Since forming in 2006, The Blades have flown over 600 displays throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle-East. In this, the Team’s 10th season, the display continues to evolve with each winter being put to good use, training new pilots and developing the show. The aim is to showcase the amazing capabilities of the Extra 300 combined with the skill, experience and heritage of the pilots. The Team is very much in demand as the display adds a real ‘wow’ factor to any air show, event or party and with over 60 public displays planned this year, there is surely going to be a display near you.
The display lasts 15 minutes – not a figure arrived at by chance – but a duration that allows a fantastic, jaw-dropping sequence of over 30 separate manoeuvres to be flown and yet still leave the audience wanting more. The Blades are one of the very few display teams that are permitted to perform an arrival into the show over the heads of the crowd.
Meticulously planned and executed, The Blades approach fast and low in ‘Manta’ formation, which grabs the attention of those watching below, before pulling hard into a loop as the first formation shape change takes place on Blade 1’s command. The opening sequence is both breath-taking and spell-binding as the 4 aircraft fly back directly towards the crowd, making the ‘impossible’ possible as the signature ‘Blade Break’ is performed.
The show then continues as all 4 aircraft perform an opposition cross at combined speeds of over 400mph followed by extreme gravity defying solo ‘gyroscopic’ aerobatics, synchronised rolls, twists, double-tumbles and knife-edge spins to name but a few of the manoeuvres not to be missed. What sets The Blades apart is that there is never a quiet moment in their display, never a chance to lick your ice-cream, make a phone call, grab a drink, you will be captivated from start to finish as the Team rejoin back into formation with spectacular style – order from chaos – before pulling up for their final move – The Palm Split… You will be left wanting more.
Ribbon diagram of The Blades display feature below.
The Blades have 3 completely interchangeable shows to cope with all sorts of weather conditions. If the visibility and cloud base are good, the Team will fly the ‘full’ show, if the cloud base allows loops but not the extended vertical manoeuvres they will revert to their ‘rolling’ show and finally, if loops are not possible but the cloud base and visibility is above the CAA minimum, they will fly the ‘flat’ show. They can swap between all 3 routines during the 15 minute show, so rest assured, those watching The Blades will always get the best possible display on the day.
Click here to find out more about booking a display from The Blades
Blades display footage
Since forming in 2006, The Blades have flown over 600 displays throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle-East.