With the announcement made at the start of the year that the Royal Jordanian Falcons have added Shuttleworth to their display calendar for 2019, a visit to Old Warden on the Sunday for their Military Pageant air show was on the cards, A team of 4 Extra 330 LX aircraft performing precision flying was never going to be missed at this tiny venue.
I decided to do a separate blog for this away from the rest of the show.
The Royal Jordanian Falcons is a perennial national aerobatic team. Formed in 1976 at the initiative of His Majesty the Late King of Jordan, Hussein Bin Talal to promote piece and friendship around the world and for the art and science of aviation.
The teams UK appearances this year takes in mainly large International Air events, such as the Royal International Air Tattoo, (RIAT) at Fairford and The Yeovilton International Navy days and the thought of the team adding to their schedule, Old Warden it was a great quidos for the organisers.
As a Aviation Photographer for 40+ years I for one have seen this team perform every year since 1979 at Greenham Common IAT, then they flew the Pitts S-2, since then they moved on to the Extra 330, but now its the upgraded version of the Extra, 330LX.
The team arrived on the Tuesday before the event, so they can get their bearings and practices in before the big day, as I work nearby I was able to watch and listen to them practicing.
It was just after 14-00 hrs the covers came off and the team start preparing the aircraft to display, pilots and ground crew were getting prepped for action and give the large appreciated crowd the Jordanian experience. The commentator was in place so let action commence, all 4 aircraft taxied out and then it all started to the sounds of Jordanian music all keeping to the traditions of Jordanian culture, with formation displays and a solo performer all in 25 mins of precision professional flying, as this is the first time that this team have been here I found they performed brilliantly at this small venue, some of the manoverses were a little distant, that didn’t bother me it was so great to see them hear at Old Warden then at Fairford.
After the display had finished it was up close and personal with the crew and there aircraft, well reasonably close, photographically, you don’t get that close to the aircraft at the larger shows as they normally park the aircraft well away from the crowds, so that was a bonus, thank you Team Falcons.
As the commentator of the team said after the display we will be back next year Brexit or not which the crowd responded with a smile and applause. I do hope the team does return next year to Old Warden, they will be received with open arms from the British public and I for one think this team are a hard act to follow especially at a smaller venue.