Well, it’s all over for another year. For those of you who came and are probably still drying out, thank you for your enthusiasm and good humour. I know it rained, and when the rain started I thought I’d be cancelling displays or at least delaying them, but believe it or not everything displayed on or near time, nothing cancelled, and from my standpoint it was a very successful display.
I did mention last week that something always comes up that you hadn’t bargained for – this year it was crew transport at Edinburgh airport. Having had a system in place, for various reasons it collapsed completely on Saturday morning, leaving me with no transport to get the crews from the hotel to their aircraft. The aircraft handling agent, Signature at Edinburgh airport stepped into the breach and saved the day, but not without it causing problems along the way. So I’d just like to say a very public thank you to Scott McClaren and all his staff at Signature for making the thing work – we really couldn’t have done the display without them.
Back to the display site – I have decided that the Red Arrows must have a direct line to the rain or sun gods. As they arrived the clouds parted, the sun shone and they gave yet another tremendous display; a true credit to themselves, the RAF and the nation. They’d had quite a busy couple of days up to the, flypasts over Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff, and the Olympic opening ceremony in London the day before, fly up to RAF Leuchars on Saturday morning, and another display later in the day.
I was also impressed with the Great War Display Team, flying their small open cockpit aircraft the length of the UK in order to display, and the Royal Navy Historic Flight. The Sea Fury is such a graceful aircraft and the noise of its engine so evocative that it’s always a pleasure to watch. The Swordfish crew also deserve a mention, and the final flypasts with the Sea King were an absolute joy.
Away from the aircraft, sat in our control cabin overlooking the site we do see some amusing things. On Saturday it was very excited and happy small children, giving their new wellies a proper work out. There was one little girl in particular, about four or five years of age, who had found the deepest puddle she could find that she could walk in without the water flowing into her pink flowery wellies. It made us laugh!
Once again you have proved to me that we have the most appreciative spectators in the UK, with very vocal support of virtually every aircraft, but especially the Red Arrows, and a very big thank you must go to all of you who did as you were asked and waved your umbrellas at David Cyster as he flew past in the Tiger Moth – It was one of those unique airshow moments I’ll never forget.
So it’s back to the drawing board for next year, with a heartfelt thank you and good luck to Grant Mackenzie, my partner in crime from the National Museum of Flight, who has been the display project officer for several years and who now moves on to pastures new, and who has been so good over the past two years, allowing me to almost do as I wish with the display.
Until I start my pre-display blogs posts again next year, have good summer (!?) and a Happy Christmas to you all from myself and my entire team.