The Scottish National Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, seems to arrive quicker and quicker each year – perhaps it’s an age thing, but I’m beginning to think it may be that I’m finally getting into the swing of Scotland. I’ve been quietly confident that we will be able to attract some decent aircraft to the airshow.
Well, I can now confirm that we have been very fortunate indeed with our RAF allocation. The Typhoon, Tucano, Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster and last, but obviously not least, the Red Arrows, will all be part of our Airshow. I am hoping that the Royal Navy will be able to support us as well. As you may remember, the SAR Sea King from HMS Gannet, Prestwick, was due to take part in our Airshow last year. However, on the day the aircraft was called out to an emergency and couldn’t attend – although the fact that the crew subsequently saved somebody’s life puts their absence from an air display into stark perspective.
I’m keen to attract a choice cross-section of commercially-operated aircraft to complete our line-up. More information in my next blog post.
I have already had my initial meeting with the Edinburgh Airport authorities, as once again I shall be using the city’s airport to host some of the aircraft for the show. I am always gratified by the enthusiasm of all concerned at Edinburgh Airport to make the show a success, and once again they seem happy to take on the challenge, with Air Traffic Control, Signature Flight Support and the Edinburgh Airport itself all indicating their willingness to help. It can’t be easy, integrating my display traffic into the already-busy flight schedules of an international airport, and I am always very grateful for their efforts.
As last year, the display date is quite a busy day in the UK airshow calendar, with displays on the south and east coasts as well as at East Fortune. The ‘biggy’ as far as we are concerned is the Sunderland display, which will take place over the same weekend. The reason is that it is comparatively easy for East Fortune and Sunderland to share some display aircraft, as we are not separated by a mountain range, we are on the same side of the country, and the distance is quite quickly covered by most display aircraft types.
It may seem strange to some that displays share aircraft in this matter but makes the job of the military display teams easier as they can support several displays from one airfield, rather than having to send ground crew and support teams to every location. We have to be very organised as we must not only co-ordinate our own displays but also co-ordinate with someone else’s display as well.
That’s it for now, the next main event in the planning cycle is the Emergency Services Meeting, after which planning will really start to gather pace. See you soon, and let’s all pray for a ‘barbeque’ summer.