Swansea’s Team Raven is confirmed for Wales Airshow 2022
Wales Airshow 2022 is just days away – and we can’t wait to feast our eyes on the aerobatics and impressive dynamic flying in the skies above Swansea Bay. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3, and will feature the world-famous RAF Red Arrows, as well as The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Aerosuperbatics WingWalkers and Swansea’s very own Team Raven. This year’s Airshow will be the first to take place since before the pandemic and will see some of the best pilots and flying displays in the world take to the skies to showcase what they’re capable of, with a series of incredible “aerial acrobatics”.
Meanwhile, on the ground, Swansea Prom will house a range of displays and charity stalls as well as food trucks, drink stands, VR experiences, family activities, rides and live music. The latest update from the organisers has confirmed that Team Raven will be performing on both days of the Airshow. Organisers took to social media to say: “Who’s ready for another announcement!
Joining us at this year’s Wales Airshow, Swansea’s very own Team Raven! They’ll be flying on both days of the Airshow.” You can sign up to the latest newsletters featuring news from the Swansea area by clicking here. Read more:This cafe is offering free meals for kids every week night even if the adults don’t buy anything
Team Raven is a “formation aerobatic display team” that was formed in May, 2014. A statement on the group’s website explains: “Entirely self-funded, the Team has striven to create a professional and effective display team with a corporate image right off the bat that sets the right tone in all that they do. “Although in some senses they are differing characters, the Team Raven pilots share the same professionalism, drive, enthusiasm and passion for aviation and display flying; they are also great mates with a shared sense of humour!”
The five-man team is led by Simon ‘Sid’ Shirley who recently acquired an RV8 after switching from his previous RV4 aircraft. The other pilots include Steve Lloyd, dubbed “the brains and the energy” behind Team Raven as one of the founding members; Bary Gwynnett, a private pilot with more than 2,000 hours of flying experience; Gerald Williams, a former pro rugby player turned keen PPL pilot with 25 years experience, and Mark Southern, a training captain with Thomas Cook and ex-RAF fastjet pilot.
The Red Arrows will also be performing at Wales AirShow 2022 – here they are at the Swansea AirShow in 2019 (Image: Jonathan Myers)
The announcement comes just weeks after organisers confirmed The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight would be taking part on both days of the Airshow. The Avro Lancaster, one of just two airworthy Lancaster bombers in the world, will fly in formation with the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane over the huge crowds lining Swansea Bay.
Inaugurated on July 11, 1957, at Biggin Hill, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight aims to maintain the planes that defended Britain in the Second World War in an airworthy condition in order to commemorate those who have fallen in the service of our country. Swansea Council cabinet member, Councillor Robert Francis Davies, explained: “The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is arguably the most historic and evocative flight display in British History. Without these planes, their pilots, crews, and the thousands of people working on the ground that supported our fighters and bombers defending Britain, our story would quite possibly have been very different.
To see them in flight, in the skies above Swansea Bay, really is to see living history and we are proud to be hosting them here in the city. Combining with modern aircraft, exciting aerobatic displays and ground-based entertainment, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is among many spectacles that thousands of people will enjoy at Wales Airshow.” The world famous RAF Red Arrows have also announced they will be back for this year’s show.
Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows have performed in almost 60 countries since the 1960s. They will be joined by many more aerobatic teams and displays, to be confirmed in the build-up to this year’s event. You can read why the Red Arrows pilots clench their buttocks when they fly in our previous article here.
The Red Arrows team are made up of pilots, engineers and essential support staff with frontline, operational experience. Their trademark Diamond Nine shape and combination of close formations and precision flying have made them a massive hit at the event since its inception. Based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, the Red Arrows had flown almost 5,000 displays by the beginning of 2021, the team’s 57th season.
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