Views from the cockpit: Weston Air Festival as you’ve never seen it before

PUBLISHED: 11:51 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:16 19 June 2017

The Blades team streak over Weston Bay

The Blades team streak over Weston Bay

Scorching temperatures, daredevil aerial routines and action-packed activities back on terra firma combined to make Weston-super-Mare Air Festival a massive hit at the weekend.

The Blades demonstrate one of their 30 daring manoeuvres.The Blades demonstrate one of their 30 daring manoeuvres.

Tens of thousands of people flocked to the town’s seafront to enjoy a host of displays, stunts and fly-pasts from some of the world’s top pilots.

The Red Arrows proved a highlight for many with routines on both days, while the ear-splitting Typhoon, Breitling wing-walker, and the Battle Of Britain memorial flight also featured among the top attractions.

Festival-goers packed the beach and seafront to enjoy the Blades routineFestival-goers packed the beach and seafront to enjoy the Blades routine

The Blades display team too drew plenty of admiration with an exhilarating routine of more than 30 stunts – and today (Monday), they are sharing this unique perspective of their display with Mercury readers.

The four-strong team – comprised of former Red Arrows pilots – captured a stunning series of photographs as they performed high over the crowds in Weston Bay.

The Blades display team is made up of former Red Arrows pilotsThe Blades display team is made up of former Red Arrows pilots

The pictures show the team’s Extra 300 craft in mid-stunt, sometimes inverted and always flying immaculately in trademark close formation.

The Blades team was only formed in 2006, but since then has flown more than 500 displays across the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

Fine weather conditions meant The Blades team enjoyed views right up the North Somerset coastlineFine weather conditions meant The Blades team enjoyed views right up the North Somerset coastline

Its pilots boast a combined experienced of more than 30,000 flying hours and 3,900 displays, making them among the most experienced in the country.

A Blades spokesman said: “The display itself is designed to showcase the amazing capabilities of the Extra 300, combined with the skill, experience and heritage of the pilots to deliver the ultimate in aerial excellence.

“The Blades’ display lasts for 15 minutes and includes over 30 exhilarating manoeuvres. Containing a variety of mind-blowing aerobatic stunts flown just feet apart, each and every display is meticulously planned, briefed, executed and debriefed.”

Today, that expert team is sharing these remarkable pictures from inside its pilots’ cockpits. It offers a view of Weston Air Festival which few will ever have seen, showcasing both the pilots’ skill and the glorious Weston coastline.

* Remember too, that you can share your air festival pictures. Log on to our photo-sharing website weston.iwitness24.co.uk to upload your pictures and to view hundreds more.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Weston Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Weston Mercury