Two fast jets have been unveiled as part of the programme for this year’s Clacton Airshow.
Returning to the event, which is celebrating its 30th year, is the ever-popular de Havilland Vampire FB52, an aircraft with a maximum speed of 548mph and which flew with the Swiss Air Force for almost 40 years.
Now flown by the historical squadron based in Norway, this year it flies in the markings of the Italian Air Force, which is marking its centenary in 2023.
Joining the fast jet line-up at the Clacton Airshow – taking place on 24-25 August – is a pair of BAC 167 Strikemasters Mk82A, the display pair being both ex-Oman Airforce jets which can produce 3,500lbs of thrust from its pure turbo jet – giving a noticeable noise as the display is carried out at up to 4G.
Also joining the display with jet engines – alongside regular piston-fired ones – are the Jet Pitts. The unusual propulsion combination began as a joke between pilot Rich Goodwin and engineer Eddie Sauernman, and gives the planes a total thrust of 1,700lbs on an aircraft weighing only 1,550lbs; leading to an eye-watering acceleration.
Further announced today for the 2023 Clacton Airshow is the Autogyro, a ‘flying windmill’ aircraft with free-wheeling rotor blades, with its fun aerobatics designed for display close to the crowds.
Ivan Henderson, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Tourism at Tendring District Council – which runs Clacton Airshow – said the noise and speed of the jets gave a different perspective to some of the older planes appearing. “There is something for everyone at the Clacton Airshow, whether it is these speedy jets joining the likes of the previously announced Red Arrows, or in contrast the Autogyro which almost lazily flies with no stall speed,” Cllr Henderson said. “The power of the jets flying at high G-force is certainly something to behold and I can’t wait to see them in the skies above Clacton.”
Those who are travelling to the event can make use of the Park and Ride service from Hedingham Buses or the event car park run by the Clacton-on-Sea Rotary Club at West Road, as well as additional rail services provided by Greater Anglia.
Further flights will be revealed in the coming weeks.