Clacton: Aircraft lines up for anniversary show

TWO of the RAF’s premier training aircraft are being primed for take-off at a popular summer air show.

Both the Hawk and the Tucano will be appearing in the skies above Essex as part of Clacton Air Show 2012.

This year marks the 21st anniversary of the event on August 23 and 24.

Stephen Mayzes, Tendring District Council’s cabinet member for tourism and community life, said: “We celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event last year and this year it’s time for our 21st birthday.

“Our events team is pulling together an exciting programme which is building up week by week. While the emphasis is always in the air there will also be plenty to enjoy on the ground.”

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The Hawk and Tucano will line up alongside the Red Arrows, the Vulcan and the RAF Falcons who have already confirmed their appearance at an the event which is one of Clacton’s highlights on the events calendar.

The Hawk display team demonstrates the professional excellence of the RAF and promote recruitment, training both RAF and Royal Navy combat pilots for the future.

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The team, which consists of the pilot, manager, support crew, engineers, painters and operations staff, prepare the aircraft to take part in more than 60 different air shows a year.

It is hoped the Hawk, with a maximum speed of 550knots, will provide visitors with plenty of thrills.

Meanwhile the Tucano is well-known and loved by air show fans.

It provides an excellent workhorse for training fast-jet pilots in all aspects of military flying.

Trainee pilots have to complete around 130 hours during their training in the Tucano before moving up to the Hawk aircraft.

It is used to develop a full range of skills which include general aircraft handling, formation flying and low level navigation and can be flown in all types of weather – by day and by night.

Councillor Mayzes added that additional aircraft and activities will be unveiled in the coming weeks in the build up to the show.

This year’s event has been sponsored by Clacton Factory Outlet, Butler Fuels, the East of England Co-operative Society, Harwich International Port and Liberata UK.

Businesses wanting to book trade stands on the West Greensward or find more about sponsorship packages should call Sarah Daniells on 01255 686654 or Jo Needham on 01255 686683.

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