Posts Tagged ‘Bournemouth Air Festival’

Bournemouth brings the noise with ‘jet-packed’ festival

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

Strikemaster Duo at Bournemouth

Skies above the south coast were filled with speed, sound and awe-inspiring aerobatics, day and night, this weekend as the 12th Bournemouth Air Festival swooped in to thrill crowds across the resort fuelled by its biggest ever jet line up!

The 2019 star aircraft included debuts from the incredible Saab Draken, the T-33 Silver Star, legendary aircraft of the Ultimate Warbirds, a flypast by the US Navy’s PA-8 and the much-anticipated return of the awesome RAF Typhoon and the full Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) – Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire.

After a launch ceremony presided over by BCP Council Chair Councillor David Flagg, four thrilling days of aviation action got off to a flying start with the Blades Aerobatic Team, whose appearance was supported by Oceana Hotels & Restaurants and The Cumberland and was followed by a full day of sky-high displays, skill and aviation enjoyment.

Friday kicked off with the crowd-pleasing Tigers Parachute Display Team – appearance supported by the Marriott Bournemouth Highcliff. The charismatic team of fearless jumpers gave their famous VIP salute to the mayors of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole – Councillor Susan Phillips, Councillor Lesley Dedman and Councillor Marion Le Poidevin respectively.

Fast jet fans felt the awesome presence of the RAF Typhoon which gave a thrilling show after a three year absence, supported by Morgan Sindall Investments and Construction, as well as dusk displays against the backdrop of golden sunsets across the bay. Pilot, Flight Lieutenant Jim Peterson said: “It’s been amazing – definitely in my top five air shows!”

Thrill seekers also welcomed the fantastic Saab Draken, operated by Swedish Air Force Historic Flight and whose appearance was supported by World Fuel Services. Pilot Lars Martinsson, said: “What a fantastic venue. I have loved displaying in Bournemouth and hope you’ll have us back next year!”

The afternoon also included a flypast from US Navy surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon – a specially modified Boeing and a stomach churning performance from Rich Goodwin in his Super Pitts Muscle Plane whose appearance was supported by Bournemouth Airport.

Amid brief respite from the sun, Saturday saw people flock to the beaches and clifftops to witness the MiG15 and Canadair T-33 Silver Star jets plus more fast jet-powered performances from the Strikemaster Pair – appearance supported by the Hotel Miramar. Festival goers were also able to see the RAF Tucano flying for the last time in Bournemouth before it is withdrawn from RAF operations, after 30 years of service, at the end of the year.

There was a great line-up for helicopter fans with the Royal Navy Black Cat – appearance supported by the Daily Echo – and the RAF Chinook swooping in as part of the afternoon programme.

The 2019 festival drew to a close on Sunday with a unique fly past by The Blades and Ultimate Warbird Flights and a final Typhoon display.

Thanks to the generous support of Bournemouth Air Festival Patrons Club, the spectacular Night Air programme took place to the sounds of live tribute bands on the beach stage and featured dusk displays from festival favourites the RAF Typhoon and Spitfire.

Bournemouth’s skies were lit up once again with pyrotechnics from the Fireflies – appearance supported by Wave 105, Otto the Helicopter and the Piper Cub, as well as the Red Devils Army Parachute Display Team and firework displays on Friday and Saturday.

Courtesy of the Royal Navy, RFA Lyme Bay and HMS Argyle sailed into the bay for the duration of the festival and adventurous seafarers embarked on anchorage tours around both ships. Meanwhile, the Royal Navy Village was set up along the prom with the Army Village and popular diving tank demonstrations on the Overcliff.

The RAF Village, this year located on the East Overcliff, was awash with families enjoying the opportunity to find out about careers, see a static Chinook and take part in a virtual reality experience. The Overcliff was also home to vintage vehicles on Saturday and Sunday with owners and enthusiasts parking up to marvel at motors of days gone by.

