Seafront air festival set for take-off

Hayley Mace Aviation enthusiasts are in for a treat as the 12th Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival takes off today.Organisers are hoping that about 400,000 will descend on the town today and tomorrow to enjoy the biggest and best air festival yet. www.lowestoftairfestival.co.ukwww.lowestoftairfestival.co.ukwww.lowestoftairfestival.co.uk

Hayley Mace

Aviation enthusiasts are in for a treat as the 12th Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival takes off today.

Organisers are hoping that about 400,000 will descend on the town today and tomorrow to enjoy the biggest and best air festival yet.

The two-day event starts with a parachute display from the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment at 1pm and the airborne entertainment continues throughout the afternoon.

Among the historic aircraft on display will be the Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire of the Battle of Britain memorial flight.

This year marks 65 years since the Lancaster bombers of 617 Squadron were used to successfully bomb two German dams in 1943.

Most Read

A German second world war Messerschmitt ME Bf-108 and a US wartime Curtis P40 Kittyhawk will also be joining the memorial flight.

As part of the RAF's 90th anniversary celebrations, five of the force's bandsmen will be playing 1940s and swing music during the festival with the Salvation Army's Norfolk fellowship band.

The Apache helicopter, operated by the Army Air Corps, was due to make its only airshow appearance of the year in Lowestoft but has been withdrawn at the last minute.

Last night, organisers were trying to find a replacement to fill the Apache's 3.30pm slot.

Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival managing director Paul Bayfield said that although the Apache will be missed, he is delighted that the cold war delta-wing Avro Vulcan will be flying on both days.

He said: “We had the display budget in place for the Vulcan, so it was down to a lot of persuading, cajoling, and touch wood it has paid off.

“Obviously we are really, really pleased about that; we reserved some funds, we have the Red Arrows, the Vulcan and all the other displays - we're in for the best show yet.”

Mr Bayfield said he couldn't predict the future of the air show, but was encouraged by the number of sponsors that had come forward to support them, including main sponsors Lowestoft Together.

“I think this stands us in good stead for another sponsor this year and beyond,” he said.

“The weather is looking to be very, very kind to us, and I think that we are in for a really special few days.”

Thursday's entertainment will come to a close with a spectacular free firework display from the South Pier at 9.30pm.

See tomorrow's EDP for Friday's display times and check www.edp24.co.uk for show updates and photographs.

THURSDAY DISPLAYS (subject to change)

t 1pm: Parachute display

t 1.15pm: Supermarine Spitfire MkIX

t 1.28pm: Sea King and Lowestoft lifeboat

t 1.45pm: Shorts Tucano

t 1.58pm: The Blades aerobatic display team

t 2.12pm: Bolkow BK 117

t 2.33pm: Battle of Britain memorial flight

t 2.52pm: BA Hawk

t 3.05pm: Blue Eagles helicopter display team

t 3.20pm: Panavia Tornado GR4 flypast

t 3.24pm: Curtis P40 Kittyhawk

t 3.36pm: Hawker Hunter

t 3.48pm: Dukes of Cassutt

t 4pm: Avro Vulcan

t 4.12pm: Team Guinot wing walkers

t 4.26pm: BA Typhoon

t 4.55pm: Red Arrows

t 9.30pm: Fireworks from the South Pier

www.lowestoftairfestival.co.ukwww.lowestoftairfestival.co.ukwww.lowestoftairfestival.co.uk