2009 Articles

SEP 19 2009
Southport Airshow 2009 Preview

I don't know about you but where has the season gone? It seems like only yesterday that I was baking in the sun at Cosford with a long season ahead of me and now the nights are closing in and soon we'll be looking ahead to 2010.

It's nice however to have a show of Southport's scale with which to end the seaside element of the season and, with only Duxford's Autumn show early in October to come, it really does offer a last chance to catch many of the UK's most popular performers.

With solid support once again from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, TSA Consulting have put together a strong line-up for Sefton Council with notable support from the armed forces.

All of the RAF's solo displays are scheduled to appear with Typhoon, King Air, Hawk, Tutor and Chinook all confirmed, along with the welcome participation of a Search And Rescue Sea King demonstration. Southport has also attracted each of the RAF team displays; Red Arrows, The Falcons and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF Saturday only). Not to be outdone, the Royal Navy will be represented by the marvellous Black Cats and the Merlin HM.1.

The Royal Navy Historic Flight's Sea Hawk will be a welcome sight over the Southport sands, displayed in the capable hands of Lt Cdr Chris Gotke who has recently been awarded his display authorisation for the aircraft in the absence of a convalescing Matt Whitfield. After a summer blighted by serviceability problems with many of their aircraft let's hope the season finishes strongly for the RNHF and that they can look forward to a more positive time in 2010.

A strong set of civilian performers completes the display programme for Southport 2010 and no doubt Team Guinot will be looking to cement their status as one of the UK's most consistent and popular participants. Competition however will come in the shape of The Blades, Kennet Aviation's Seafire (Sunday only), Plane Sailing's Catalina and the ever-popular Swift Aerobatic Display Team. I have no idea if Guy Westgate will be trying to break any world records this time round but the Swift's are great to see over the beach regardless and sure to put on a crowd-pleasing show.

Last year's Southport Airshow was of course blessed not only with the RAF Role Demo and an appearance, on Sunday at least, from the Vulcan. While the Role Demo is gone, but not forgotten, XH558 will be appearing this year and closing the show on Sunday. It promises to be a spectacular end to what looks like being a creditable display programme and one which should make for a successful airshow. With some good weather Southport could be the perfect way to spend the end of the season by the beach. See you there.

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