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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

Last updated on: February 9, 2011 12:38 IST

In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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More than 15 aerobatic and display teams from three continents, including representatives from three national air forces, recently took part in the 2011 Al Ain Aerobatic Show.

The airshow witnessed an amazing line-up of top-class aerobatic talent from across the world.

Click on NEXT to see more PHOTOS...


Photographs: Courtesy: Al-Ain Aerobatics Show Facebook page
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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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This year's Al Ain Aerobatic Show ended February 5 evening having more than lived up to its billing as the biggest ever with 71,000 spectators pouring through the gates over the two days of the event



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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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Staged at the Al Ain International Airport, the show featured a wide range of acts and aircraft, including a flypast by some of the UAE Air Force's fighter jets and breathtaking formation flying by the national air force squadrons from Saudi Arabia and Turkey in the form of The Saudi Hawks and Turkish Stars.

"It is our first time in Al Ain, and was simply amazing," said Major Ergin Dinc of the Turkish Stars.



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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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Team Viper, the world's only Hawker Hunter supersonic fighter jet display squadron thrilled the crowds with its amazing mock ground formation attack, and Middle East debutants, the Baltic Bees, put on superb display of lightning-quick precision flying.



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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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There was a mind-boggling array of aerobatics -- Skip Stewart, Otto the Helicopter and the wing-walkers from the Scandinavian Airshow before the show concluded each evening with skydiving from the Fazza Sky Team and a unique performance from flying ace Hannes Arch, which combined aerobatics, music and dance.



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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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One of the show highlights was the first ever staging of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale-sanctioned Desert Challenge. Six of the world's top aerobatic pilots battled it out with Spaniard Castor Fantoba narrowly claiming the title. 



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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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Speaking afterwards, Mariusz Adamski, FAI Desert Challenge media manager, said: "As show newcomers, we felt that the organisation and traffic directions were very well-prepared, making it easier for us to concentrate on what we're here for -- flying. We were particularly impressed by the on-ground activities and the effort put in by the organisers to accommodate all age groups, especially children."



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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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Touring the static park was a show highlight for 17-year-old Emirati electrical engineering student Mohammed Ali of Sharjah.

"I have been to other flying events but this is really fantastic. The organisers have given us a great experience, and to be able to touch and feel the Apache helicopter and other aircraft in the static display is superb," he said.



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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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Etihad Airways operated a special low-altitude fly over at Al Ain Aerobatic Show in support of the ninth air show held in the city. The aircraft featured F1 livery.



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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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Many spectators were seen watching the show from the comfort of their cars parked along the road that winds its way through the high sand dunes leading to the airport. The thundery performance of the F-16 Falcons and Mirage 2000 fighter jets from the UAE Air Force left the spectators spellbound.



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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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In an Al Ain Aerobatic Show first, the Fournier RF4D and RF5 motorgliders of pilots Fabio Iannaccone and Ivan Prizzon, known as Blue Voltige, performed a unique aerial 'ballet'. The two propeller aircraft from the 1960s, with their sleek lines and aerodynamics, glided effortlessly through the air in a routine set to music that was both passionate and thrilling.



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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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Complementing the aerial displays were spectacular on-ground activities, including meet-the-pilot sessions, tethered hot air balloon rides, go-karting, bungee trampolines and crazy golf, as well as face-painting. 



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In PHOTOS: The daring Al-Ain Aerobatics show

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The Al Ain Aerobatic Show was held under the patronage of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and was carried out in partnership with Al Ain Municipality and Al Ain Police. 



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