Increased security at this year’s Airbourne

New barriers at Airbourne are intended to improve security. Photo by Jon Rigby.
New barriers at Airbourne are intended to improve security. Photo by Jon Rigby.

Huge yellow security barriers have been put in place along Eastbourne seafront again this year ahead of Airbourne.

The barriers were brought in last year to prevent unauthorised vehicles getting close to crowds in the aftermath of the Bastille Day horror when a lorry ploughed into revellers watching fireworks.

They are part of increased security measures introduced by Sussex Police and organisers of the four-day airshow, which kicked off yesterday (Thursday).

This year’s 25th anniversary show promises a stunning line-up culminating in the annual fireworks extravaganza on Sunday night.

The Catalina flying boat and the Hispano Buchon, hot on the heels of its starring role in the Hollywood epic Dunkirk, join a programme of other aerial favourites from the last 24 years featuring the Belgian F-16 ‘Blizzard’, the RAF Typhoon, heavy duty Chinook and the Red Arrows.

Eastbourne’s tourism boss Philip Evans said, “In 24 years we’ve seen some truly epic displays, all worthy of the big screen, and this year will be no exception. It’s great to see so many crowd favourites and high energy fast jets back in town.”

Returning crowd favourites include the memorable and poignant Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the Blades, Breitling Wingwalkers, the Cold War-era Norwegian MiG-15 jet, Team Raven, Hawker Hurricane, Fireflies, Sioux & Scout helicopters and the Tigers parachute display team, who will be dropping in to see fans on the beach.

Memphis Belle star ‘Miss Helen’ brings a brand new Boultbee Mustang display to Eastbourne, while the Boultbee Spitfire, Strikemaster, Gyrocopter and highly acclaimed Rich Goodwin Pitts Special also make their Airbourne debuts.

Crowd favourite, the world famous Red Arrows, will return with a triple bill this year bringing a brand new ‘Wall’ arrival manoeuvre and displays on Friday at 3pm, Saturday at noon and Sunday at noon.

Featuring new Red Arrows pilot Flt Lt Toby Keeley in Red 2, the new recruit has achieved his childhood dream and will be flying over his home town, many years since watching their displays as a child at Airbourne.

Sparkling fireworks bring the show to a close on Sunday at 10pm after a double-bill of twilight displays from the Fireflies and the Twister display teams.