Image © Paul Johnson/Flightline UK

Image © Paul Johnson/Flightline UK

Swiss Air Force F18 display to make its Culdrose debut
• Other acts filling up a flying programme of over five hours

The action-packed flying display planned for this year’s Culdrose Air Day is looking exciting with many of the flying slots already starting to be filled. Organisers of the annual event have announced that for the first time, a Swiss Air Force F18 will be one of the acts taking part in the flying display on Thursday 30th July 2015. With fast jets and aerobatic display teams, historic aircraft and military helicopters taking part, the flying display for 2015 is sure to thrill visitors.

Commander Jason Phillips (or ‘Wings’ as he is known at the Cornish Air Station), is the Flying Display Director and said: “Amongst a list of other exciting acts, for the first time we have been fortunate to secure the Swiss Air Force’s F/A-18C Hornet Flying display for this year’s Air Day. This display really is special – a fast jet solo full of afterburner, speed, enthralling aerobatics and some amazing pirouette manoeuvres. A stalwart of the US Navy carrier fleet, this aircraft has appeared on many television screens carrying out operations in the Middle East. It will be flown to Culdrose by the Swiss Air Force, which uses the aircraft in an Air Defence role. Indeed, our own Sea King Force has operated with them during the French Air Defence week at Landivisieau.”

The F18 will be joined by historic jets, including a Canberra, a Hunter and a Sea Vixen. A variety of aerobatic display teams will compete to woo the crowds with their dazzling displays and death-defying manoeuvres, from the super tight formations of the Blades, to the spectacular stunts of the Breitling Wing Walkers and the tremendous agility of the Black Cats.

In contrast to the roaring sound of jets and turbines, the air will also be filled with the purr of piston driven veterans. Currently booked are iconic veteran WWII aircraft including the Seafire, Kittyhawk and the Swordfish.

Air Day at Culdrose would not be complete without the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm attending in force. Demonstrating the versatility of maritime helicopters, the Merlin, Lynx and Sea Kings will be put through their paces, while the nimble Hawks of 736 Naval Air Squadron will show off their agility and speed.

The Commanding Officer of Culdrose, Captain Adrian Orchard said: “The flying slots are filling up and my team are working hard to make Air Day 2015 a day to remember. This year should be a really special event, with some very special visitors who we have yet to announce.”

“One thing to be certain of is that Air Day 2015 will fill the skies of Cornwall with magnificent sights and sounds from across the world of aviation, both past and present. From high above the Air Station, down to mere feet above the runway, our visitors will be able to experience the thrill of seeing gravity defying displays close up.”

As well as an exciting, action-packed flying display, there will also be lots of things to see, touch and experience on the ground. Visitors can climb onboard aircraft, take a ride in a helicopter, be winched high into the air or jump into the driving seat of a military fire engine. The Culdrose Naval Air Squadrons and units will be on display ready to talk about what they do and explain how their aircraft are deployed and used around the world.

Captain Orchard added, “Often Culdrose Air Day is the only opportunity for non-military personnel to come inside the gates of Culdrose and see what life onboard a Naval Air Station is really like. The public will be able to meet those who serving on frontline squadrons, learn about our outstanding training facilities, jump inside one of our aircraft and find out about the Operations that we are involved in.”

Tickets for the event will be on sale before Easter. More information about the event and a list of display aircraft will be available soon at www.culdroseairday.com