness for the charity.

Following our busy weekend on the south coast at Bournemouth and Shoreham we returned to a very familiar display line at RAF Scampton.

The home of the Red Arrows, we have all displayed there many times before and were looking forward to doing so once again at the station’s friends and family day.

We also managed to take a few of our flying friends, the Red Arrows, for a quick spin in the Extra to give them a little taste of what our carbon fibre machines can really do.

Needless to say there were no sick bags required and everyone returned with a smile on their face!

The next few days of displaying for the team is set to take us over to the shores of Northern Ireland and back again, before we head off to Guernsey.

It’s certainly busy but we’ll miss it when it’s over.