The Lower Gardens hosted this year’s atmospheric Beat Retreat Sunset Ceremony, performed by HM Royal Marines Band Portsmouth, and a show of strength with the Royal Marines unarmed combat.

Building on previous years, organisers stepped up the event’s environmental credentials with a pledge to offset the carbon footprint from aircraft by investing in projects to protect wildlife and benefit local communities. Working with nationally accredited Carbon Footprint Ltd. this will see trees planted locally as well as supporting a project to prevent deforestation in the Amazon.

During the festival, BCP Council took the opportunity to push its ongoing environmental awareness campaign, Leave Only Footprints, as people were encouraged to help keep the resort’s award-winning beaches looking splendid by clearing up after themselves at the end of the day and putting rubbish in the bins provided. Festival goers and event staff were also encouraged to bring reusable bottles, to download the Refill Dorset app and fill up from taps located along the seafront.

BCP Tourism’s Head of Operations, Chris Saunders, said: “We’ve enjoyed yet another hugely successful event with impressive displays, good weather and, most importantly, thousands of smiling faces. Night Air is always popular, and this year was no exception with spectacular performances set against glorious sunsets creating must–see displays light up the skies.

“The festival is a great celebration of everything this stretch of coastline has to offer. With action on land, at sea and in the skies, we’re proving that Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole really is the coast with the most!”

Councillor Lewis Allison, BCP Council Tourism Portfolio Holder, said; “This kind of show inevitably draws attention for many reasons and we’re proud to offer a great day out for all the family. At the same time, work to offset the festival’s carbon footprint demonstrates our commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.

“I’d like to thank the enthusiastic display teams, residents and visitors who have come to watch and all those who work to keep people safe and help the festival run smoothly.”

An estimated 812,000 people attended this year’s festival and the dates for next year have been announced as 20-23 August 2020.

For details visit

P-8A US Navy support this year’s Air Festival at Bournemouth

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

US Navy P-8A

The U.S. Navy has confirmed their P-8A Poseidon Surveillance Aircraft will be flying past Friday afternoon at this year’s Air Festival. This specific Boeing plane has been developed for the U.S. Navy (USN) and modified from the Boeing 737-800. Powered by two turbo fans and with a wingspan of nearly 40metres it’s going to be an incredible sight.

First flown in 2009 the P-8A will be the youngest aircraft participating at the festival. With a military naval role, it doesn’t transport passengers but fulfils one of the primary mission of USN anti-submarine warfare.

LT Justin Branch, lead U.S. Navy Officer said: “It’s a privilege to support the Air Festival, this is our second engagement taking place in the UK this year and it is always a privilege to be included in these events. We receive amazing support and eagerly anticipate opportunities to strengthen relationships with our allies and showcase the P-8A Poseidon.”.

Chris Saunders, Head of Operations, Tourism added; “The aircraft will be part of Friday’s line up, to have U.S. Navy support, and importantly for them to see the significance of the festival, really highlights the strong relationships we have with our Armed Forces partners.”

Regarded as the UK’s most successful civilian air show with brilliant day and night time entertainment in the skies, on land and in the evening, the 12th Air Festival, takes place 29th August – 1st September 2019.

For details visit

Leading Seafront Airshow to Offset Carbon Footprint

Friday, August 16th, 2019

Chinook at Bournemouth Air Festival

Organisers pledge to offset display fuel by planting trees in the UK and supporting a project to prevent deforestation in the Amazon in bid to make positive difference

August 14th 2019: Organisers of Europe’s biggest air event, which takes place later this month, have pledged to offset the carbon footprint of all displaying aircraft working in partnership with nationally accredited Carbon Footprint Ltd. This year it is estimated that 110,000 litres of jet fuel will be used in displays by participating aircraft at the Bournemouth Air Festival, creating approximately 275 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Jon Weaver Air Festival Director said; “Since the Festival began we have always been aware of the carbon footprint of the event, and working with local experts at the time focussed on persuading people to use public transport to come to the festival and this has proved very successful – particularly for local residents.”

