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The Red Arrows display team provided something new for this year's show with an amazing display of precision flying, producing stunning high-speed aerobatics over Whitehaven harbour.

Red Arrows above South Pier lighthouse

Red Arrows fan out

After flying straight for the thousands of people watching from the harbour the Arrows split into a red white and blue fan.

Two Red Arrows - Approaching at speed

This is one not to try at home  - even if you do have the right equipment. Two of the Red Arrows fly on a death defying high speed collision course twisting away at the very last second above Whitehaven harbour.

Tornado ejector seatHarrier on the quay-side

Tornado Maintenance tentRed Arrows simulator

To support the display in the air the RAF provided a host of attractions on the harbourside. This inlcuded a harrier jump jet which people could sit in and a simulator which gave some idea of what the Red Arrows' pilots experience in the air.

lancaster spitfire and hurricaneLancaster over USS Leyte GulfSpitfire with USS Leyte Gulf

Going back a little further in aviation history there was a WWII flypast by a Lancaster bomber flanked by a Spitfire and a Hurricane. This was interestingly juxtoposed with the modern American missile cruiser - USS Leyte Gulf - out in the bay. Later in the afternoon another chance to see a vintage aircraft was provided by a Fairey Swordfish which made several low level passes over the outer harbour. 

Fairey Swordfish

Another display of precision flying was provided by a Seaking helicopter that simulated a rescue in the harbour and then lower a man on board the RNLI lifeboat from Workington. Unfortunately, a repeat performance on the Sunday was cancelled when the rescue team was called away on genuine rescue elsewhere.

Helcopter rescue with RNLI lifeboat


Whitehaven Maritime Festival 2003