Countdown to Lift Off for Airbourne
Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow takes to the skies above the town next week with a four-day extravaganza of flying displays.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to attend the free seafront event from Thursday 17 - Sunday 20 August.
The world-famous Red Arrows will be performing on all four days with other displays from the Typhoon, Chinook, Wingwalkers, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Team Raven, Tutor T1, Tigers Army Parachute Display Team, Rolls-Royce Mustang and Spitfire, Strikemaster, Norwegian Vampire, Jet Pitts and Firefly.
New for this year, the Typhoon and Lancaster have a special duo display in store for fans on Saturday and Sunday, Team Raven make a long-awaited return with a new six-ship formation and Rich Goodwin will be displaying his Jet Pitts with the addition of new jet turbines - making it the world's first jet powered Pitts Special biplane - built from scratch over four years from a garden shed.
As well as aerobatics along a two-mile flying display line, there are ground displays, entertainment, evening events, and shopping villages - all culminating in a fantastic firework display to end the airshow on Sunday evening, sponsored by the Eastbourne Hospitality Association and Frontier Fireworks.
The military exhibition will once again showcase the breadth of careers on offer in the RAF and Army with a life sized Chinook walk-through experience, virtual reality headsets, field cooking demonstrations, flight simulator, reflex challenges, climbing wall and a simulated casualty recovery task. As well as an array of STEM careers in the Armed Forces, the OHM Energy zone will be showcasing renewable technology and training opportunities for budding engineers.
This year's Airbourne marks 29 years of airshow excellence and will once again be running on a cost neutral basis, with sponsorship, donations and commercial operations required to fund all costs if the event is to continue in future.
Visitors can grab the best viewing positions in the open-top Grandstand seating or Bandstand seating - with all proceeds supporting the airshow (Saturday sold out). Or book a VIP day in hospitality with first class dining and views - with a few tables remaining only on Thursday.
Councillor Margaret Bannister, Eastbourne Borough Council's Lead Member for Tourism, Leisure, Accessibility & Community Safety said, "We are so excited to bring back the biggest event in Eastbourne's calendar and look forward to welcoming visitors to what promises to be the biggest and best ever airshow.
"Please do help us to keep it flying and support the show in any way you can - whether it's through donations, buying a programme for the latest flying times, booking seating for the best views or joining one of the supporters clubs for exclusive goodies - all proceeds support the show."
Bucket collections - organised by the Rotary Clubs of Sovereign Harbour and Hailsham - will take place across all four days with 30% of the money collected being split between three charities, the Salvation Army, KSS Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex and Dementia Action Alliance, and the remainder supporting the cost of the flying displays overhead.
Airshow fans can also show their support for Airbourne by joining the Supporters Club or Air Bear Club for access to goodies such as exclusive memorabilia, VIP Air Bear meet and greets and access to VIP toilet facilities for premium members. Alternatively supporters can provide one-off donations or become an Airbourne Ambassador with monthly donations.
Programmes are also on sale with a free pin badge and flying times for all the displays, discount vouchers, the chance to win a limited edition Red Arrows watch, and much more, available in selected outlets and online at EastbourneAirshow.com/programme. All proceeds support the show.
With so many visitors expected to attend the airshow, organisers are urging people to use public transport, walk or use one the two free cycle parks available in Wilmington Square and Howard Square. For those who need to travel by car, pre-bookable parking is available for the first time this year - book ahead and avoid the queues at EastbourneAirshow.com/car-parking.
Visitors to Airbourne are encouraged to bring refill bottles and a reusable bag for any on site purchases as there will be water stations around the showground and along the promenade. Visitors are also advised to bring cash, as access to card payment systems will be limited, due to heavy internet demand.
Airbourne opens at 10.30am every day. Live online streaming of the displays will be available each afternoon and Radio Airbourne will be providing live commentary, interviews, music and essential updates on 87.7FM.
Bandstand tribute shows are available each evening with Friday sold out, however tickets are available for Phil Collins/Genesis on Thursday and Adele on Saturday.
Airbourne is supported by the Birchwood Group, Brufords, Caffyns, Cloud ConnX, Eastbourne Hospitality Association, Environment First, Euro Self Drive, Frontier Fireworks, Gemini Print, The Lansdowne Hotel, GM Monk Renewables, More Radio, Neighbourhood First, OHM Energy, Signtek, Stagecoach and the West Rocks Hotel.
For more information and to book seating, hospitality, merchandise or car parking online, order a programme, join the club or make a donation visit www.EastbourneAirshow.com.
• Visit Eastbourne News.