Come fly with me

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Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. IAN FORSHAW MoD

Alan Payling looks skywards to see what air shows have to offer coach operators and their passengers

It is an unforgettable, unmistakable sound. It is a sound that makes the hairs stand to attention on the back of my neck and the shivers ricochet up and down my backbone at supersonic speed. It is a spine-tingling sound that fills me with awe, respect, pride and emotion. When you look up to see where it’s coming from, because you know exactly what is making the sound, it is accompanied by one of the most elegant and graceful sights you’ll ever see in the sky. You have to stop and watch spellbound at the swoops, circles, loops and pirouettes that accompany this ballet in the heavens. It’s the sound of a liquid-cooled 27-litre V12 piston aero engine made by Rolls Royce – a Merlin – attached to a Supermarine Spitfire.

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