Eastbourne gets ready for Vulcan’s swan-song at Airbourne

The Vulcan. Photo by Eric Coeckelberghs, courtesy of Vulcan to the Sky Trust SUS-150508-155546001
The Vulcan. Photo by Eric Coeckelberghs, courtesy of Vulcan to the Sky Trust SUS-150508-155546001

Eastbourne gears up for its final Vulcan display next week as the world’s only flying Vulcan bomber makes its last trip to Airbourne, the town’s four day free seafront airshow from August 13-16.

Thousands will bid a fond farewell to the cold war jet at 2.32pm on August 15 which retires at the end of the season, before welcoming the world’s only flying Bristol Blenheim, in its first ever free display.

Along with Eastbourne’s first ever Norwegian MiG-15 jet fighter display, the Belgian NH90 helicopter, Typhoon, Chinook and the RAF Red Arrows, Airbourne crowds will be in for a treat.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said, “This is an astounding year for historic jets and international teams.

“The Vulcan is adored by many and Airbourne is one of just a handful of opportunities left to ever see this aircraft in the sky.”

The Blenheim joins an impressive historic line up which also features a Norwegian Vampire duo, Kittyhawk, Jet Provost, Bulldog, Spitfire, Mustang and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Celebrating 10 years in the sky, former Red Arrows pilots The Blades, return with a very special display and a chance to win a flight with the team in the Airbourne £1 lottery, with all proceeds supporting the future of Airbourne.

French team Patrouille Reva also bring a highly technical display in their purpose built aerobatic aircraft, along with a packed line-up featuring the Tutor, Royal Navy Sea King, Rv8tors, Breitling Wingwalkers and The Tigers parachute team.

The Airbourne Live stage on the beach returns thanks to TJ’s Nightclub with live music from 11am to 7.30pm each day, including talent show stars De’Vide of BBC1’s The Voice UK on Friday.

The party continues on Super Saturday, a 12-hour extravaganza of flying and entertainment, in a Heart hosted evening presented by Tom, Nicola and Jack from Heart Breakfast. Entry is free, however numbers are limited, so music fans are advised to arrive early.

Featuring dazzling twilight pyro-aerobatics from brand new flying duo AeroSPARX, chart topping band Scouting for Girls headline on stage at 9.15pm, before explosive Saturday night fireworks close the day’s events at 10pm, sponsored by Ansvar Insurance and Frontier Fireworks.

The four day show also features plenty of fun on the ground, including an RAF, Navy and Army exhibition on the Western Lawns with Harrier, Chinook and Gazelle cockpits to climb aboard, children’s entertainment areas and Transformers star car Autobot Bumblebee makes an appearance (Sat & Sun only).

Helicopter pleasure flights offer spectacular views from Beachy Head and at the Bandstand, evening concerts include Big Band Night on Thursday and the legendary pop-punk princess Toyah, on Friday. BBC South East Today also broadcast live from the show from 6.30pm on Friday, as their Festival Friday tour hits town.

Entry is free, with flying displays part funded by public donations each year, including generous support from Sussex residents David Dickens, Brian Bunce and Jayne Howard. This year collections will be organised by the Rotary Clubs of Sovereign Harbour and Hailsham, with 30% of the proceeds passed onto local charities Kent, Sussex & Surrey Air Ambulance, Riding for the Disabled and Friends of Eastbourne Hospital.

More ways to support Airbourne include donating online, buying an Airbourne Lottery ticket or buying a Souvenir Programme featuring daily updated flying times and money off vouchers for just £4, available from the Tourist Information Centre, Seafront Office, selected newsagents and from programme sellers around town.

Airbourne is open from 10am each day, with Red Arrows displays at 4pm on Friday, and 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The Bandstand offers exclusive seating in the centre of the display line at £12 per adult, and Park and View areas at Beachy Head cost £5 per day for a birds-eye view of the displays.

Fans can post their airshow selfie to the Tweetwall giant screen on the beach using #eastbourneselfie, tune into Radio Airbourne 87.7FM, supported by Specsavers, for live commentary and updates, or watch online for live coverage by Planes TV at VisitEastbourne.com/AirbourneTV.

Parking is available at Five Acre Field in Lottbridge Drove costing £4 per car with a bus service running to and from the pier. Additional parking is also available to the west of town at St Andrew’s School field, with a bus to Airbourne (Sat & Sun only), and donations to Eastbourne Sovereign Rotary Club. Or beat the traffic and come by bike, using the free cycle park in Howard Square.

For more information visit www.eastbourneairshow.com or telephone 01323 415415.

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