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Although about the only thing Whitehaven Festival lacked from previous years was a visit by the red arrows, several of their ex-pilots performed some wonderful manoeuvres in their specially constructed aerobatic planes, as the Blades Display Team.
The Blades Display Team are seen here carrying out stunts just beyond the West Pier of Whitehaven Harbour.
The planes the Blades use are the EA-300 LP designed by Walter Extra and customised for the team. Here they are seen demonstrating "the Blades Box" which shows incredible symmetry and precision.
Built from carbon fibre and with a power to weight ratio comparable to a F1 racing car they are certified to pull 10G.
They are also built with comfortable interiors to carry passengers and so can be booked for corporate events. The planes are also equipped with a several cameras that can record the events or beam back to earth live footage.
Here we see them doing a tight formation pass above the recently renovated walls around the base of the Candlestick monument above Whitehaven's South shore.
The precision flying came from some of the world's best pilots that have thousands of hours experience flying both in combat and in the Red Arrows display team.
This banked roll in spitfire style is even more impressive when done by 4 planes so close together.
Some of the close crosses momentarily appeared like a mid-air collision until the smoke cleared and all four planes emerged and continued on their way safe and sound.
Whilst the planes lacked the sheer thunderous impact of the hawks used by the Red Arrows they were able to perform some manoeuvres near to stalling speed that would have been impossible in the fast jets.
The Blades appeared at the Whitehaven Festival on both the Saturday and Sunday and so provided plenty of opportunity for photographs and fortunately had different displays arranged for the varying weather conditions with a rather low cloud base on the first day.
Finally two blades break away right and left from the formation. For more information and some excellent pictures visit the Blades own website below.
Return to Western Lakeland Events
The Whitehaven Festival's official website www.thefestival.org.uk
The Blades Website www.theblades.biz
Fantastic Virtual tour of the Blades Cockpit www.2excel.uk-virtualtours.co.uk/6.html