RAF top guns heading to Lowestoft
The world famous Red Arrows will be flying over Lowestoft this summer, it has been confirmed.
Organisers of Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival had feared that cuts to the air force budget and military deployments to Libya and Afghanistan might affect the chances of the RAF favourites returning to the east coast.
But the RAF has told the festival's committee that the world famous aerobatics display team will be playing a major role in the two-day show on August 11 and 12 – along with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
As well as the daredevil antics of the Red Arrows' pilots, festival goers will have another chance to see some of the country's most historic aircraft as a Dakota and two Spitfires join the line-up.
And organisers are flying high after the RAF confirmed that it would deploy another three planes – a Hawk jet, a Tucano and a Grob Tutor, as well as a Sea King search and rescue helicopter. Because of this year's RAF commitment, airshow organisers can now go ahead and finalise their programme of events, which includes a total of eight hours of aerial displays over two days. Paul Bayfield, air show managing director, said: 'We have been waiting anxiously for this confirmation, especially after the defence review cuts and on-going operational commitments.
'To get this allocation is absolutely stunning and means we can now go ahead and complete a full programme of four hours of flying on both days.'
The Red Arrows have appeared at every show but one in the air show's 15-year history.
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They are currently training at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, where some of the aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya are based.
The airshow's fly display director Brian Lewis was delighted the display team would be returning to Lowestoft.
He said: 'We are very lucky to get the Red Arrows this year. They are only doing about 90 displays in this country and in Europe and once again Lowestoft will be seeing them on both days.'
Other aircraft taking part will be announced in the next few weeks.