The Blades Aerobatic Display Team


The Blades are a British civilian aerobatic team based at the Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire. 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. These two-seated propeller aircraft are used for four plane displays as well as corporate flying events during which passengers can be carried on board. The aircraft were originally painted orange and black but later changed to light blue and black. By 2013 they had reverted to the orange and black colour scheme.