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Airbourne’s a crowd thriller
The skies rumbled with the sound of engines yesterday as an annual air show took off at supersonic speed.
Thousands of flight fans gathered on Eastbourne seafront for the opening day of the Airbourne festival.
During a packed afternoon, the crowds were wowed by death-defying wingwalkers who turned somersaults as they swooped overhead.
And all eyes turned to the skies when a squadron of very special planes flew into view.
The poignant Battle of Britain Memorial Flight had classic warplanes including a Miss Demeanour Hawker Hunter, a Kittyhawk, and a Jet Provost.
Bringing up the rear was the most famous fighter of them all – the legendary Spitfire.
After the vintage planes had rumbled off into the distance, it was time for the main event.
Crowds cheered as the Red Arrows roared through the skies, twisting and turning through the low-flying cloud while weaving pretty patterns of coloured smoke.
During the festival’s remaining three days, highlights will include a heavy duty Chinook helicopter performing gravity defying somersaults, the RAF Eurofighter Typhoon, a Belgian F-16 and a special visit by the Matadors in their specially painted Disney ‘Planes’ aircraft.
However leading figures in Eastbourne warned money problems could soon bring Airbourne back down to earth with a bump.
Yesterday volunteers wandered through the crowds collecting money in a bid to keep next year’s festival free of charge.
Councillor Carolyn Heaps, Eastbourne Borough Council’s cabinet member for tourism, said: “We are very grateful to the volunteers who collect donations over Airbourne and we are always thrilled with how much is raised.
“We ask that if you have enjoyed the Red Arrows, Chinook, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight or any other aircraft, then please donate before you head home.”
For more information on Airbourne 2013, to donate online or buy a programme visit eastbourneairshow.com.
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