The organisers of Farnborough Air Display have announced a ‘very special event’ this year, with the show relocating from its traditional Hampshire setting to the ‘vast, empty skies above Libya’. ‘Rusting, burnt-out tanks with their drooping gun barrels casting long shadows across the arid desert will provide a backdrop of natural beauty,’ said the show’s artistic director, Raphael Nureyev.
The decision to take the air display to Libya was one of the lesser-reported outcomes of the recent London Summit. Foreign Ministers from across the globe agreed it would teach Gaddafi a lesson if he was made to sit through the entire weekend event, watching endless demonstrations of the world’s latest aeronautic wonders and fly-pasts by French fighter-jets.
As well as being a hot-bed for international weapons deals amongst the privileged countries which still have an air-force, the show will include its customary serving of single-engine bi-planes from yesteryear performing dare-devil loop-the-loops and carefully choreographed engine cut-out stunts. ‘We’ll have a public address system on the ground,’ explained Mr Nureyev, ‘so that our over-excited commentator can keep Mr Gaddafi and his friends fully informed. We’re hoping we can get al-Megrahi sitting up on the platform next to Gaddafi. I have a little surprise planned for Megrahi which involves one of those old planes doing engine cut-out right above his head and falling out of the sky, spinning, hopelessly out-of-control, with the commentator screaming ‘Oh My Allah, look out there, Mr Megrahi, there’s an aeroplane falling out of the sky onto your head!’. Obviously, for health and safety reasons, the pilot will restart the engine just at the last moment and swoop back up into the sky, dramatically silhouetted against the dazzling sun. The pilot may just clip Megrahi round the ear with his propeller in the manoeuvre; it’s a live show, sweetie, anything can happen.’
For the Sunday afternoon finale, the Red Arrows are planning a stunning display of synchronised aerobatics, set to soundtracks from all the best-known Hollywood musicals, with their coloured smoke emitters switched on until they’ve painted the entire Libyan sky with all the flags of the coalition nations, ‘as long as they don’t mind them all being done in red, white and blue.’