The Blades Aerobatic Display team end its thirteenth display season on an all-time high

18th September 2018

The Blades Aerobatic Display team brings a momentous display season to a close after displaying to an estimated two million spectators over the UK this summer.

The team flew thirty-nine dynamic and cutting-edge displays, covered over 4,680 airmiles, performed 234 high speed cross overs and Blade 4 wowed the crowd with over 117 minutes of solo. For the first time in Blades history the team transitioned from a full Ex-Red Arrows line up to welcoming the UK’s most successful aerobatic pilot, Gerald Cooper.

The aerobatic team displayed at twenty-five airshows including the first ever airshow at Great Yarmouth and headlined the Farnborough International Air Show.

The team was invited back to air show favourites Airbourne: Eastbourne, Bournemouth, Southport and Sunderland.

The Blades display entertained the crowds at every airshow with new and classic manoeuvres and perfected formation flying.

Aside from airshow displays, the team has been involved in many more events and activities including:

·         Flying over 125 people during Blades Experience Days

·         Flying VIP guests including Northampton Saints Captain, Dylan Hartley, Hollywood actor Luke Evans, BBC’s Angelica Bell and Michael Wood

·         Managing and delivering the eighth Blades Ball. The annual charity auction raised almost £50,000 in aid of our charity partner RAF Benevolent Fund

·         Wedding displays at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and Rushton Hall in Northamptonshire.

Team Leader and Blade 1, Andy Evans commented:

‘‘I’m so proud of our team this year; it’s been a busy and significant season for us with many changes and the team has performed above and beyond to make the season a success. The team and I would like to thank the team’s sponsors for the continued support, the air show organisers, the people who came out to watch, come rain or shine in some cases, the Blades ground team and everyone who had a part in making the season one to remember. We’re now into the autumn/winter training ahead of the 2019 display season when we look forward to seeing everyone again.’’

2018 marks the first season with Andy Evans leading the team which currently makes him the only Blades pilot to have flown in all four Blades positions. – Andy also celebrated his 1000th display cementing his position as one of the most experienced aerobatic pilots in the country. There were other milestone celebrations within the team which included James McMillan’s 250th display and the completion of Gerald Cooper’s first formation display.

But the year isn’t over just yet…

Adding to the excitement of the year, Ben Murphy and the newly formed Blades Racing Team have been taking part in the Masterclass of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. As the only UK team competing, the Blades Racing Team has achieved three top eight finishes. An unbelievable result for the team in their rookie season. Keep up to date with the Indianapolis and Texas races in October and November by following us on social media.




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