John Buckley from Carbon Footprint said “It is great to be working with the Bournemouth Air Festival. By supporting our tree planting projects, the Festival will compensate for its environmental impact, help protect wildlife and benefit local communities. We will be planting around 275 trees in the local area. For each tree planted, a tonne of carbon will also be saved in the Amazon Rainforest through the avoided deforestation project selected by the Air Festival – RMDLT Portel-Para REDD project – which is audited and certified by the internationally recognised Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)”.

As well as this initiative this year the Air Festival is also encouraging festival goers to bring reusable plastic bottles or purchase a new Air Festival bottle to use at Dorset refill taps along the seafront site and follow the simple messaging introduced by the resort to take home your litter and ‘Leave only Footprints’.

Councillor Lewis Alison BCP Council Tourism Portfolio Holder said; “There is a growing expectation for festivals and events to be more sustainable. BCP Council have declared a climate emergency and this decision by Air Festival organisers demonstrates our commitment to reduce the impact on the environment and make a global difference.”

Regarded as the UK’s most successful civilian air show with brilliant day and night time entertainment in the skies and on land, the 12th Air Festival takes place on 29th August – 1st September 2019.

For details visit

The 2019 Bournemouth Air Festival Display Line Up

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

RAF Typhoon

Now in its 12th year, the nationally award winning and internationally recognised Bournemouth Air Festival is set to host a diverse international air display programme this summer – in fact there will be more new displays then ever!

As well as vintage aircraft, two parachute teams, aerobatics displays, wingwalkers, night air pyrotechnics and fireworks – get ready for the noise as we welcome, alongside the RAF Typhoon, for the first time from Sweden the Saab Draken and Canadair T-33 Silver Star.

If one Air Festival first was not enough the Ultimate Warbird Flights will be showcasing their dog fighting skills over the Bournemouth skies in a collection of stunning aircraft – look out for a Hispano Buchon, Mustang, Supermarine Spitfire and Republic
P-47 Thunderbolt.

Regular favourites the brilliant Blades Aerobatic Display Team, Strikemaster, RAF Tucano, RAF Chinook, Royal Navy Wildcat, Tigers Parachute Display Team and, back by popular demand, Rich Goodwin’s stomach-turning Pitts Muscle Plane and the fantastic MiG15 will all be displaying during the four-day festival. Last seen in 2016 the full Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) line up, featuring the iconic Lancaster alongside Hurricane and Spitfire will be displaying on all four days.

The ever-popular Night Air dusk flying will be the best ever will feature the beautiful Fireflies, Red Devils Parachute Team and Brendan O’Brien will be piloting Otto the Helicopter. Even the Typhoon will be performing it rip roaring dusk show, to add to the excitement.

Of course the Festival is not just about the airshow. On land, between Bournemouth and Boscombe Pier there’s a host of country show trading sites, activation areas and military villages.
There is a new location for the RAF Village on the East Overcliff with the popular Royal Navy dive tank. On the seafront find out more about life in the military from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Army as they invade the beach and take over with tanks, vehicles and a host of ‘have a go equipment’.

As evening falls, along with dusk flying, the Night Air programme will feature Royal Marines, impressing crowds from their new location in the Lower Gardens, with their unarmed combat display (don’t try this at home!) and the HM Royal Marine Band Portsmouth performing the Beat Retreat Sunset Ceremony. There will also be live music, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening and fireworks (Friday & Saturday only).

Out at sea there once again will be a naval contingency providing a nautical backdrop in the bay and anchorage tours will be available.

David Bailey Chairman of the Tourism Industry’s Destination Management Board for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole commented; “This is an important festival not only for Bournemouth but for the rest of the conurbation. This year it is estimated to generate in excess of £20million to local economy, as part of an annual tourism spend of over £1.2 billion”.

Jon Weaver, Air Festival Director, BCP Council said; “We can’t wait for the festival – we have worked really hard on the line-up for 2019. Its international and loud, everything festival goers love and ask us for year after year! We’ve programmed four days of great, free entertainment for residents and visitors and we hope everyone has a great time!”

