Full air display programme announced for Torbay Airshow 2017

Strikemaster Paul Johnson
Credit: Paul Johnson

The full air display programme for Torbay Airshow 2017 has been announced ahead of the free event on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 June.

New additions to the programme this year include the historic PBY5A Catalina, an amphibious aircraft and one of the most widely used seaplanes of World War II. From the Royal Air Force the Chinook Display Team will also be taking to the skies captained by Flt Lt Andy ‘Smithy’ Smith. The crew will demonstrate the power and manoeuvrability of the tandem rotor heavy lift helicopter, an unexpected capability from such a large aircraft.

The action-packed flying programme will take place over two full afternoons on Saturday and Sunday alongside ground displays, entertainment, trade stands, fair rides, bars and catering within the event village on Paignton Green.

Flying on the Saturday between 2-3pm will be The Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team, Team Raven Aerobatic Display Team, the Percival Piston Provost and the Strikemaster. From 3-4pm will be the highly anticipated display by the Red Arrows, former British Female Aerobatic Champion Lauren Richardson in her Pitts Special S1-S and world aerobatic competitor Gerald Cooper in his Xtreme XA41. Finishing off the action packed afternoon from 4-5pm will see displays from the AutoGyro, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight aircraft, the PBY5A Catalina seaplane and the Royal Air Force’s Typhoon FGR4.

Taking to the air again on Sunday from 2-3pm will be Battle of Britain Memorial Flight aircraft, Team Raven and The Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team. From 3-4pm will see another display from the world’s premier aerobatic team the Red Arrows, the Percival Piston Provost, the Strikemaster and the PBY5A Catalina seaplane. Closing the incredible weekend from 4-5pm will be the Gyrocopter display, Lauren Richardson in her Pitts Special S1-S, Gerald Cooper in his Extreme XA41 and the Royal Air Force’s Typhoon and Chinook Display Teams.

The two day show, which had its inaugural event last year takes place on Paignton Green with the Bay providing a stunning natural amphitheatre for viewing the air displays and the perfect location for a large coastal airshow event.

Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “Torbay Airshow was a resounding success last year and promises to be a memorable event in June 2017.  The event will once again bring a substantial economic boost for the Bay – it is just the type of free family event we want to host here.”

Executive Lead for Tourism, Culture and Harbours, Cllr Nicole Amil, said: “Our inaugural airshow showcased our Bay as a beautiful coastal location with great facilities, which lend themselves perfectly to this type of event.  I am delighted that we will be welcoming even more aircraft at our Torbay Airshow this year.  These spectacular displays always bring the wow factor.”

The famous RAF Red Arrows display will span the weekend, flying on both Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 June featuring their trademark combination of close formations and precision flying. The full length display will take place across the Bay.

Displays from the Typhoon will include some incredible aerobatic manoeuvres to highlight the combat jet’s incredible speed and agility.

One of Torbay Airshow’s most popular displays, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is truly a sight to behold. The Avro Lancaster, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire are three of the most iconic aircraft of yesteryear and will take to the skies above Torbay, sharing six Rolls Royce Merlin engines.

The Tigers were formed over 20 years ago and are firmly established as one of the top parachute display teams in the country, they are the flagship team for the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.

Gerald Cooper is a UK aerobatic pilot repeatedly ranked in the top ten at the World Aerobatic Championships. Flying his Xtreme XA41, his flying style is aggressive and highly accurate which means his displays are always distinctive, innovative and hugely popular.

The Autogyro flying display, also known as a Gyrocopter or Gyroplane, is described as a flying windmill or a rotating parachute which looks like a sycamore seed gently floating down as it spins.

Team Raven are a formation aerobatic display team featuring 6 Vans’s RV8 and RV4 aircraft, which have been modified with smoke systems.

A British jet-powered training and light-attack aircraft, the Strikemaster is a development of the Hunting Jet Provost trainer, a jet engineered version of the Percival Provost, which originally flew in 1950 with a radial piston engine. The Strikemaster is an armed version of the Jet Provost trainer aircraft and is operated by NWMAS (North Wales Military Aviation Services Ltd).

The Piston Provost first flew in 1950, with an initial order for 200 placed by the RAF 12 months later. The Provost was introduced into RAF service as a new basic training aircraft for potential RAF pilots.

The Consolidated PBY Catalina, to give it it’s full title, was an American flying boat and amphibious aircraft, used heavily in operations throughout the 1930’s and 40’s. Produced by the organisation Consolidated Aircraft, the Catalina was one of the most widely used seaplanes of the Second World War and served in every branch of the United States Armed Forces.

The Chinook is a truly spectacular feat of engineering; capable of carrying immense external loads equal to its own weight of 10 tonnes and able to complete manoeuvres that defy its sheer size and shape, this chopper makes for a spectacular sight and will no doubt provide a jaw dropping display this year.

At just 29, Lauren Richardson is one of the top aerobatic display pilots in the UK, performing in an iconic modified Pitts Special aerobatic biplane.

All air displays are subject to change depending on weather conditions and operational commitments that could take the military displays elsewhere at short notice.

The event is run by Torbay Council. For further information on the event and to keep up to date with the latest news follow @torbayairshow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit the event website www.torbayairshow.com

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