Throughout the day we were treated to many displays from the Royal Navy starting with a great demonstration of the Eurofighter Typhoon, probably the loudest aircraft at the event. Shortly after the Eurofighter we saw an aerial acrobatic display in gliders from Team Silence Twist, a demonstration of a Hawker Hunter and then the Royal Navy helicopter display team the Black Cats performed their show using two Lynx helicopters in a high speed, close quarters, demonstration.
Following the Black Cats was the latest version of the VAAC Sea Harrier, put thought its paces, and a C-18 Globemaster joined in to deliver a Sea King helicopter in a routine mission.
We were also treated to displays from the Merlin and Wasp helicopters (the newest and oldest helicopters in the Royal Navy), and displays from a P51 Mustang, Sea Vampire, F86 Sabre jet, and formation flying from FR Aviation. Unfortunately due to strong winds some of the lighter aircraft, including a Spitfire and several WWI bi-planes, were unable to fly, but none the less we still saw loads of aircraft taking to the skies.
The show finale featured a mock invasion, which resulted in a full-scale battle in front of us, starting with the identification of an unidentified craft approaching the base. The Merlin helicopter (Cyclops) acted in its role as the eyes for the other craft and coordinated the defence, while a Sea King (Excalibur) provided aerial support. A Hornet jet was scrambled and provided air support until the enemy troops landed and moved in on the base. At this point four Lynx gunships took to the skies and started gunning down the enemy forces (simulated by a lifeboat towed by a land rover!) before the craft was boarded by commandos from Excalibur. A Chinook joined in and deployed ground based troops and armoured vehicles, including artillery, then the war began, ending with the wall of fire, a simulated cluster bomb. A fantastic demonstration from the Royal Navy!!!
Despite gale force winds and torrential downpours at the end, we all had a fantastic day, so a big thank you to all the service men and women from HMS Heron for hosting and performing for us on this day.
You can see a few of my favourite pictures from the day below, or you can go straight to the gallery and see them all.