The Blades to draw giant heart in sky for local people and the hospice

Love in the air at this year’s air show in Torbay!

Love will be in the air at the English Riviera Air Show on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 June when daredevil aerobatic team The Blades will draw a giant heart in the sky dedicated to Rowcroft Hospice to mark our 40th anniversary year. Appearing high above Torquay Harbour and drawn by the world-class four-aircraft display team, the heart will send a moving message of love and gratitude to the community of South Devon who have supported the hospice since 1982, and it will pay tribute to the hospice’s devoted nurses and care teams who over four decades have provided specialist and compassionate care to tens of thousands of patients and their families across South Devon. Offering fantastic free entertainment for all the family, the air show includes a jam-packed programme of exciting activity with something for everyone across the whole weekend.

The Blades’ heart dedicated to Rowcroft

“We’re honoured to receive this amazing dedication from The Blades Aerobatic Team,” said Rowcroft Hospice’s CEO Mark Hawkins. “The Blades display pilots are among the very best in the world, and we’re so grateful to them for putting on this breath-taking performance in the air. The heart symbolises the hospice’s love for our local community and is a gesture of thanks to everyone who has supported the hospice since we were established as a charity 40 years ago.”

A few words from Torbay Councillor Swithin Long

Torbay Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said: “The display line-up sounds amazing, including The Blades and the RAF Red Arrows who always make a spectacular sight as they take to the skies above the natural amphitheatre of Torbay. Of course, the heart – in support of Rowcroft Hospice’s 40th anniversary and all of the brilliant work the team there do – will be particularly stunning. The air show promises to be a magnificent extended bank holiday weekend for residents and visitors alike.”

A cutting edge display

Appearing from 1pm on Saturday 4 June and from 3pm on Sunday 5 June, the display pilots of The Blades Aerobatic Team are among the most experienced in the world, renowned for jaw-dropping cutting edge displays that comprise precision close formation aerobatics performed to the highest level. Former Red Arrows pilots, The Blades expert display team will perform at a height of between 200ft and 2000ft above Torbay, flying less than three metres apart in perfect formation and executing high speed synchronised passes and extreme manoeuvres.

“It will be a very special moment,” said Blades pilot James McMillan, who will be one of the duo “flying the heart” during the airshow on Saturday and Sunday. “We are very proud to be doing this for Rowcroft. I had the privilege of being one of the pilots who flew the heart when I was with the Red Arrows, and I have been doing it with The Blades for the last three years. We draw a lot of hearts in the sky, but it is always particularly poignant when it is for a really good reason such as Rowcroft.”

A jam-packed air show schedule

With Paignton Green as the base for the events, the spectacular programme for the two-day air show also includes: parachutists; a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight with Hurricane, Lancaster and Spitfire planes; a Chinook helicopter; the iconic RAF Red Arrows; and classic aircraft. Organised by Torbay Council with support from the English Riviera BID Company, the air show is part of an extended four-day event in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The long bank holiday weekend includes a community event, ‘Music on the Meadows’, a Jubilee flotilla and the Queen’s Jubilee Beacons to bring together a fabulous weekend of celebrations.

Find out more about the English Riviera Air Show

To find out more about the English Riviera Air Show and Jubilee Weekend, please visit:

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