For those that can’t wait for the flying display line up the Air Festival brochure is available to pre order online from, and the flying display line up, available with each brochure, can be accessed early July.

Regarded as the UK’s most successful civilian air show with brilliant day and night time entertainment in the skies, on land and in the evening, the 12th Air Festival, takes place 29th August – 1st September 2019.

Bournemouth Ready for Jet Propelled Stellar Take Off!

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Red Arrows over Bournemouth

This year’s much anticiated Bournemouth Air Festival will star 20 jets, 29 aircraft, eight Tigers and two helicopters – that’s not fogetting the landmark dusk displays and unique Night Air family entertainment…all of this by the sea and completely free!

Four days of sky high aviation action will see the incredible world famous RAF Red Arrows display on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, the RAF Chinook back for three days, the AerosuperBatics Wingwalking Pair demonstrate their breath-taking skill and, in a first for Bournemouth and the South Coast, the Breitling Jet Team.

Headed up by Jacques Bothelin, the team have not performed at a UK civilian airshow for nearly 15 years. They will be displaying on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a special night air show scheduled for Saturday evening. Jacques said; “On behalf of the Breitling Jet Team we cannot wait to display in Bournemouth this summer. We have heard about the festival within the airshow world and are delighted that we will be demonstrating our skill, precision and unique aviation skill for you all!”

New this year the Super Pitts Muscle Plane, piloted by flying ace Rich Goodwin, will showcase daredevil routine, aerial manoeuvres and high energy aerobatics. Also, new to the flying display programme, Team Raven’s unique dynamic formation aerobatic display will leave the crowds wanting more!

Back to impress the Tigers Parachute Display Team will be landing on the award-winning beach during the day and performing a new special dusk jump on Friday. Night Air flying will also see a beautiful balletic performance from the FireFlies and Twisters. If you thought that as a pair they were impressive, wait until you see four aircraft gracefully lighting up the skies! Not forgetting Night Air favourite Otto the Helicopter and, back for four days, The Blades, with the festival‘s only female pilot Kirsty Murphy.

A special Vintage Weekend remembers the end of WW1 and the centenary anniversary of the RAF. Dance, live music and classic cars will be complimented by a plethora of awesome aircraft including the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Hurricane, Spitfire and Dakota, SallyB, a heritage fly past from the Vampire Pair and Strikemaster Pair and a poignant poppy drop planned for the Bremont Great War Display Team.

A jam-packed aviation line-up wouldn’t be complete without Night Air entertainment. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening enjoy family fun in the Lower Gardens, tribute acts on the Bournemouth stage with music from the UK Bee Gees (Thursday), Stevie Wonderband (Friday) and U2-2 (Saturday) Unarmed Combat demonstrations from the Royal Marines and fabulous fireworks on Friday and Saturday (10pm).

Regarded as the UKs most successful civilian air show with brilliant day and night time entertainment in the skies, on land and in the evening, the 11th Air Festival is ’more than just an airshow’ and set to be the event of the summer!

For more information or to pre-order your copy of the brochure, which comes with a unique online code to access the flying display programme or use your code to download the Air Festival app for easy flying updates, please visit

Breitling Jet Team Confirm Only UK Display Date – And It’s Bournemouth!

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Breitling Jet Team coming to Bournemouth

Air Festival organisers are feeling magnifique as the world-famous Breitling Jet Team have been confirmed to display at this summer’s aviation extravaganza. The jet team have not displayed at a UK civilian airshow for nearly 15years, they have never displayed on the south coast of England and, currently, the Air Festival is the only place you will see them this year in the UK!

Their three day displays and one Night Air dusk show have been made possible by long-standing festival supporter Morgan Sindall Investments Limited and this year will also be supported by Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure (MSIL & MSC&I). Duncan Johnston Development Director on behalf of Morgan Sindall Investments said; “We have supported the Air Festival since 2011, the event itself continues to be innovative and leading and we really wanted to make sure this year there was something for people to talk about – what better than making the event international again with the Breitling Jet Team!

