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Largest ever International Al Ain Aerobatic Show takes off

posted on 24/01/2008: 1491 views



The largest ever Al Ain International Aerobatics Championship, the 'Garden City's' annual aerobatics display which is held under the patronage of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, kicks off today, all set to smash its previous records of size, aircraft on display and spectators.

The curtain raiser to the global air sports calendar, the Al Ain International Aerobatics Championship, which runs through to Sunday evening, has attracted over 110 aircraft to perform some of the most breathtaking aerobatic displays ever seen in the event's history.

New to this year's Championship will be the world's only formation wing-walking team, British outfit, Team Guinot, who will perform its brand-new formation display - which includes loops, rolls and low-level flypasts - in their 1940s Boeing Stearman biplanes.

In addition, South African debutants, The Wizards, will bring their death defying moves, including a fearless, mid-manoeuvre skydive leap from their Pitts planes in what is the only dual inverted parachute drop currently being undertaken anywhere in the world.

And spectators at this week's Championship are in for an added treat, with Romanian team Aerobatic Yakkers set to make their regional debut today. Their participation in the Garden City marks the first time the spectacular formation flyers have performed outside of Europe, and they will be out to prove that they have the makings to clinch the US$100,000 first prize.

In a routine which incorporates 24 different formations, the Saudi Hawks, who drew their county's national emblem, a palm tree and two swords, in the sky with colour smoke columns on their inaugural flight, are the only team to have ever lifted consecutive gold awards in Al Ain, and are eyeing their third title with a new routine for 2008.

The Al Ain International Aerobatics Championship 2008 has attracted a high-profile sponsorship line-up including Etihad Airways and ADNOC Distribution as Platinum sponsors; Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Pilatus, Etisalat, Al Ain Mineral Water and Abu Dhabi National Hotels as Gold sponsors, and Al Ain Mall, Manazel, Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce as Silver sponsors. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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