The undoubted highlight of Swansea Airshow was Vulcan XH558 (read my thoughts on this iconic plane here) but there were plenty of other visiting aircraft which helped to make the day such a success. Without support from foreign air forces it was left to the RAF to supply much of the machinery with the Typhoon being their first contribution. No matter how many times I see this fighter in action it never ceases to amaze me just quite how manoeuvrable it is, often pulling off turns and changes in direction that would send other aircraft crashing to the ground. Even better was that this year the Typhoon has been painted in Battle of Britain Memorial Flight colours to celebrate seventy five years since ‘the few’ fought for our freedom.
Next up were the L-29 Red Star, Tutor and Hawker Hunter, three jets which though not as nimble as the Typhoon still put on an impressive display.
Of course being set over Swansea Bay does provide the opportunity for something a little out of the ordinary and that was exactly what we got from the Sea King. After pulling a few manoeuvres for the crowds it set about lowering and then raising personnel from two RNLI lifeboats. This is the first time I’ve seen such a task undertaken at close quarters and it was easily one of the highlights of the day combining two of my favourite things.
In between aircraft came the Tigers Parachute Display Team and despite the breezy conditions they managed a flawless jump.
As ever though it was left to the Red Arrows to close the show and they did so in their own inimitable style. Arriving from across Swansea they made an entrance in the only way they know how, with precision, style and a swell of national pride. Fortunately the cloud base was just high enough for them to put on a full display and it was the perfect end to what had been a very impressive show. Hats off to Swansea council for pulling the thing together.
You only needed to look along the beach to see what a well received event this was and I fully support efforts to make it annual. With a few more aircraft it could easily develop into a must see fixture on the airshow calendar.