The spectacular Midlands Air Festival has announced a further wave of display aircraft that will be flying high at the festival as it gets set to return to its original location of Ragley Hall in Warwickshire on 4 – 6 June 2021.
Taking to the skies at the festival will be Team Raven, acclaimed aerobatics pilot Chris Jesson in his classic Stampe Bi Plane, the world-famous gyro pilot Peter Davies and the festival’s first ever airship appearance. In addition, organisers have already secured the mighty B-17 bomber and Rich Goodwin in his radical high powered Muscle Biplane to feature in the exhilarating programme of air displays.
The news follows confirmation from the organisers that they plan to soar ahead with the event, following the Government’s announcement on plans for lifting lockdown. As a large outdoor event, the festival will be following relevant government regulations and will be adopting all social distancing guidelines, with plenty of space for families to enjoy the jam-packed programme.
First to join the aircraft line-up will be Team Raven with their five-man formation display team that was first formed in May 2014. Simon, Steve, Barry, Gerald and Mark aka The Ravens have known each other for many years and have flown their signature Vans RV aircraft at countless air shows and displays throughout the country. The big sky display of precision aerobatics features very close formations with their wingtips just a few feet apart. The team name ‘Raven’ comes from a play on the letters ‘RV’ which you can see on the crest on the sides of the aircraft fuselages.
Adding to the aerobatic line up, pilot Chris Jesson will put his classic Stampe Bi Plane through a routine that ranges from aerial ballet to high energy manoeuvres. Chris started his flying career in the long-gone Dan-Air airline before completing his commercial service for easyJet. The Stampe, (pronounced Stomp) was a sophisticated aircraft in its day, featuring brakes, a tail wheel and ailerons on both sets of wings, things that were unusual for a light aircraft of the time.
The world-famous gyro display pilot Peter Davies will be taking to the skies in the futuristic Calidus Gyroplane. Flying for over 32 years, Peter is a highly experienced pilot who has been displaying with the Gyroplane for 22 years. Whilst the Gyroplane looks like a mini helicopter, it works in a more unusual way as the main rotor is not connected to the engine. The display is sure to be a crowd pleaser as Peter swoops the Gyroplane through the skies.
Finally, for something completely different, the festival has also confirmed its first appearance of an airship. Chris Sanger-Davies will pilot his 110,000cuft Lindstrand Airship at speeds of up to 15 knots. Whilst not the fastest aircraft attending the festival, it is certainly one of the most rare and interesting.
Trevor Graham, director of aviation for the festival commented: “These first displays are just an early taste of the aircraft we are planning to have in our daily flying programmes, many more exciting and unusual aircraft will be added to our growing list in the coming weeks. The display programme is being designed to appeal to aviation enthusiasts, families looking for a well-earned day out of excitement or those who just want to sit, relax and watch the show in the wide-open spaces of the historic Ragley Hall Estate.”
As well as a spectacular afternoon of air displays, the event will feature over 120 hot air balloons that will be rising high in the twice-daily hot air balloon mass ascents at dawn and late afternoon, along with exciting radio-controlled aircraft displays, large character kites and parachute teams.
The ticketed event will also feature the largest display of special shape character hot air balloons in Europe, with up to 40 of these amazing giants registered to attend. New special shapes that have been confirmed for the event include Wes the Wolf, the Cornetto Ice Cream, the giant Saucepan, and Buddy the smiling friend.
Mark Lockwood, spokesperson for the Midlands Air Festival, commented: “The programme for this year’s event is shaping up to be our best yet. It is set to be a brilliant family day out and we are really hoping to be a light at the end of a very long tunnel and give everyone something to really look forward to. Since the inaugural event in 2018, our Festival has proved to be hugely popular with both the Midlands audience and visitors from all over the UK.”
Local businesses are being encouraged to get in touch with the festival for bespoke sponsorship partnerships.
Tickets are now available from the Midlands Air Festival website with a special offer that ends on 31 March. Children under 14 can attend for free, when accompanied by an adult ticket holder. Tickets for this event must be purchased in advance and will be limited to allow for capacity restrictions and government regulations pertaining at the time of the event. Organisers are advising those wishing to attend to book their tickets early, in the event that the festival sells out.
There will be many more exciting additions and announcements about the events programme in the coming months, so to keep up to date with the latest news and information visit the Midlands Air Festival website www.midlandsairfestival.com or follow the event on Twitter @midlandsairfest, Instagram @midlands_air_festival_ and Facebook @midlandsairfestival.