THIS year’s Sunderland International Airshow got off to a flying start as one of the main attractions arrived in style.
The Royal Air Force Tucano Display team landed at Newcastle Airport yesterday for a special preview of next month’s Wearside spectacular.
This year the display Tucano T1 has received a special livery to commemorate 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.
The aircraft will feature a cloud of poppies around the nose and the words ‘Lest we Forget’.
“It is great to see the Tucano once again displaying at the Sunderland International Airshow,” Councillor Kelly, from Sunderland City Council, said.
“The new livery is a fitting way to remind everyone of the sacrifices that have been made by members of all the armed services to defend our freedoms. The fact that this message is carried by an aircraft that most of the current RAF fast jet pilots have trained in goes to show the ongoing dedication to making the world a safer place.”
With its handling akin to a jet aircraft, The Tucano T1 is a two-seat turboprop basic trainer, used to train fast-jet pilots in all aspects of military flying.
This year the team comprises the pilot Flight Lieutenant Dave Kirby and Flight Lieutenant Jon Trueman.
Flt Lnt Kirby said: “We have worked hard at developing a new routine for this year that will give the crowds the best opportunity to see the new livery. I was part of the display team at Sunderland last year and I’m really looking forward to getting back to enjoy the fantastic atmosphere and huge crowds along the seafront.”
The team are supporting three main charities in 2014: The Royal British Legion, the Royal Air Forces Association, and the Jon Egging Trust.
Airshow director Sue Stanhope added: “This year’s airshow, as always, promises to be a great event with something for everyone both on the ground and in the air. The Tucano will be displaying on the Friday night, which is a first for the airshow and a welcome addition to our fantastic flying programme.
“Pilots and aircrew come here to entertain the huge crowds that come along. Each year I have the privilege of meeting many of the crews and they always speak of the welcome they get from the crowds and how much they look forward to coming along to Sunderland”.
l For a full list of the aircraft flying throughout the weekend and for all up to date event information call the hotline on 520 5518 or visit www.sunderlandlive.co.uk