Walking on air on a wing and a prayer

Breitling Wingwalkers, who are appearing at Blackpool Airshow 2012. BELOW: The Gazette's essential guide to the Blackpool Air Show 2012.
Breitling Wingwalkers, who are appearing at Blackpool Airshow 2012. BELOW: The Gazette's essential guide to the Blackpool Air Show 2012.
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With terrifying speeds to encounter and bullet-like rain driving at your body, not to mention head-spinning heights to contend with – wingwalking is not for the feint-hearted.

But it is exactly those elements which attracted the Breitling Wingwalkers to it in the first place.

Blackpool Air Show 2012

Blackpool Air Show 2012

The dare-devils will be among a number of sensational airborne acts to be taking to the skies this Sunday for the Blackpool Airshow.

Sarah Tanner has been performing with the Gloucestershire-based act since 2006 and says the show is one of her favourite events of the summer.

She said: “I really enjoy Blackpool because you get a great view of the Tower and you can recognise all the different sites.

“Flying by the sea helps us because it means we can get fairly close to the crowd.”

The wingwalkers’ planes reach speeds of up to 160 miles per hour during the performance, and Sarah admits it takes a certain type of person to take to the skies.

She said: “Obviously you need a head for heights and you need to be quite strong too, because although from the ground the girls manage to look really pretty and graceful it actually requires a great deal of strength to carry out the manoeuvres.”

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The Breitlings are the only team of formation wingwalkers in the world and two of its four planes will wow the crowds in Blackpool this Sunday.

A number of other distinguished aerobatic acts will also be showing off their skills on the day.

The daredvils antics of the RV8tors will kick of the event when they present their own death-defying stunts and opposing passes to the crowd below.

They will be followed by the intrepid plummeting of the RAF Falcons parachute team, and demonstrations by the Gyrocopter and Tucano.

One of the highlights of the afternoon is sure to be the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight featuring both a Supermarine Spitfire and a Dakota, two planes which played major roles during the fight for victory in the Second World War.

A Typhoon fly past is also likely to prove spectacular, as will displays by the SWIP team and the Aerostars.

The free event will take place over Blackpool Promenade between South and Central Piers on Sunday with the first display by the RV8tors at 2pm.

Elsewhere on the Fylde coast, this weekend will see people gather at Hope Street Park in St Annes for Summer Fun in the Park on Saturday while a family day will be hosted in St John’s Square, Blackpool.

A classic car show is being held at Lytham Hall on Sunday while the RNLI throws open its doors to visitors at its headquarters on St Annes Promenade.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s Gazette for our essential guide to Blackpool Air Show 2012.