5 April, 2012
The RAF have announced their line up for the 20th year of Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow 9 – 12 August with organisers promising more flying announcements to come, along with news of a classic jet programme.
The line up, which includes the Tornado and Hawk fast jets, will see more than 20 RAF displays during the 2012 free show including the return of the Tucano, Tutor, King Air multi-engine trainer, Sea King helicopter and the historic Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which features a moving tribute from the Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire.
Participation from international military fast jet displays, Royal Navy, Army and commercial display teams are still to be announced, along with parachute and helicopter display teams.
The Red Arrows are however unable to display in the UK at this time in August due to block leave and overseas commitments at the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Air Force in Moscow.
Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Neil Stanley said “We are pleased to be able to announce our RAF displays so early in the season and are working with international aerobatic teams and commercial display teams to bring a really exciting schedule for our 20th year, including a special classic jet programme for our anniversary.
We are of course sad not to see the Red Arrows this year, but understand their commitments overseas cannot always work in our favour. Not all airshows receive the Red Arrows every year, and we are very lucky to have welcomed them most years and look forward to their return in the future.”
An RAF Spokesman said “The RAF has accepted the Russian Federation Air Force’s kind invitation to perform at the MAKS Airshow in Russia on 10-12 August 2012 and accordingly, the RAF Aerobatic Team (the Red Arrows) have been tasked with supporting this event. This is an exciting opportunity for the RAF to work with our Russian partners on a high-profile event, which will enhance the reputation of the UK’s Armed Forces throughout the world; unfortunately, this means the Red Arrows will not be taking part in a number of UK events between the 9-15 August which they have attended in previous years. The RAF offers its best wishes to Eastbourne and hope that the show is a resounding success.”
The Tornado GR4 makes a welcome return after last years first appearance for many years, showing why it is a world leader in the field of all weather day and night tactical reconnaissance and attack aircraft. The aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth will bring 1.3 Mach speeds to Eastbourne seafront for fast jet fans, while helicopter fans looking to get a closer view of the RAF at work, can enjoy the popular Sea King providing a search and rescue display over the sea.
With a classic jet programme planned alongside other historic highlights from the 20 years of Airbourne, the show not only celebrates its anniversary, but also coincides with the end of the London 2012 Olympics.
Sporting fans can look forward to a big TV screen at the Olympic Community Live Site at PrincesPark for the duration of the show, which will show live events from London, allowing visitors to catch the all important gold medals. A funfair will also operate over the four days and a fantastic firework display at the park will coincide with the London 2012 closing ceremony live on the big screen on Sunday evening.
Airbourne takes place on Eastbourne seafront with arena and ground displays on the Western Lawns over all four days. For more information on Airbourne 2012 visit the website or telephone 0871 663 0031.