“The dusk display will be incredible and that helps develop what has become a real selling point for the event – we are delighted to be supporting the Breitling Jet Team’s display appearance and hope that festival goers are as excited as we are!”

The Breitling Jet Team are Europe’s largest professional civilian jet display team, based in Dijon France the team pilot seven Czech Aero L-39 Albatros jets. Their fast and powerful aircraft are piloted by incredible flying aces representing precision, speed and daring skill – at times the aircraft is within 3metres of each other at speeds of over 700km/h.

Headed up by Jacques Bothelin, the team will be displaying on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a special night air show scheduled for Saturday evening. Jacques said “On behalf of the Breitling Jet Team we cannot wait to display in Bournemouth this summer. We have heard about the festival within the airshow world and are delighted that we will be demonstrating our skill, precision and unique aviation skill for you all – see you soon!”

The team have displayed across the globe – from the Far East, South East Asia and the Middle East to Eastern Europe and, most recently, a two-year tour of North America and now they can add Bournemouth to the list!

Jon Weaver Air Festival Director said; “It’s great news! It’s a first for the resort, the event and the jet team. They haven’t displayed at a UK civilian air show for nearly 15 years show and, after eight years of trying to secure them, we are really excited to welcome them to Bournemouth – this really sets the tone of the strong line-up we have this year!”

Regarded as the UKs most successful civilian air show with brilliant day and night time entertainment in the skies, on land and in the evening, the 11th Air Festival, 30th August – 2nd September, is certainly set to be the event of the summer! For details visit or follow the team on social media.

Bournemouth 10th Air Festival – Fabulous Flying & Records Broken

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

Red Arrows at Bournemouth

As thousands gathered for what could be summer’s last shout, the 10th Bournemouth Air Festival presented three full days of fantastic action in the air, on the ground and at sea. Taking place from 31 August – 3 September, this year’s festival featured a wide range of displays from WWII fighters and fast jets to parachute jumpers and wingwalkers. And it wasn’t just the daytime flying that wowed the crowds – dusk displays, pyrotechnics and live music meant that families could enjoy the action well into the evening. In celebration of 10 years, the award-winning event took on a very vintage feel – with historic aircraft across the weekend and culminating in a display of classic cars on the East Overcliff..

Now in its 10th year the event is stronger than ever with its value to the local economy estimated at more than £31million per year supporting 500 full time jobs. Records were broken with more than 15,000 ice creams sold in one day, an estimated 1,020 boats in the bay recorded by HM coastguard and approx 450,000 festival goers who attended ‘Super Saturday’.

Mark Smith, Director of Tourism for Bournemouth, said: “The enduring success of the BAF is down to three things, having the world’s finest display arena, the amazing talents of the pilots and display teams and the wonderful support of the Armed Forces.

Despite a few scattered showers on the first day, all programmed displays took place as aircraft fans welcomed back festival favourites including the Blades, the Royal Air Force Chinook Display Team and aerobatic pilot, Gerald Cooper. Day one signed off in style with a performance from HM RM Band Collingwood in the Lower Gardens’ bandstand and live music on the beach.

Friday’s glorious dawn heralded a meet and greet with the RAF Red Arrows, who – thanks to sponsorship from Morgan Sindall – performed their awe-inspiring display every day except Sunday. Squadron Leader Mike Ling, Red 10, said: “The Red Arrows always feel at home in Bournemouth, we have such an affinity with the event and it’s been a privilege to take part in each of the ten festivals.”

The hot weather continued into Saturday, providing breath-taking views across the bay and the perfect backdrop for spectacular feats of derring-do. Firm friends of the festival the Tigers Parachute Display Team were back once again diving onto Bournemouth’s golden sands from knee-trembling heights and a solo Breitling Wingwalker limbered and flexed through the clear blue skies.

