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The Blades Aerial Display Team

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Although about the only thing Whitehaven Festival lacked from previous years was a visit by the red arrows, several of their ex-pilots performed some wonderful manoeuvres in their specially constructed aerobatic planes, as the Blades Display Team.

Blades display over Whitehaven lighthouse

The Blades Display Team are seen here carrying out stunts just beyond the West Pier of Whitehaven Harbour.

Blades aerial display team at Whitehaven Festival 2009

The planes the Blades use are the EA-300 LP designed by Walter Extra and customised for the team. Here they are seen demonstrating "the Blades Box" which shows incredible symmetry and precision.

Blades at the top of a loop

Built from carbon fibre and with a power to weight ratio comparable to a F1 racing car they are certified to pull 10G.

Blades display 4 planes plunging downwards

They are also built with comfortable interiors to carry passengers and so can be booked for corporate events. The planes are also equipped with a several cameras that can record the events or beam back to earth live footage.

Blades above Candlestick area of Whitehaven

Here we see them doing a tight formation pass above the recently renovated walls around the base of the Candlestick monument above Whitehaven's South shore.

Blades 4 planes in diamond formation

The precision flying came from some of the world's best pilots that have thousands of hours experience flying both in combat and in the Red Arrows display team.

4 Blades planes roll over

This banked roll in spitfire style is even more impressive when done by 4 planes so close together.

Blades display team cross each other

Some of the close crosses momentarily appeared like a mid-air collision until the smoke cleared and all four planes emerged and continued on their way safe and sound.

Blades planes tail to tail

Whilst the planes lacked the sheer thunderous impact of the hawks used by the Red Arrows they were able to perform some manoeuvres near to stalling speed that would have been impossible in the fast jets.

3 blaeds together with 4th rolling

Blades display team at different angles

The Blades appeared at the Whitehaven Festival on both the Saturday and Sunday and so provided plenty of opportunity for photographs and fortunately had different displays arranged for the varying weather conditions with a rather low cloud base on the first day.

Blades planes follow each other

Blades as 2 planes split away

Finally two blades break away right and left from the formation. For more information and some excellent pictures visit the Blades own website below.

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External links

The Whitehaven Festival's official website

The Blades Website

Fantastic Virtual tour of the Blades Cockpit