Flying Fortress B-17 makes a welcome return to Airbourne

B-17. Photo by Dan O Hagan SUS-160518-095301001
B-17. Photo by Dan O Hagan SUS-160518-095301001

Airbourne is set to celebrate more than a century of flying with the long-anticipated return of the Flying Fortress and a large scale WW1 air display (August 11-14).

After a 15-year wait, Europe’s only flying B-17 Flying Fortress, Sally B, will make a welcome return, while the Great War Display Team brings its first ever 10-ship display of WW1 aircraft to Eastbourne seafront.

The historic line-up joins the already popular RAF Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, King Air and the sky scraping Typhoon – as well as the Blenheim Bomber and Chinook helicopter.

The addition of the Great War Display team will see Eastbourne’s first ever WW1 display on this scale, demonstrating 10 iconic aircraft in one sequenced display, from the early prototype Sopwith Triplane to a Fokker Dr1.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said, “Many new types of aircraft joined military service during the Great War in 1916 so this is the perfect time 100 years on, to commemorate the part they played in WW1, along with their pioneering influence on the aircraft and pilots of today.”

The Blades, Breitling Wingwalkers, Jet Provost duo, Mustang, Spitfire and The Tigers Parachute Display Team all make a welcome return, while Team Raven bring a new display to Eastbourne featuring a mix of RV-4 and RV-8 aircraft.

Flying the international flag, the B-25 Mitchell Bomber makes its first ever appearance from the Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight, along with an Airbourne debut from the Belgian Bronco and the return of the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron Vampire and MiG 15.

Sunday evening sees the fireworks return back to the traditional end of show finale, with a pyrotechnic twilight display from the Fireflies Aerobatic Display Team and music acts for the Airbourne Live stage announced soon.

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