Monday, 17 August 2009

Queen and Red Arrows!

The Red Arrows came to town at the weekend, those noisy nine scarlet red Hawk trainers exhibiting their diamond nine formation in all their glory along the seafront of Eastbourne. The coastline in which Eastbourne nestles has the advantage of the South Downs chalkland curling round as it disappears under the sea providing both a high point for viewing, and a hiding place for the planes to absolutely just appear in a flash above.

Pevensey Bay gently stretches ten to twelve miles round from Eastbourne in the west to Hastings in the east – the land where William the Conqueror conquered, the sea reaching further inland before longshore drift silted up leaving the area marshy with tiny islets at high tide.

So an ideal place for an air show, a three mile promenade, a good mile of wide grand parade to site all the side shows, the food stalls, the Services’ aircraft on show, places for the parachutists to land, and the long fly through from the east, the planes pop up to shock us over Beachy Head, towering 550 feet above the town below, or hiding out to sea in the mirage of the English Channel and heading straight at us before we had time to draw breath.

Coastline Eastbourne

Well having had the real thing at the weekend explode in front of my eyes as I drove down the Downs in a burst of scarlet followed by red, white and blue plumes I had to write about the Red Arrows; little did I think I’d be writing about Queen too (you have to see this video – if you like flying, displays or listening to Queen .. it just says it all .. ‘it’s a kinda magic!’).

This middle weekend of August is our fire-power, our weekend for the boys, or those who love aircraft from British Aerospace Hawks, to a Typhoon F2 swing-role combat aircraft, Battle of Britain Memorial planes – the Spitfire, the Hurricane Bomber and the Lancaster – and all possible types of aircraft in between .. even a glider – and as that is something that I have done, next year I must go and watch. This year other priorities are in place.

The star burst of the Red Arrows coming from below the houses, on the seafront and appearing to come straight towards me flying skywards was a sight to behold. I had to stop the car and look! My house is in the middle of the town and I could see some of the coloured trails reflected in my computer screen (sad really!), and I could definitely hear the noise but due to visiting did not take time out to walk to the sea front to look.

I’m sure the four day show was a success, especially as the weather was pretty good this year, they seem to have covered all bases, with lots of planes on the seafront, pilots to talk to, displays of all sorts happening –Team Guinot the UK and the world’s only formation wingwalking team, the Tigers parachute display team, the Blades the UK’s most extreme formation aerobatic display team, the Royal Air Force band at the town’s band stand and concluding each night with a firework display.

Patty Wagstaff is an American aerobatic pilot - see the wonderful trails she has left in this manoeuvre.

Aerobatic manoeuvres are quite superlative as this wonderful photo shows, the rotation of the aircraft as it rolls and pitches, spins, tumbles, and darts about the sky in different formations – the Red Arrows’ formations using all nine Hawks are just amazing. Aerobatic flying requires such high technical skill and precision sets, the pilots must be at their best; some pilots fly for recreation, others compete and push themselves to their limits.

William the Conqueror would be somewhat put out to find that all he needed to do was wait 950 years and then he could, using his red arrows soften the enemy up, before unleashing a final red arrow right at the heart of the English Crown. Simple really! Then I could not have made this connection with Queen and the Red Arrows – what a mix:

it’s a kind of magic -one chance of life – I choose the way – it’s great at last 1,000 years will soon be gone - - - ha ha ha - - - the world turning inside out and floating around in ecstacy – so don’t stop me now – ‘cos I’m having a good time shooting stars through the sky like a tiger defying the laws of gravity’ .... do watch the video and listen to the words, they match so well. Queen – one of my favourites, and that laugh in the middle round about 3.30!

Red Arrows training (in Cyprus) to Queen!

I hope that cheered you up Mr Postman on your rounds today – it certainly has cheered me, not to say I really needed it .. but a buzzy song always helps lighten the mood - my mother would hate it!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Marketing Unscrambled, Home edition said...

Hello Hilary,

Wow! They are great all the things that they can do. What a wonderful sight to see. They can be deadly if something goes wrong. They are still fun to watch and enjoy.Thank you for sharing this beautiful post with us. The photos are wonderful.

Have a great day.

Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Dan and Deanna ..yes they were Wow! Ghastly if something goes wrong, but they are so well trained and precisions oriented.

The video is such fun .. the Red Arrows will always be in my mind with a Queen overlay! Glad you like the photos ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Letters

Marketing Unscrambled, Home edition said...

Hilary Love that video. They make it look so easy. It takes hours of training to do that. Thank you for that, it is wonderful. Have a good day.

Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Dan and Deanna .. thanks - it works and you enjoyed it .. I just thought the display timed to the music, and the words said it all ..

I now know I'll look at the red arrows completely differently for the rest of my life! Queen will drop into my head.

Thanks - good to see you ..
all the best Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Peter Baca said...

Hi Hilary,

You have to admire those men and their flying machines! It takes some bravado to do what they do!

There are the occasional mishaps but that comes with the territory! Thanks for your post!

Pete Baca
The Car Enthusiast Online

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Pete .. yes their displays are amazing. Their fine tuning in their minds, and their reactions etc .. precision timing - professionals through and through. Humans make mistakes sometimes and for them at those speeds, etc there is no room for a tiny error - unfortunately.

Glad you enjoyed it .. I have to say this year I got hooked and next year will spend time watching: make a definitive decision to see the whole thing.

All the best Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Chuck said...

I have to say every time I see an airshow like I find it amazing they can do such precision work like that. Very cool and Queen was a good choice!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chuck .. thanks for clicking through .. this video is brilliant isn't it ..

Sad about whatever went wrong yesterday .. but the precision and preparation is quite extraordinary and inspiring to watch.

Good to see you here .. cheers Hilary