With just 85 days to go until the first flying display item arrives at Cleethorpes during the Armed Forces Weekend organised by the Armed Forces Major Events Team (North East Lincolnshire) the first display assets are confirmed. Saturday 30th June will see The Blades aerobatic display team in the skies of Cleethorpes in the teams 13th season. This year they have a new team leader in Andy Evans, Andy who was a member of the orginal team back in 2006 has flown in every position within the team in the intervening 12 years.
All members of The Blades are ex-members of the Red Arrows and their 2018 counterparts will be displaying at Cleethorpes on Sunday 1st July. This year is of course the RAF’s 100th aniversary year and some 9 days after displaying at Cleethorpes the Red Arrows will conduct a flypast over London, 100 days after the official 100th birthday of the RAF as part of the national celebration that will include a parade and a mass flypast.
Also display at Cleethorpes on 1 July will be the mighty Catalina. This American built flying boat flew with 21 squadrons in the RAF from 1941 and operated throughout the world during World War II. It was mainly used for anit-subarine patrols and maritime reconnaissance but could also be used to pick-up downed pilots from the sea. The aircraft displaying on 1 July came to the UK in 2004 and wears the colours of the USAAF 8th Air Force Emergency Rescue Squadron. Large aircraft are becoming less common on the airshow scene and the Catalina is a particularly graceful large aircraft.