As well as the popular Red Arrows, high speed fun continued with jets including the MIG, Vampire Pair, Strikemasters and, back for the first time since 2009, the Russian Yakovlevs performed tandem twists and turns above the sparkling sea.

Dusk displays returned for another year with the Twister Duo, Otto the Helicopter and the Red Devils Parachute Regiment performed magical pyrotechnic displays against the weekend’s clear moonlit skies. Live music stages starring tribute acts and party bands, as well as children’s entertainment in the Lower Gardens and fireworks in the bay, completed the 2017 Night Air programme.

The forecast rain and high winds eventually set in on the final day but didn’t dampen the festival feel. The Royal Navy carried out their final amphibious beach assault demonstration and those who braved the weather, saw a selection of classic motors on the East Overcliff.

Although Sunday’s flying programme was cancelled, the spirit of the wartime tribute had already been honoured with a huge variety of historic aircraft across the weekend.

Hordes of enthusiasts had already seen a Hurricane, Spitfire, P-51 Mustang, the ever-popular Sally B and a Blenheim featured in recent Hollywood blockbuster, Dunkirk. The Great War Display Team also put on a magnificent show in their flying machines on both Saturday and Sunday.

As ever, armed forces support for Bournemouth’s biggest event was evident with military personnel and assets across the resort. The Royal Marine reservists’ impressive amphibious beach assault demonstrations were supported by the Royal Navy’s Primary Aviation Training Ship and Primary Casualty Receiving Facility (PCRF) RFA Argus, as well as Hawk jets and a Wildcat attack helicopter. The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Collingwood also performed musical extravaganza, the Beat Retreat sunset ceremony, on the East Overcliff.

Overseeing his last BAF before retiring from the Navy after a 48-year career, Commodore Miller Royal Navy Regional Commander said: “I leave this role as Naval Regional Commander since 2004 with a legacy of which I’m proud.

“This major high profile event in Bournemouth is an important national public occasion for the Navy. It gives us, in uniform, the chance to tell the public what we do and why.

“It’s so rewarding to be appreciated, especially by the people of Bournemouth and others. When the chips are down and we’re at war for instance, this feeling gives us a morale boost and fortifies us knowing we are being supported back home.”

Bournemouth Air Festival is back again next year and dates are 30 August – 2 September 2018.

Get set to celebrate a decade of the dazzlingly brilliant Bournemouth Air Festival!

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Bournemouth Air Festival

Since the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight first flew at the 2008 Air Festival more than 8.5 million people have been entertained by almost 140 hours of display time performed by more than 55 teams and aircraft. The skies of Bournemouth and coastal bay have also hosted and welcomed The First Sea Lord, flotillas of RN ships, beach assaults, record breaking display teams and pilots, European military aircraft and chart topping music acts…and this summer organisers have promised a bumper display programme.

Said Air Festival Director, Jon Weaver; “We have achieved so much over the years, the highs and lows, awards and challenges – we can’t wait for this summer’s 10th event and, with our plan for more planes and more hours, hope everyone enjoys what we have planned!”

To celebrate the 10th Air Festival organisers are staging three shows on Thursday in the afternoon, evening and at dusk with the Red Arrows, supported by Morgan Sindall, kick starting the second of these shows at 6pm. This will be followed by their displays at 3.30pm on Friday and 12noon on Saturday.

There will be more jets performing than last year with two twin jet display teams – introduced last year the Strike Master pair with the Vampire pair and also returning is the MiG.

The much-missed Chinook is returning for the weekend and for those who missed them last year, because of the windy weather, the Great War Display Team and B25 Mitchell return as well.

On Sunday there will be a special very vintage display day featuring the SallyB, Mustang P51 and The Navy Swordfish in addition to the vintage aircraft already announced.

