40,000-plus descend upon

Two of the Red Arrows close up.
Two of the Red Arrows close up.

There was a huge turnout on Saturday for what may prove to be the last airshow at RAF Leuchars.

More than 40,000 people turned up for this year’s event which was a special tribute to the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year.

But on Monday the RAF confirmed that a decision has yet to be made on whether the airshow will return next year, leaving fans of the annual spectacle to wonder if Saturday’s was indeed the last.

Included in this year’s event was the stand up parade for 1 (Fighter) Squadron which has now returned to active service as the fourth front-line Typhoon squadron.

But the stars of the show were the aircraft that entertained and enthralled with their impressive flypasts.

The ever popular Red Arrows put on another impressive display but the highlight for many this year was the appearance of nine Leuchars-based Typhoons who brought the show to a close.

CEREMONY

Pilots from 6 Squadron and the newly reformed 1 (Fighter) Squadron flew in a Diamond Nine formation for the traditional sunset ceremony.

The last airworthy Vulcan bomber was also taking part, joining the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The delta wing aircraft from the Cold War era was commemorating the 60th anniversary of the first flight of the Vulcan.

Some of this years flypasts were aerial tributes to the new squadron.

There was a four-ship Typhoon flypast and a poignant display by a Spitfire and a Hurricane, both of which were flown by 1 (F) Sqn during the Second World War.

The Red Arrows flew over the parade in ‘Big Battle’ formation.

Current RAF aircraft Tornado GR4, E3-D Sentry and Chinook also took to the air.

Airshow executive, Wing Commander Neville Clayton, said: “This year’s show has provided a fitting tribute to the joint contribution of the Armed Forces during Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne.

“We are delighted that so many thousands of people were able to join us to see what we do in support of defence operations as well as enjoy stunning displays by a host of iconic aircraft.”

n Concerns over future of Leuchars Airshow. Turn to page 13