Extra EA-300LP (G-ZXCL / Blade 3) from "The Blades" Aerobatic Display Team at the RIAT 2019, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
The Blades Aerobatic Team fly Extra EA-300s. They are low-wing, high performance aircraft designed for the most adventurous aerobatic manoeuvres and created with advanced aerobatic flying in mind. A competitive aerobatic display pilot during the 1980s, Walter Extra decided to design and build the ultimate aerobatic aeroplane, with optimum structure, weight and performance and the forerunner of today's aircraft was born. Since it was first produced, the Extra has undergone many modifications and the current design utilises the most advanced materials and construction techniques to provide an extremely light-weight and agile aeroplane that is certified to +/- 10g. The Blades operate the Extra 300LP and the latest variant, the Extra 330SC. With a more powerful engine, the 330SC gives more performance for his solo routines.
The Blades are a British civilian aerobatic team based at the Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire, England. They have been described as "the world's only aerobatic airline" and are the only full-time civilian aerobatic team in the United Kingdom. The Blades are a subsidiary of 2Excel Aviation. The team was founded in 2005 by Andy Offer, a former leader of the Red Arrows, and Chris Norton, a Royal Air Force wing commander. There are eight pilots including five full-time display performers. All of the pilots are former members of the Royal Air Force and the aerobatic team all flew with the Red Arrows. The team fly four Extra 300LPs and an Extra 330SC, the latter being used for solo sections of the performances. Alongside their aerobatic displays and commercial work, The Blades also help the Royal Air Forces Benevolent Fund, a charity that supports RAF service personnel.
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.