Geoff Thomas

Despite the typically English summer weather ¡ threatening, very low clouds ¡ visitors to Farnborough have been treated to some truly memorable flying during each afternoon's display. Because the flying is so polished, it's all too easy to forget the degree of skill needed to demonstrate an aircraft effectively. Pilots have to think all the time about showing off their aircraft to the best possible advantage while always being aware of safety. Altitude restrictions, the crowd line, local schools and hospitals... everything has to be considered and all this while being subjected to vast doses of negative and positive îg' and acceleration equivalent to being blasted off the pad at Cape Canaveral every few seconds. A low cloud-base such as experienced at Farnborough early in the week frequently results in 'flat' displays being flown to avoid the aircraft disappearing in looping and rolling manoeuvres. And keeping a large transport aircraft _within the vicinity of the airfield creates its own problems. A moment's inattention could result in an Airbus A340 or Boeing C-17 ending up a long way from the airfield was it not for piloting of the very highest calibre.

So the next time you watch the show remember that you're witnessing the world's _very best pilots at work: The aeronautical equivalent of the Olympic Games, a Broadway show and a Festival Hall concert...all barrel-rolled _into one!

Source: Flight Daily News