FLIGHT fans are expected to flock to Clacton today and tomorrow for the resort’s high-flying airshow.

The highlight of the show will be the world-class aerobatic display team, The Blades, and for the fourth year running there will also be spectacular night flights on Thursday evening.

The Blades will perform their precision flying close-formation aerobatics above the coast on both days.

This year’s show, on August 22 and 23, will not include the Red Arrows, who are performing in North America this summer.

Fans’ favourite Mike Ling, former Red 10, joined The Blades this year and will be part of the display team, which performs more than 30 different manoeuvres at speeds of up to 350mph.

He said: “The unique thing about The Blades is that all of the fulltime pilots with the team are former Red Arrows pilots.

“I have been to Clacton on a number of occasions, but this is the first with my new team.

“Every airshow is different, but Clacton’s is always the most vocal.

“And for the commentators they are right in the middle of it, with holidaymakers right in front of you on the beach.

“From a flying point of view it is great to see everybody on the seafront. It’s just a great atmosphere.”

The team will also be raising awareness of the RAF Benevolent Fund and is urging any veterans who need help to contact the charity.

Team Raven will also be bring their aerobatic display to wow the crowds at the airshow while the Ultimate Warbirds flight display of four historic fighter aircraft will replace the previously announced Wildcats, who have had to pull out.

Other flights include the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron, the Slingsby T67 Firefly and this year’s night flights will see a twilight drop by the Tigers Army Parachute Display team. There will also be displays from the Typhoon, Tucano and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Titan the Robot will also return with displays on the West Greensward showground to keep children and adults entertained.

For those looking to travel to the show, Clacton Rotary Club will be running the main event car park in West Road, while Hedingham is operating a park and ride service from Clacton Factory Outlet and Holland Haven.

Greater Anglia will have additional capacity on rail services across the two days.

On top of the world at this year’s show is young creator Evelyn Jordan, 12, from Little Clacton, who designed the front cover of the airshow programme.

“I go most years and have probably been eight or nine times,” she said.

“I took some inspiration from watching the planes last year to come up with my design.”

The competition was run in partnership with the Gazette’s publisher Newsquest Essex, which creates the programme in conjunction with Clacton Airshow.

Alex Porter, cabinet member for tourism at Tendring Council, which runs the event, urged visitors to buy a programme.

He said: “Sales really help to keep the cost of the airshow sustainable.”

The flights are due to take to the skies at 1pm today, at 7.50pm tonight and at 12.55pm on Friday.