Sunday, 9 August 2009

Blackpool Air Display 2009

Today there was an air show over the sea between the South and Central piers. I went down there with my trusty camera - eventually after thinking it would as usual be between the Central and North piers...

Topping the bill as usual were the Red Arrows, the RAF display team. First however there were a lot more things to do and see.

Several thousand people for one thing. A Promenade still cordoned off for building work for another. I did stand on the North Pier for a bit but it soon became obvious I wasn't going to see much from there so I set off walking down towards the Central Pier. Which meant walking on the tram tracks really.

Whilst I was still walking, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight gave their display. This was one of the main attractions for me and my view was somewhat limited by railings and fencing, trams going past and people's heads - duh, if 5 foot four inches is good enough for me, it should be good enough for everyone...

Anyway I managed to get one or two shots but the aircraft, flying out over the sea seemed a long way away.

Also the sun sets in the west and at Blackpool the sea is to the west, so having an air display late afternoon over the sea means squinting against the sun and hence a few photos are a bit like silhouettes I'm afraid. They should have it in the morning!

By the time I got down onto the beach just south of the Central Pier there was a wing walking display going on. There wasn't a lot of walking going on actually as she looked to be fairly well fastened to one spot. But she did wave cheerfully and managed to hide the sick bag until the plane had gone past and she had her back to us. Rather her than me. I mean... wouldn't do a thing for my hair!

And then... oh, fabulous! A Vulcan bomber did just two fly-past runs. Those things must suck in fuel at a rate my car can only aspire to, so whilst brief, the Vulcan display might well have been amongst the more costly of the displays of the afternoon. But what a magnificent sight.

I used to have a mate who, during the Cold War, had to sleep under one of these in readiness for being woken up to go and drop atom bombs on Russia. And you think you are stressed at work?

Then a four-aircraft aerobatic display, The Blades. Apparently they are all ex-Red Arrow pilots and they did give a superb display.

But now it was time for the real thing.

The past few times I've seen the Red Arrows there has been low cloud and they had to do a low-level display to avoid being invisible to the audience for much of the time. No such problems this afternoon and we had a superb display, well worth the long walk from the car park.

It took me an hour to walk back afterwards with an incredible amount of people all wanting to either get back home or head back to a hotel for their evening meal. A bit like Blackpool of old! I came over all proud!

All the photos are in a set at my Flickr account.

1 comment:

  1. Have only just found your site and want to thank you for the great photographs of the Air Display. We were on Central Prom on the day and the atmosphere was fabulous (as was the weather!)- as you say the crowds were a reminder of the old days.

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