Aviation charity Aerobility is organising an airshow with a difference scheduled for take off on June 20.

The Armchair Airshow 2020 promises live pilot interviews, walk-throughs and never before seen air-display and in-cockpit footage. The final details of the online broadcast event are still under wraps but highlights will include footage from a number of aircraft including a Spitfire and Concorde as well as performances from The Red Arrows, The SR-71 Blackbird and The Blades aerobatic team.

The family-friendly event will feature insight and commentary which will appeal both to aviation experts and those wanting to learn more. The Armchair Airshow will broadcast between 2pm and 6pm on June 20, via the Aerobility YouTube Channel and Facebook Live. It will be free to watch.

“Bringing the exhilaration of airshows to all during lockdown”

Mike Miller-Smith, CEO of event organiser, disabled flying charity Aerobility which is organising the event said: “Enabling anyone with any disability to fly is at the heart of what we do. It drives a focus on ‘if I can fly a plane, what else can I do?’

“COVID-19 has removed our ability to do this as we normally would with flying, so we have responded with a programme of online activity called Virtual Aerobility. The Armchair Airshow builds on this and brings the exhilaration of airshows to everyone during this time of extended isolation”

The event has the support of companies such as Hayward Aviation. Sponsorship and charitable donations raised from the Armchair Airshow will support disabled flying in the UK.

The event has been spearheaded by many leading figures within the aviation industry including:

George Bacon MBE: best known by airshow regulars as the calming voice of aviation events up and down the British Isles. George ‘Smokey’ Bacon is also a display pilot, CEO of BADA and a flying display director. He was awarded an MBE for support to NATO operations in Kosovo.

Mike Ling MBE: the Red Arrows’ longest serving pilot, Squadron Leader Mike Ling retired from the Royal Air Force after 21 years in April 2019. He has since joined the Blades, an aerobatic display team of former Red Arrow pilots.

Charles Skiera: Charles is Director of R5 Air Displays and is executive of the European Airshow Council, the representative body for the airshow industry and community in Europe. He is also a member of the British Air Display Association Committee. His flying experience started at the age 12 and he has a particular interest in gliding and light aircraft.

Iain Campbell: Iain is the Managing Director of PlanesTV which provides coverage of airshows in the UK and across Europe, PlanesTV has filmed over 300 aircraft types and has one of the biggest aviation film archives in the UK.

Jon Windover: a trustee with disabled flying charity Aerobility for 15 years, Jon managed the ‘Bader’s Bus Company display team’ – the world’s first all-disabled air display team. When not volunteering for Aerobility, Jon is a Business Development Director for an Aerospace and Defence company.

Chris Janssens: Chris has been involved with various airshows including the Wings and Wheels Military History show held at the NATO reserve airfield in Ursel, Belgium. He publishes the website, Wheels Up! http://wheels-up.be/

Mike Miller-Smith MBE: CEO of Aerobility, Mike started his career training as a commercial pilot. After becoming disabled in his twenties, he subsequently entered the pharmaceutical and IT industries, holding senior marketing and management positions in global companies. He was awarded his MBE for services to disability within aviation.


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