East Fortune Airshow 2012 Never Dampened.

Despite the rain more than 11000 people turned out to enjoy the airshow at East Fortune. Clear blue skies were occasionally blackened with some of the heaviest showers of rain I have seen in a long time but the show went on regardless.

For many the highlight of the airshow was the return of the Red Arrows. While the team needs no introduction or explanation their display this year was highly unusual in that it consisted of only seven aircraft rather than the usual nine.

The team suffered badly last year with the tragic death of Flt Lt John Egging and Flt Lt Sean Cunningham in separate incidents.

As the team consists of serving front line pilots, it has not been possible to replace them this season due to operational commitments. The training of a Red Arrows pilot is not something that can be done quickly and eligible pilots from previous seasons are all now back in front line operations and totally indespensible to their respective Squadrons.

The Reds have of course adapted extremely well to the new format, putting on a stunning show as always. (I just hope that the MoD don't decide that they can cope just fine with two less and keep it that way!)

The Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy had a particularly significant presence this year with the Sea King helicopter, the aged, graceful and deadly swordfish and the mighty Sea Fury. This airfield was of course home to Fleet Air Arm units for many years.

On the ground the Royal Air Force, Royal Marines and the Air Training Corps all had a significant presence with interesting and informative displays. Staff from 661 VGS the Air Cadets gliding school based at nearby Kirknewton were on site with one of their Viking gliders.

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I have no intention of simply listing all the aircraft and display items from the programme, you can find that for yourself from the links at the bottom of the page. If you were there you will know what happened and how good it was.

If you have ever thought of going then the purpose of this site is to provide information to prospective visitors to the show in an objective way. That said I will admit up front that I have a soft spot for both the Museum of Flight and the air show!

Many of our readers are from overseas and may be planning a visit or just curious as to how we do things in Scotland.

In my humble opinion East Fortune has a much more intimate feel than many of the larger air shows. It also has more of a civilian focus than Leuchars. What it lacks in raw power and jet noise is more than made up for in the ability to get up close and value for money as admission also includes access to the museum.

The organisers tend to cater more for families and children with a wide variety of displays and stalls to keep everyone happy while Dad is glued to the camera on the flight line.

From motorcycle stunt displays to classic fire engines, books and crafts if you do not find yourself entertained then I'm afraid to say you have no soul and you should seek immidiate professional help.

I have no qualms in recommending a visit to next year's airshow at East Fortune whether you are a pilot, hard core aircraft enthusiast or a family looking for a day out.

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