The Spanish Air Force helicopter display team will fly their first ever UK display at the RAF Waddington International Air Show this year.

The Patrulla ASPA team will be flying five Eurocopter EC-120s at the show in July.

It will be the team’s first appearance at an air show anywhere in the UK. The team, formed in 2003, has pilots drawn from 782 Escuadrón based at Armilla in south eastern Spain.

The announcement is a coup for the organisers of the Waddington Show, which celebrates its 20th year this year.

It has already announced the appearance of the Swiss Air Force’s F/A-18 Hornet. The aircraft, then piloted by Captain Ralph “Deasy” Knittel, last appeared at the show in 2012 and came second in the best flying display award.

The Spanish team, one of only a few Air Force helicopter display teams in Europe, made their first appearance outside Spain in 2005 at the Portugal Air show.

The team’s routine combines formation, opposition passes, solo routines and completed with a smoke system that is more regularly found on fast jets.

The EC-120 Colibri, Hummingbird in English, was first developed in 1998 and can carry up to two pilots and four passengers, with a cruising speed of 120 knots and a maximum speed of 150 knots.

Paul Sall, Air Show Director, said: “The air show team are thrilled to welcome the return of the Spanish Air Force, making Spain the second country to confirm their support for 2014.

“This year represents a real milestone for the show. Not only is it our 20th year but it’s the 50th display season for the Red Arrows. So we are absolutely determined to make this show the best ever and we are delighted that a truly exciting programme is already coming together.”

This year’s show is marking a number of important landmarks – the 65th Anniversary of NATO, the 70th Anniversary of D Day and the 50th Display Season of the Red Arrows among them.

The event, launched two decades ago to raise public understanding of the RAF and its role, attracts upwards of 140,000 visitors every year.

Proceeds from the show are donated to force and local charities. Since 1995 the show has donated a staggering £3.3m to charity.

Tickets sales began 1 November 2013 and are showing an increase in sales from this time last year.

For more information about the show or to book tickets go to