Well, that’s it – we’re as far from the East Fortune airshow as we ever are. Once again we were blessed with Scottish National Airshow weather – just one small shower right toward the end of the display. Almost everything that was booked displayed, the only gap being the Gnat, which faced a technical problem on start at Edinburgh Airport.
I was delighted with the display – I had no big gaps to fill as people were happy to bring their display forward a few minutes to cover any creep (this normally happens in a display – it only takes one aircraft to be even one minute early or late and the time begins to ‘creep’ one way or the other.) By the time we got to the Royal Jordanian Falcons all timing issues were solved and we were bang on the clock.
It could have been different. The weather in the rest of the UK on Friday was so bad that several of our display aircraft hadn’t even made it away from home base, never mind arrived in Edinburgh. I had aircraft as far away as Yeovilton in Somerset and North Weald in Essex as well as some in Newcastle, Carlisle and other small airfields in between. Thankfully, when I got up on Saturday morning and checked the weather it was obvious that most aircraft would be able to make it up on Saturday morning ready to display on Saturday afternoon. And so it proved.
My favourite sight of the afternoon was the Norwegian P3 Orion, thundering along at low level in the sunshine (I know, but I’ve seen the Red Arrows a thousand times). I always get a kick out of the Royal Jordanian Falcons singleton display tumbling backwards through his own smoke too.
The Red Arrows gave one of their best displays of the season so far I think, and the debut of the unique Bristol Blenheim on this the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain (yes, the Blenheim did fight in the battle, both as a light bomber and a night fighter) added poignancy to a very well-conducted display.
Given the international aspect of the display this year I truly could not have managed it without the help and support of everyone at Edinburgh Airport. The late arrival of several aircraft, along with having to cater for the needs of a 4 x aircraft display team must have caused problems somewhere along the line, but the Edinburgh team kept everything on track, and for that I am grateful, so thanks to Stevie Muir and Andrew Glasgow of Edinburgh Airport, Tony Kirkbright and his team in air traffic control, and Karen McRoberts and the team at Signature Flight Services for making my job just that little bit easier.
Finally I must say thank you to the team at National Museums Scotland – it is after all their display, and the number of hours they all put in during the run up to the event (and immediately after) to ensure its success is just immense. And thanks to you, the Scotland’s National Airshow audience, for putting up with my ramblings and for your unfailing high spirits and enthusiastic applause at what I think is rather a unique event; Scotland’s National Airshow, East Fortune.