FOR four days Bournemouth residents and visitors have enjoyed spectacular air displays.

From the Red Arrows to the Typhoon and Night Air shows, we have been wowed by amazing aircraft.

But beyond all of the bells and whistles that we see at the Air Festival are those working tirelessly behind the scenes.

This includes mechanical engineer for the Red Arrows, Natalie Sockell, 38.

Natalie said: “Being a female engineer for the Red Arrows, there’s no difference for me. It’s a job in, maybe you’d say a male-dominated environment, but they’re like brothers to me.

“We all get along and I love it. I have genuinely never worked somewhere that is so diverse.”

Natalie has been in the Air Force for 18 years and has a “varied background.”

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She has worked on a Hawker Siddeley Nimrod, a Tornado, Typhoon as well as helicopters in-between, before moving to work on the Red Arrows.

Natalie said: “My day-to-day involves hard work. We look after everything apart from electricals and computers, so as a mechanical engineer you’re looking at undercarriage, hydraulics, wings, fuselage and everything that’s not electrical.

“The day-to-day is very busy and it’s the most intense part. A mechanical jet needs a lot of tender, love and care.

“I think it’s inspiring (being a part of the Red Arrows). You come to work and you genuinely have a love for it.

“Coming to see the Air Festival and see the public is just inspiring. I would 100 per cent recommend this career to children. It is special. I don’t know how you can’t not love it.”