Airbourne 2018: When is it? Where can I park? What aircraft are flying? What time does it start?

Airbourne 2018 is fast approaching and we've got everything you need to know about one of the world's biggest free airshows.

Friday, 27th July 2018, 2:43 pm
Updated Friday, 27th July 2018, 3:49 pm
Airbourne 2017 (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170821-121116008
Airbourne 2017 (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170821-121116008

The four-day airshow takes place on Eastbourne seafront on August 16 to 19.

This year has a packed programme of flying displays, with more than 20 different aircraft taking to the skies.

There will also be a wide range of ground attractions, including a military exhibition with climbing wall, a big wheel, simulators, children’s entertainment beaches and the opportunity to take to the skies in a helicopter pleasure flight.

Airbourne 2017 (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170821-120749008

In the RAF zone, keen fliers can experience life in the hot seat as the RAF open up the Operation Virtual Reality dome at Airbourne for the first time. Fast jet fans can try out the brand new experience which includes flying the latest F35B Lightning II, overseeing a parachute drop of humanitarian aid and intercepting hostile aircraft in a Typhoon jet.

After flying ends each day, film fans can settle down for a packed programme of free, family-friendly movies screened on the beach. Music lovers can enjoy a Bandstand concert with tributes to the sound of the Big Band, the 80’s and Abba.

For a glittering finish in the 100th year of the RAF, Airbourne will see its first twilight helicopter display on Sunday night with smoke and pyrotechnics from OTTO of O’Brien’s Flying Circus. The FireFlies duo also return to bring magical night-time pyro-aerobatics to round off the four day flying programme, before a firework finale, by Frontier Fireworks, on the Sunday night.

Which aircrafts will take to the skies?

Airbourne 2017 Red Arrows (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170821-120510008

•RAF Red Arrows (Fri, Sat, Sun)

•RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (every day)

•RAF Typhoon FGR4 (everyday)

•RAF Chinook HC4 (Thurs and Fri)

Airbourne 2017 (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170821-115650008

•RAF Tutor T1

•The Blades

•Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers

•MiG 15

•The Blades

•Rich Goodwin Pitts Special


•P-51 Mustang


•Fireflies (day and twilight display)

•Gyro Copter

•Otto Helicopter

•Belgian Air Force A109

•ARCO Blenheim


•Tigers Parachute Display Team

What’s on for the kids?

•A red jet cockpit, made up entirely of 55,000 individual LEGO® bricks, will be making its world debut at the airshow. The regal red cockpit will be open for budding young pilots to try out the replica jet for size and pose for selfies on all four days. Young explorers can also look out for a larger than life mythical beast built from LEGO bricks, a replica of one of Airbourne’s famous Air Bears and some quick build aircraft kits available for sale at the Bright Bricks retail unit on the Western Lawns.

•There are two designated beach play areas for children with giant inflatables and bungee trampolining. A cost will apply.

•Children can also try a cockpit for size on the Western Lawns

•Youngsters can have a go at climbing the Air Cadets climbing wall

•The big screen on the beach will be playing family-friendly movies each evening after flying has finished (from around 5pm). The Secret Life of Pets, The Boss Baby, Paddington 2 and The Greatest Showman will all be shown for free.

What time does it all start and finish?

•The ground displays are open from 10am to 6pm on all four days

•Flying displays takes place from around noon until 5pm each day

•The free firework finale will take place at 10pm on Sunday

Do I need a ticket?

•No tickets are needed for the free event. Bucket collectors will be out and about taking donation though.

•Tickets are available for exclusive seating away from the crowds within Eastbourne Bandstand. Come and go as you please knowing you will have a seat to come back to. Seats are available from 11am to 5.30pm and cost £10 to £13.50 for adults and £6 to £9 for children per day. Click here to book your exclusive seats

•There are also tickets available for High Flyers at the Aviators Club in a private marquee for £99 a day, which includes a complimentary welcome drink of your choice on arrival at 11am, tea and coffee all day, a three-course lunch, tea and cake, a fully stocked bar, exclusive toilet facilities and superb views of the flying display Click here to buy your High Flyer tickets

•Tickets are also available for helicopter pleasure flights. They cost £45 and includes a complimentary shuttle bus from the Western Lawns up to the helipad at Beachy Head. Bookings must be made during the event at the allocated desks. Restrictions apply and flights are weather permitting.

Where is the best place to park?

•There will be a park and ride scheme in operation between Five Acre Field (BN22 7SG) and Eastbourne Pier.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday - Sovereign Centre depart 9.30am and every 15 minutes until 7pm. Return journey - Cavendish Place depart 9.40am and every 15 minutes until 7.10

On Sunday the service will still run every 15 minutes from 9.30am but will run later for the fireworks.

The last bus from the Sovereign Centre departs at 10.45pm and the last bus from Cavendish Place back to the Sovereign Centre is at 10.55pm.

It costs £6 to park in Five Acre Field and the bus fares are: Adult return £4, child return £3, Adult Airbourne Flyer £5, under 16 Airbourne Flyer £3, Family Airbourne Flyer £10, to include one adult with up to four under 16s, or two adults and up to three under 16.

•St Andrew’s park and ride (BN20 7RP). The Rotary Club of Eastbourne Sovereign take donations for parking at St Andrew’s School on all four days. The Airbourne Flyer bus service operates from this venue. Bus fare as above.

•King Edward’s Parade opposite Staveley Road, near Holywell, costs £10 a day to park but has limited spaces.

•Saffrons (BN21 1EA) and Gildredge House (BN20 8AB) will be doing a park and walk. They ask for a donation to support the show.

Click here to download a map for the ten to 15 minute walking route.

•Or save yourself money and leave the car at home. National Cycle Network Route 21 will take you to the airshow and there is a free cycle park at Howard Square on Grand Parade. For safety reasons, no bicycles are allowed on the main Airbourne site.

How do I keep up to date throughout the weekend?

•Tune in to Radio Airbourne on 87.7fm. It has been running for 20 years and will have the lowdown on the flying displays, traffic issues, weather forecasts and interviews. The station will also be running competitions. It is on air from Wednesday, August 15 through to Sunday, August 19.

•Like and follow the Eastbourne Herald Facebook page

•Like and follow the Airbourne Facebook page

•Buy a souvenir Airbourne 2018 programme for the full list of flight times. They cost £4 and will be available from sellers in Eastbourne Town Centre and up and down the seafront throughout the airshow. Programmes can also be pre-ordered online. Click here to buy a programme before the event and have it delivered to your home address.