Stage set for Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival

Stand by for a fantastic soar-away weekend!

That was the message last night from the organisers of the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival as the town prepares to welcome tens of thousands of visitors for the annual two-day spectacular which starts tomorrow.

It is the first-ever weekend airshow, with the event having been moved to an earlier date to avoid the London Olympics.

Organisers say the entertainment on offer will be as good as ever, with nearly 40 aircraft flying over the two days and the world-famous Red Arrows closing the show tomorrow and Sunday.

The show's flying director Tim Miller said: 'It is as good an airshow as anywhere in Britain this year.

'I'm happy to put my name to it as it has taken a lot of hard work to get it all together and the aim is for the public to have a fantastic weekend.

'It is a huge show – with more than 20 different displays on the Sunday alone.'

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Also among the show highlights are the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the return of the Eurofighter Typhoon and the historic B17 bomber, the Sally B, the Red Bull Matadors aerobatics team and the Breitling Wingwalkers.

However, with the event costing more than �300,000 to stage, the money paid by the public is crucial to its future and organisers are calling on everyone attending to pay the �3 per person fee.

As an added incentive, everyone paying �3 will receive a 60-page programme containing more than �170-worth of money-off vouchers and schedules of the planes.

Air festival managing director Paul Bayfield said: 'We are all set and up for the show, and anticipating great support from the visitors, simply because of the vouchers.

'Other airfield-based airshows in the area cost �20 per car at one and �30 per person at another so we believe the package that we have for our spectators of a fantastic four-hour airshow and money-off vouchers represents a terrific value-for-money day out.'

Speaking about the new-look programme, Mr Bayfield added: 'We thought a �3 donation was fine before, but now they will get an event programme for free and save an awful lot of money while seeing this fantastic airshow.

'This �3 was really good value before – it is excellent value now'

Organisers revealed yesterday that plans were being drawn up for a special event on Sunday where members of the public would have a rare chance to meet the Red Arrows' pilots. The event will take place at the Red Arrows' PR unit on Royal Green, at about 12.15pm – but the pilots will only be there for about 30 minutes.

With organisers hoping for fine weather and clear skies, the forecast for tomorrow is for sunny spells and possible showers. On Sunday, the forecast is for a mixture of sunshine and heavy rain showers.

And 'looking forward' to his first Lowestoft airshow as the flying director, Mr Miller said: 'I can't think of a bigger airshow in this country –maybe internationally.

'It will be a lot of work from my point of view to get it all together, but I hope it all goes well on the day.'