Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Two Yak 52s, right, from the flying team Yakitalia perform a manoeuvre called mirroring while a third loops around them at Al Ain Aerobatic Show last year.
Two Yak 52s, right, from the flying team Yakitalia perform a manoeuvre called mirroring while a third loops around them at Al Ain Aerobatic Show last year.

Parachutists aim for a world first in Al Ain

Event expected to draw big crowds with South African team to attempt 'triple synchronised inverted parachute drop' on each of the air show's four days.

AL AIN // A South African aerobatic team will attempt to complete a triple synchronised inverted parachute drop - the world's first - at the Al Ain Aerobatic Show beginning tomorrow. The Goodyear Eagles, one of 20 teams attending the event, plan to perform the three-man inverted drop each day of the four-day air show at Al Ain International Airport.

While three Pitts Special S2Bs aircraft are in a formation loop, a parachutist will drop out from each plane from the open canopies. Radio communication between pilots will be impossible because of the open canopies, so timing the jumps precisely will be a test for the parachutists. The air show will feature a mix of civil and military aerobatic aircraft, said Faisal al Sheikh, the head of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority events division, providing "an intriguing snapshot of aviation down the ages".

The Adta expects large crowds for the event, which will feature dozens of planes and jet fighters and helicopters flying solo and in formation. "We fully expect the 2010 event to eclipse previous years' records in terms of size, aircraft on display and spectator numbers," Mr al Sheikh said. The South African parachute manoeuvre will take the air show "into the annals of international aerobatics history", he said. "It will be a thrilling episode for the - fans and spectators."

Teams from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UK are among those scheduled to participate in the show. Teams from the UAE Air Force and Abu Dhabi Police are expected to perform as well. Making its first Middle East appearance is the Miss Demeanour, a vintage, British-built Hawker Hunter jet with eye-catching livery. "The standard Hawker Hunter was operated by many countries in the Gulf area," said Jonathan Whaley, the owner and pilot of the aircraft. "Although Miss Demeanour has been modified she is, if you like, bringing her family back to familiar territory."

Mr Whaley believes his plane will be a big hit with the crowd. "I will fly her with gusto and, I hope, demonstrate just how much I enjoy flying her in the hope that my level of enjoyment is matched by the audience," he said. Last year's spectator favourite, the Saudi Hawks, are back and scheduled to perform a new, tight-formation routine. Their BAE Hawker 65 trainer jets will fly a routine that retains the colourful drill that represents Saudi Arabia's national emblem, a palm tree and two swords. It is the only team in the world that draws its national emblem in such a manner.

In addition to the aerobatics, visitors to the show can expect four days of interactive activities, competitions and cuisine at the show's Spectator Village. A special aviation photography competition, judged by Mubadala Aerospace, will be open to students aged 13 to 19, and will offer cash prizes of up to Dh7,000 (US$1,900). ealghalib@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National