Spectators were treated to the sight of the brand new British Airways A380,and Red Arrows hawk jets flying in formation over the the crowds at an air show on Saturday.
British Airways’ Senior First Officer Peter Nye, who was on the flight deck for the first A380’s arrival into London on the 4th July was at the controls with Captain Charles Everett in command of the aircraft. Captain James Basnett who flew that very first flight was also with them, along with Captain Mike Blythe.
Peter Nye said: “It’s been a great privilege to fly alongside the Red Arrows today. It was a very British celebration”
“A lot of work has gone into planning the display and I’m told it was quite a spectacle. It was wonderful to see so many people had turned-out to watch the display.”
The aircraft met above RAF Lyneham, before heading to the air show near Cirencester for the fly-past at 2.30pm.
Squadron Leader Mike Ling, Red 10, who worked on all of the safety and technical aspects required to make Saturday’s flypast possible,
“The Red Arrows are ambassadors for Great Britain and support the country’s industry, so it made perfect sense for the team to join up with the national flag carrier and celebrate the arrival of its first Airbus A380.”
“The aircraft features many British components, including its Rolls-Royce engines, and is a wonderful example of excellence and technology.”
“Putting our Hawk jets behind or alongside an aircraft of the size of the Airbus A380 obviously involves a great deal of precision but the task is essentially the same as the careful flying required for air-to-air refuelling with a big tanker aircraft.”
“Royal Air Force fast jet pilots train hard to gain the necessary skills to carry out this task and the air force’s new KC-30 Voyager fleet is based on the Airbus A330, so flying with much larger aircraft is something we practice and carry out on operations.”
He added: “Flying in formation with the Airbus A380 was a highlight of our year.”
“It took a lot of planning and preparation and it has showcased the flexibility and skills not only of the pilots involved but all of the engineering and support staff too.”
BA long haul flights with the A380 begin in late September to Los Angeles and from mid October you’ll be able to travel on it to Hong Kong.