May 24 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, June 28, 2012
The RAF Falcons are the stars in the sky at the Royal Norfolk Show today.
While weather conditions on the show’s first day forced the RAF Falcons to cancel their jump on yesterday, today the crowds have been delighted to watch Britain’s premiere parachute display team perform their impressive red, white and blue spectacle.
Anticipation from the crowd grew as the RAF Falcons’ aircraft could be seen high overhead as the parachutists prepared to jump from 7,000 feet and perform their famous “non-contact” canopy stack.
Just little dots in the sky as they first emerged from their aircraft, they left a wave of red smoke spirals as they moved closer to their drop zone, and they arrived in the grand ring to claps and cheers from the crowd as one one-by-one they landed before taking part in an official line-up.
The team free-fall for seven seconds before pulling out their canopies at about 5,000ft, and travel at 1,000ft per minute under their canopies. The square parachutes have a potential forward speed of 25mph and are steered using toggles.
Among the parachutists is Sgt Mark Clayton, 32 and from Tuckswood, who was being watched in the crowd by his parents Denise and Tony Clayton and his grandmother Marjorie Spears.
He has been in the military for 14 years and has been part of the RAF Falcons display team for three years.
“Norwich is quite a nice-looking city from up there,” he said.
“This is one of the best places, if not the best place we do displays. Every time we come here all the guys comment on how friendly everyone is.
“I really like coming back here, especially because I remember coming to visit the show as a schoolboy. It is really nice to come back.”
The RAF Falcons are based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.