Today (15th September 2020), the Blades are marking this year's Battle of Britain Day by flying over former RAF sector stations that played an essential role in defending our skies during the Second World War.
In support of the team's charity partner, the RAF Benevolent Fund, the Blades' Extra 300 aircraft will travel some 250 nautical miles, flying over nine Battle of Britain Sector Stations including Duxford, Kenley and North Weald, as well as the former Fighter Command headquarters at Bentley Priory. The flight was conducted as a tribute to the pilots, ground crew and support staff who sacrificed so much during the aerial fighting 80 years ago.
The Blades, operated by innovative aviation services business 2Excel Aviation, will fly in close formation with some of the iconic warbirds of the time.
At the route's midway point, the team are due to land at the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar, which is supporting this unique experience, to meet RAF veterans and guests for a RAF Benevolent Fund '8Tea Party'. The tea parties, organised by the Fund across the nation, provided an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate the milestone anniversary, whilst raising awareness of the support available to the RAF family.
Blades' Team Leader, Andy Evans, said: 'This is an extraordinary day and what other way to mark the Battle of Britain anniversary than sharing the skies with the world-famous British icons that took centre stage 80 years ago? As former military pilots ourselves, this charity is close to our hearts and has been for more than six years, so we were delighted to be able to offer our support.'
A collaboration between the Blades, Warbird Experiences Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar, supported by Biggin Hill Airport, with assistance from the Boultbee Academy and Ultimate Warbird Flights came together for this project to ultimately support the RAF Benevolent Fund. The unique series of overflights and tea parties serve as a reminder to recognise those who defended the country in the 1940s and raise awareness for the life-changing service the Fund provides.
To donate directly to the charity, please visit: www.rafbf.org/blades-donation
Full list of Sector stations included in the Blades Battle of Britain 80th Flight and times of overflights:
The team will take off from Sywell Aerodrome at 10:30L and will arrive at Biggin Hill Airport shortly before Midday. Departure is set for 15:30, arriving back to Sywell at approximately 16:30.