This year the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta will see its first ever aerobatic display from The Blades, a spectacular four-plane stunt team flown by some of the most experienced display pilots in the UK.
On Sunday afternoon, visitors will turn their eyes to the skies for a fifteen minute show that will include a sequence of over 30 separate adrenaline-fuelled manoeuvres.
The only aerobatic display team in the world that also operates as an airline, The Blades will showcase the amazing capabilities of the Extra 300 planes and the skills and experience of the pilots, all of whom are former RAF fast-jet and Red Arrows pilots.
With over 30,000 hours of flying between them and 600 performances under their wings,
The Blades are one of the very few display teams permitted to arrive into a show over the
heads of a mass crowd.
Chris Hathaway, chairman of the Balloon Fiesta Organising Committee, says: “We’re delighted to have The Blades showcasing their talent at this year’s Balloon Fiesta as
it will give visitors the chance to experience a different kind of aerobatic display and one
that we’ve not seen here before.
“The team have three completely interchangeable shows to cope with different weather
conditions so whatever happens, we know we’re going to get the best possible display on
the day. ”
Meticulously planned and executed The Blades approach fast and low in ‘manta’ formation
during an inspiring opening sequence that will undoubtedly make heads turn. The four
aircraft then fly back, directly towards the crowd, before their signature ‘Blade Break’ is
performed. Mark Cutmore, Blade 1 and the Team Leader, commented: “We are really looking forward to displaying at the Bristol International Balloon Festival, it’s set to be a fantastic event and we are pleased to have been invited to display at the festival for the first time this year.
“This is the Team’s seventh consecutive display season so it is great to have a new venue in the calendar which will be a fresh experience for us and something different for the Team.” For the last four years, the Sunday afternoon display has been performed by the Red Arrows performing their daredevil performances and extraordinary high-speed manoeuvres. This year, the team will be displaying overseas in Moscow, Russia.
Members of the public planning to attend this year’s event can now book advanced car
parking tickets from the Fiesta’s Official Website (www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk).
Visitors who purchase car parking passes in advance can now opt for privilege car parking,
which for just £10 per car per day, guarantees a space in the parking area closest to the
showground, a dedicated entrance with easier access on and off site and an event
Advanced car parking is also available at the familiar price of just £6 per car per day which
guarantees a space within a short distance of the showground and a dedicated entrance and
exit to the Fiesta site.
As well as securing a parking space closer to the Fiesta site, by booking in advance purchasers also receive a discount of £4 on advanced car parking – on the day car parking is charged at £10.
Bristol’s International Balloon Fiesta is one of the UKs top tourism events, bringing over half a million visitors to Bristol every year. This year the Fiesta will run from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 August.
For more information, visit www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk