The world famous Royal Air Force aerobatic team - the "Black Arrow" - received a Royal guest at their Wattisham, Suffolk, base Mar 29.
The world famous Royal Air Force aerobatic team - the "Black Arrow" - received a Royal guest at their Wattisham, Suffolk, base Mar 29. The Duke of Edinburgh presented them with the Britannia Challenge Trophy for 1959 - awarded by the royal Aero Club for the year's most outstanding achievement in aviation. This is the first time the Trophy has been awarded to an R.A.F. squadron.
Following the Squadron through every intricate, high speed manoeuvre in their extensive repertoire, VISNEWS cameraman W.R.Turner - in a reserve "Black Arrow" - has captured many of the thrills that captivated more than three people in last year's tour fifty major performance in six countries.
Part of "front line" No.111 Squadron - commanded by 34-year-old Squadron Leader Peter A. Latham - the "Black Arrows" fly in operational Hawker "Hunter" jet fighters. Beginning as an aid to training, they became so expert at aerobatics-calling for faultless nerves, extreme skill and intense planning-that they soon became the premier aerobic team of the Royal Air Force.
Of all the breathtaking manoeuvres, perhaps the most spectacular is their newly developed "Bomb-Burst". Screaming heavenwards - trailing smoke - in a wingtip-to-wingtip formation of nine aircraft, the "Black Arrows" peel off one by one to leave an impression in the sky of smoking shrapnel hurtling on its destructive way after the bomb has exploded.
In Norway last year they caused a 30-mile traffic jam around the airfield when people flocked to watch their display. In Portugal, the team left smoke trails in the sky forming a gigantic "M" over Lisbon as a tribute to Britain's Princess Margaret who was attending a trade fair in that city. At Le Bourget, France, in June they completely outclassed aerobatic reams from other national air forces. But perhaps their greatest display was at Britain's annual Farnborough Air Show.