The Swiss Air Force is set to put on a breathtaking display when they take part in Sunderland Airshow for the first time.
The force’s PC-7 TEAM was the first named for the 31st year of the event and it will be their first time in the skies over Wearside.
Planning is already well underway for the biggest annual summer event in Sunderland, which will bring together some of the world’s finest pilots.
And, the high fliers from PC-7 TEAM are no exception, with their reputation of flying dynamic, elegant and precise manoeuvres.
The Swiss Air Force laid the cornerstone for the now internationally renowned PC-7 TEAM in the seventies, when they flew simultaneous aerobatics with two Pilatus P-3 aircraft.
The first formation with nine PC-7s in the air took place in 1987.
We look forward to seeing the Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM performingCoun John Kelly
From 1989 onwards, the new Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM performed several displays a year.
In 2008, the PC-7 was completely modernised, the cockpit was upgraded to state-of-the-art technology, given a general facelift and the aircraft’s colour scheme was changed to the Swiss national colours, red and white.
All the members of the team are pilots for the Swiss Air Force’s Professional Aviator Corps who normally fly the F/A-18 Hornet.
So, daring display flying is their second job and they enthral tens of thousands of spectators every year.
Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, said: “We look forward to seeing the Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM performing in the skies above our seafront for the very first time.”
He said they will be making more announcements about attractions for the airshow and who will be taking part in displays over the coming weeks and months.
This year, which will be the 31st Sunderland Airshow, the event will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 26, 27 and 28.
The Sunderland Airshow attracts crowds in their thousands to the coastline at Seaburn and Roker.
With high-speed jets, breathtaking display teams and precision flying in the air and a massive choice of activities on the ground, families flock to the action-packed weekend. The Royal Navy traditionally has a warship off the coast and there is also a large firework display.