Archive for August, 2006

Eastbourne Airbourne Gets the Mirage Effect

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

Eastbourne’s International Airshow is all set to the get the full mirage effect as the French Air Force display their Mirage 2000 at the show for the first time ever.

Attending the world’s biggest free seafront airshow over all four days from 17 – 20 August, the fast jet will be flown by both solo pilots Captain Yannick ‘Thor’ Vallet and Captain Gregory ‘Greg’ Prats, who will be showing the aircrafts full potential using derry turns, zoom climbs and barrel rolls.

Eastbourne Borough Council Spokesperson for Tourism, Councillor David Elkin said “This is fantastic news, the Mirage is such an exciting aircraft and adds to an amazing line up which now includes seven international military aircraft. This aircraft attends airshows all over the world and doesn’t get to display in the UK that often, so I am delighted that the French Air Force have chosen to delight the Eastbourne crowds for their next UK visit.”

Both pilots have been displaying the Mirage since 2003 and have instructed on aircraft including the Mirage, Alphajet, Tucano and TB30 Epsilon. Between the two of them they have notched up 6000 hours of flying time and 86 missions.

Captain Prats said “The Mirage 2000 solo display team is very happy to fly at Eastbourne airshow. For a long time other display pilots have told us that Eastbourne is THE place to fly, because of the site, the atmosphere, and people. The Mirage 2000 is no longer a new generation plane, but she’s still a beautiful and impressive aircraft, due to her particularly pure delta wing shape and her amazing fly by wire controls giving a very good nose authority.”

The French Air Force Mirage joins the shows best ever international line up that includes two F16’s from the Belgian and Royal Netherlands Air Forces, a PC7, Fouga Magister, Sea King and a Search & Rescue AB-412 helicopter.

Displaying the best of the RAF, the Eurofighter Typhoon makes a welcome return after Eastbourne was one of the few airshows chosen last year to welcome the new display, widely acknowledged as the future of the RAF for the next 30 years.

Also joining the RAF line up, the Harrier, Hawk, Tutor, Tucano, Merlin, Hercules, Chinook and RAF Falcons parachute display team all make a welcome return along with crowd favourite the Red Arrows.

Bringing a brand new format to this years programme, Classic and Historic Thursday features the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Royal Navy Historic Flight, Army Air Corps Historic Aircraft Flight, Harvard, Mustang and celebrating 70 years in flight, the spectacular Spitfire.

Completing this years exciting flying programme, see the Extra 300 Ultimate High, Sukhoi 26, Utterly Butterly Wingwalkers and displaying for the first time, the Tigers, an Army parachute display team dropping in courtesy of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.

Airbourne is sponsored by nine organisations this year including Eastbourne Arndale Centre, City Sightseeing, Eastbourne & District Chamber of Commerce, Eastbourne Herald, Eastbourne Hospitality Association, Red Eventful Cuisine, Specsavers, SITA and the South East England Development Agency.

For more information on flying, arena displays, RAF exhibition, Radio Airbourne, bandstand concerts and other Airbourne attractions visit or request a copy of the Airbourne Souvenir Programme on sale now at Eastbourne Tourist Information telephone 0906 711 2212 (calls cost 50p per minute at standard rate).