The Navy’s ongoing commitment to the Festival will include a flotilla of ships, Royal Marines demonstrations, extensive military village area and a Thursday evening concert in the Lower Gardens Bandstand from Royal Marines Band, HM RM Band Collingwood. Commodore Jamie Miller said; “2017 will be another great year and give us the opportunity to showcase what we do best!”

RAF assets alongside the Red Arrows will be the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Chinook and RAF Village area. Red 1, Team Leader Dave Montenegro said; “Congratulations to everyone who has been involved with the Bournemouth Air Festival, it is one of our favourite venues to display at and we’re looking forward to being part of the celebrations in August!”

The Breitling Wingwalkers, Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team (making daily jumps from an incredible 6,000ft and freefalling at 120mph), SallyB, Xtreme and Blades Aerobatic Display Team, complete the display programme to date.

In the evening Night Air welcomes Royal Navy Beat Retreat Sunset Ceremony and Royal Marines unarmed combat displays (Fri and Sat), dusk flying displays from the Red Devils, Otto and Twister Duo – finishing with fireworks on Friday and Saturday. Completing the sky-high evening entertainment don’t forget the Red Arrows display at 6pm on Thursday.

The ever-popular Night Air music entertainment will be announced early July.

With brilliant day and night time entertainment on land, out at sea and in the air the 2017 10th Air Festival is certainly set to be the event of the summer!

Online and in the air – Air Festival relaunches website

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Bournemouth Air Festival

In celebration of this summer’s 10th Air Festival, organisers have partnered with local digital agency Createful to redesign and build a new look website,, intended to embrace the event’s unique festival atmosphere.

For use on mobile, tablet and desktop, the website utilises stunning visuals from past festivals and a striking colour scheme incorporating red, white and blue. The new interface is easy to navigate and user-friendly with tips on how to plan your visit, option to pre-order this year’s bumper souvenir programme, purchase hospitality tickets and, once available, access to the live flying display schedule.

With more than 1.2 million webpage visits during 2016 it is imperative that the site is not only mobile friendly but also built to handle high volumes of visitor traffic. Createful have ensured the website is extremely lightweight to avoid slow loading times by using a number of digital techniques including auto-scaling and caching content.

Kriss Bennett, Createful’s Managing Director, said; “We are delighted to have worked on such a fantastic, high profile event. Our team is proud to have delivered a site which reflects the prestigious nature of the Air Festival, as well as providing visitors with a seamless experience in accessing all of the information relating to the exciting events and activities being delivered throughout the week.”

Jon Weaver Air Festival Director added; “We hope everyone likes the new website, we listened to feedback about the previous site and absorbing Createful’s expertise have created a website which we hope reflects what visitors want. We are really excited about this year’s festival – we are planning to have more aircraft and flying hours than any other year which will include a first for our flying programme!”

Bournemouth International Air Festival Finishes with a Flourish!

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Bournemouth Air Festival

Following a weekend of mixed weather conditions, the ninth Bournemouth Air Festivalcame to a spectacular close on Sunday witha show-stopping finale from a trio ofRAF aircraft–the Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Typhoon. Taking place over four days from 18 – 21 August, festival-goers enjoyedhighlights including the Swiss Super Puma Display Team, Red Arrows on all four days, demonstrations from the armed forces on the ground and at sea, Otto the Helicopter and Bournemouth’s first ever Typhoon dusk display.

With the opening and closing dayshailed as the busiest ever for the internationally renowned festival, total visitor numbers were estimatedat702,300 over the course of the weekend. In spite of inclement weather, Friday still saw a packed programme of air displays in the afternoon and a busy evening of Night Air entertainment. Although worsening conditions forced the cancellation of earlier daytime displays on Saturday, the valiant pilots rewarded dedicated Air Festival fans with a special early evening display that included the Red Arrows and Royal Navy Black Cats, Hawks and Merlin before clouds and rain closed in to halt the scheduled ‘Sunsets on the Beach’ live music event. By Sunday, the festival was well and truly back on track and once more record crowds turned out for an impressive climax to the weekend.

