RN Helicopter Display Team Black Cats Display and Schedule
The Royal Navy Helicopter Display Team, the Black Cats are now putting the final touches to their preparations before the start of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Air Show season 2012. Rear Admiral Tom Cunningham, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Aviation & Carriers) gave his seal of approval for this year’s routine after witnessing an exhilarating display on a sunny, but windy, day at RNAS Yeovilton.
Lieutenant David Fleming, Black Cat Lead pilot for the 2012 season said,” I hope that this year’s display looks as good from the ground as it does from the aircraft. It is full of dynamic manoeuvres, close formation and dramatic fast-passes – it is a challenging display for us to fly, but it will definitely be one to be seen from the crowd at this year’s air shows.”
Lt Fleming’s piloting of the lead aircraft is mirrored by Lt Ian Brannighan in the “Black 2” aircraft and between them they synchronise the manoeuvring of the aircraft to give the effect of what has been described as an ‘aerial ballet’ which will suddenly speed up to include fast and thrilling close passes and exciting dynamic helicopter formation flying.
The Black Cats are a volunteer helicopter display team who thrill audiences at air shows with their dynamic flying displays in Lynx maritime attack helicopters. The Black Cats have been a popular feature on the air show circuit for the last decade. Originally known as “The Lynx Pair” the ‘Black Cat’ team name derives from the fierce wildcat depicted on 702 Naval Air Squadron’s badge and also the naval slang of “Black Catting” which implies one-upmanship, having done or owned something better than anyone else.
With an enthusiastic team of aircrew and engineers, a thrilling display routine and their now familiar trailer and merchandise, the team are key players on the air show circuit where they promote the Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm to the general public. The Black Cat’s parent unit, 702 Naval Air Squadron is based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, inSomerset.
With Admiral Tom’s tick in the box secured, it’s all systems go to meet their first public engagement at the Southend Air Festival over the weekend of 26 – 27 May. Aircraft enthusiasts across the country eagerly await the programme for the season ahead, and it looks to be an exciting programme.
2012 Display Dates:
26 – 27 May Southend Air Festival
8 Jun Dawlish Air Show
17 Jun Cosford Air Show
23 Jun RNAS Yeovilton Air Day
30 Jun – 1 Jul RAF Waddington International Air Show
21 – 22 Jul Sunderland International Air Show
1 Aug Weymouth Bay Festival
25 – 26 Aug Chris Evans’ C4RF35T
29 – 30 Aug Dartmouth Royal Regatta
30 Aug – 2 Sep Bournemouth Air Festival
8 – 9 Sep Southport Air Show
12 – 14 Sep Guernsey and Jersey Air Shows
14 Oct Duxford Autumn Air Show