SOUTHPORT AIR SHOW
Report by C Trollope, photos by P Trollope
weekend, Southport hosted its 15th Annual Air Show And
Military Display. Unfortunately, on Saturday the
weather was atrocious; the only craft to fly were the
helicopters and the show had to be abandoned for safety
reasons. On Sunday,
despite a few showers and a brisk wind, the Show could
go-ahead. Attendance, although down on last year with
its lovely sunshine, was better than expected given the
inclement weather and what thrills were in store for
those who did turn out.
There was some disappointment expressed by some
members of the public that the Red arrows flew in the
morning, because they were due in Ireland later.
Nevertheless they began the show with their expected
thrilling display. The unfavourable elements perforce
caused cancellation of the parachute jumps and the
Memorial Flight, also there was no Canberra.
The Blades commenced the afternoon’s performances
with an intriguing aerobatics display. Then it was the
turn of the Harrier vertical take-off jet to be put
through its paces. It is still impressive.
The Road Angel, Sukhoi 21, aerobatics team, gave a
spirited display. Towards the end of the show a single
Road Angel returned to excite the crowd with another
dazzling aerial dance. Then the Patrouille Reva
Team gave a striking Showing, in their 30 year old
uniquely shaped, almost SciFi planes. The powerful
Hunter fighter/bomber then dominated the sky, all
colour, noise and force.
By contrast, the Yakovlevs presented a very novel, well
disciplined pageant including a bomb burst and a falling
leaf manoeuvre which made fascinating watching.
Another ballet in the sky was performed by 2 unlikely
contenders; the Black Cats. The Royal Navy Helicopter
Team in 2 Lynxes pirouetted with a synchronous artistry
which belied their size.
Although of British origin, the Mustang, ‘Old Crow’,
became associated in the 1940’s with the US Army Air
Force, and was further developed in America. It zipped
around showing just how it came to play such an
important part in war time history.
The SU 26, Hawk and Tornado fighters also ably displayed
their capabilities. Then it was down to the Sea King
Helicopter crew to put their 6.5 ton machine through
complicated manoeuvres which included lowering and
winching up crew members, all very exciting.
The Army entered into the spirit of the day by staging a
mock battle, whereby troops reclaimed the beach from an
invader’s possession, with energetic use of tanks,
troops and fire power Culminating in a final strafing by
the privately owned, Red Bull’s fighter, with its
distinctive twin boom tail, which lent its strength to
their enterprise: and was more visible than the beach
manoeuvres for many spectators.
The penultimate contributors were the Utterley Butterly
Flying Circus with their daring wing walking girls. They
smoke-scribbled as they wove around the sky and the
girls performed their mid-air aerosuperbatics in a
The climax of the show was the awesome appearance of the
new Eurofighter, the Typhoon. This is a product of a 4
nation consortium (UK, Germany, Spain, Italy.
This machine is amazing. It effortlessly accelerated
upwards, swooped vertically and deftly turned on the proverbial sixpence with a fluidity and grace which was
astounding. Described as a plane designed by fighter pilots for fighter pilots, it spectacularly displayed
its capabilities. It is set to take its place at
the forefront of European defence.
In addition to the
aerial displays there were many side attractions and
refreshment stalls. Unfortunately, many required
suitable footwear to reach the stalls due to the wet
sand. There was a very informative commentary
throughout. Unhappily, some of the information was lost
to the wind and it was totally unavailable to those in
the disabled access area, who would have appreciated it
The usual stalwarts: the public services, St John
Ambulance Brigade, and the stewards were on hand
performing their usual reliable services. A notable
absentee being the Fire Brigade because of industrial
action. Overall it was a very successful Sunday. Thanks
to all concerned with its provision. Long may the
See photos and extra show report,
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