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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 24 September 2007

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Southport Air Show 2007

THE weather forecast was dire, the wet, sandy beach full of puddles, a medium wind blowing and a very cloudy sky! Yet, the beach, and the promenade, were crowded with people, military vehicles, military and civilian side shows, climbing walls as well as many various catering vehicles and, of course, St John Ambulance personal with their tents and vehicles.

Trade was brisk, the people were in very good spirits and there was an air of excited expectancy. Occasionally there were a few very isolated drops of rain on the first day, while on the second day the sun came out intermittently.

This Air Show is billed as the largest in the North West. Well, it certainly seemed to be that. The spectators were thrilled and enthralled by the well timed and well balanced different flying machines, even the model ones.

Among the many fly-pasts, stunts, acrobatic display teams and demonstrations were World War II aircraft and more modern aircraft. Some of the flying machines had been magnificently restored and maintained. We saw split second timing and skilful flying by dedicated pilots.

On the first day, among the many flying displays, were three acrobatic teams (2 with 4 planes). They were super and the Red Arrows (9 planes), who closed the first day, were simply breathtaking. Jets were interspersed with helicopters, prop driven planes and even a flight (3) of biplanes with wing walkers. We saw, amongst other planes, a Spitfire and a Hurricane do aerobatics. Another Spitfire (Mk 9) did some stunt flying, and there were 2 Messerschmitt 108 who made several fly- pasts. The exciting model planes, which I saw flying, were 2 Lancasters which dropped bouncing bombs, a Flying Fortress and a Junkers JU-98. An RAF Trainer Aircraft based at Woodvale demonstrated its manoeuvrability with loops and dives. The highly informed commentaries kept every one entertained and aware as to what was happening. Everybody, whom I spoke to, declared that it had been a well worth while day.

On the second day the pattern was the same but with some different aircraft. Also there were repeat performances by some of those from the previous day. We were all astounded by the dancing routine of a Chinook helicopter, which the commentator called a “dancing house!” We saw the Spitfire (Mk 9), the P51 Mustang, the very rare US 3 crew Invader fighter/bomber, the rare 2 Messerschmitt 108, and the famous Hawker Hunter Mark 7 as well as many other aircraft. The display by the Red Arrows was in the late morning. The RAF Falcons Parachute Team did a superb demonstration in the afternoon under very difficult conditions, high wind, hitting the mark with great precision.

On both days, when it was time to go home, the traffic moved sluggishly away from the car parks. Good humoured people walked along crowded pavements to the buses and train station and the trains, which left the station with people standing, as all the seats were occupied.

There are many to thank and too many to single out for congratulations for two days of fabulous flying and ground entertainment, the St John Ambulance personnel, the Police, Sefton Council, I could go on, but well done everybody, and thank you one and all.

 

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