By: A Morton
Jets from the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team performed a flypast with the mighty Cold War aircraft at the Southport Air Show.
Thousands of people cheered and waved as the Red Arrows’ nine distinctive British-built Hawk aircraft made a V-shape in front of the Vulcan.
The striking formation flew over water, along the coast of the north-west town, having joined up over the sea about 10 miles from Prestatyn.
It was the highlight of the air show, at which both the Vulcan and Red Arrows also displayed individually.
The Vulcan, XH558, is the last airworthy example of the UK’s famous V-Force fleet and 2015 is the delta-winged aircraft’s final flying season.
To mark the occasion, and salute the supreme British design and engineering excellence of the Vulcan, the Red Arrows flew with the bomber for one last time.
Squadron Leader David Montenegro, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said: “I know the Vulcan has been a highlight of airshows across the UK for many years – I remember the impact its power and size had on me as a child when I saw the aircraft take off and perform at RAF Waddington.
“Hopefully the Vulcan’s shape, grace and iconic design will have been admired and enjoyed by people of all ages once again as they watched this final flypast with the Red Arrows at the Southport Air Show.”
The flypast followed a similar event at the Royal International Air Tattoo earlier this year, when the Red Arrows and Vulcan delighted crowds at RAF Fairford.
Sqn Ldr Montenegro, a former Tornado pilot, said: “The Vulcan played both a significant role in the Cold War and in the history of British aviation and so it’s only right we pay tribute to the aircraft, and all those people connected with it, during the bomber’s final flying season.
“It was a great honour to lead a formation flypast with the Vulcan, particularly as the aircraft type was once based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire – now home to the Red Arrows.“
The Southport Air Show is the penultimate event for the Red Arrows’ 2015 season, which comes to a close after the Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show, at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, tomorrow (Sunday, September 20).
The Red Arrows are the public face of the Royal Air Force and the team aims to showcase the excellence of the Service and represent the United Kingdom both at home and overseas.
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