This year’s festival featured more than 15 display teams and 40 aircraft supported by more than 55 ground crew. Among a variety of RAF assets, including the Black Cats and Typhoon, theever-popular Red Arrows – sponsored by Morgan Sindall – appeared on all four days and attracted unprecedented numbers of admirers at the pilots’ meet and greet.

Alongside the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight sponsored by Spitfire Lager, the B-25N Mitchell sponsored by the Highcliff Marriott and Sally B sponsored by BH Live flew in tribute to the historic aircraft of bygone days.

Aerobatics came courtesy of The Blades sponsored by the Daily Echo, Gerald Cooper in his Xtreme Air XA41 sponsored by the Hotel Miramar,StrikemasterMk82A sponsored by the Littledown Centre and the daring Breitling Wingwalkers. Returning for another year, the Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team, sponsored by Bournemouth Airport, jumped from eye-watering heights onto the sand in front of adoring crowds.

A relatively new and extremely popular addition to the festival programme, this year’sNight Air dusk displays – sponsored by the Air Festival Patrons Club – starred the Fireflies Aerobatic Display Team, Otto the helicopter, Aerosparx, the Red Devils Parachute Regiment Freefall Team and, for the first time, the Typhoon – lighting up the night skies with its impressive after burn. Fireworks on Friday and Saturday evening provided the perfect end to the evening displays. The patrons also support the 2016 Forces nominated charities – the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity, ABF – The Soldiers Charity and the Jon Egging Trust.

As well as the Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight operating the B-25N Mitchell, this year’s international guests included Swiss Air Force Super Puma sponsored by The Cumberland.Captain MatthieuGhiringhellisaid:”On behalf of the Swiss Air  Force and Super Puma Display Team, a big thank you to everyone who has helped to make our first display at Bournemouth Air Festival so fantastic – from the Festival Makers and Events Team to everyone who has come to watch us. It has been a brilliant show – we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and we hope to be back next year.”

Once again, the Air Festival was honoured to welcome back the armed forces – now a major contributor to the event. As well as a variety of stalls in their beachfront village area, the Royal Navy brought a spectacular flotilla of ships to Bournemouth Bay. The Royal Marine reservists conducted another series of crowd-pleasing amphibious assaults on the beaches and the Band of HM RM Collingwood performed a musical spectacular on the Wave 105 live stage at Boscombe Beach.This year also saw a new mini tattoo on the clifftop featuring the beat retreat sunset ceremony, Queen’s Colour Squadron (63 Squadron RAF Regiment) and unarmed combat demonstrations from the Royal Marine reservists.

Commodore Jamie Miller said: “It has been a delight and a privilege for the naval service to once again support the UK’s premier Air Festival here in Bournemouth. It has been a hugely successful event and a perfect showcase for the Royal Navy. BZ BAF!!”

The success of the Air Festival’s ninth consecutive year reinforces its status as Europe’s largest public aviation event and its unique reputation as the UK’s biggest free family air show.

Councillor Lawrence Williams, portfolio holder for tourism, said: “Naturally, I love the Air Festival and this year’s exhibition from aviation artist, David Bent, at the Russell-Cotes added another dimension for me and many other art lovers. After Saturday’s hiccup with the weather, I am delighted that Sunday’s display programme was able to take place against the backdrop of Bournemouth’s trademark blue skies. We owe much of the success of this year’s festival to the Royal Navy and armed forces for their commitment and resilience in the face of adversity.”

Mark Smith, Director of Tourism for Bournemouth, said: “The weather presented a particular challenge this year but the event still goes from strength to strength with records broken on both the Thursday and Sunday. We managed to beat the weather with flying displays on every day thanks to the enthusiasm and expertise of our experienced flying director and his team, all of the magnificent pilots and crew, as well as event and safety staff including our partners in the emergency services. We are grateful to the public for their patience, cooperation and keenness over the course of the weekend and we are proud to have closed Bournemouth’s ninth Air Festival with such an impressiveprogramme of displays.”