Shoreham Airshow will celebrate its 25th anniversary this weekend with a spectacular fly-by of the last two operational Lancaster bombers.
Organisers promised more pyrotechnics than ever at the show which, to date, has raised almost £2 million for the Royal Air Force Association.
A Lancaster bomber from the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial will be joined by a Lancaster from a Canadian warplane museum for a transatlantic reunion unlikely to be seen again.
Retired squadron leader and Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum president Dave Rohrer said: “A rare window of opportunity was identified to bring the last two flying Lancasters in the world together as a special salute to all the veterans of Bomber Command, many of whom are in their late 80s or older now.”
This year’s air show will commemorate 25 years of air shows as well as the 100-year anniversary of World War One and the 70th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day landings.
There will be a dogfight re-enactment with allied fighters attacking a German airstrip to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
John Periam, of Shoreham Airshow, said: “There will be more pyrotechnics this year than ever before.
“The quality of this year’s displays will be the highest ever.”
Aircraft and pilots from the very first air show have been invited back to commemorate its anniversary, while 23 static aircraft will be on display for people to get a close-up of some iconic aircraft and there will also be a model airplane display at lunchtime A highlight of the opening day will be the Avro Vulcan B2 XH558, which will grace the skies of Shoreham on Saturday.
Flying display director Rod Dean said: “The backdrop of the Sussex Downs and Lancing College make Shoreham just that bit different compared with many other air shows.
“Please note it will only be flying on the Saturday.
“Vulcan To The Sky Trust is limiting flying time this year so that this wonderful aircraft can extend its lifespan.
“That we have the world’s only two flying Lancasters has been the icing on the cake resulting in national and international interest with visitors applying for tickets from as far afield as Japan and Australia.”
Tips for a great day out
- Plan to arrive early and leave late. There will be plenty to see and do before and after the flying display. The terminal building is also open all day with a full bar and restaurant facilities
- Drink plenty of water and cover up. With a fine weekend forecast, first aid points often fill with dehydrated or sunburnt casualties
- Bring cash. Ticket booths are cash or cheque only with no on-site cash machines
- Arrange a meeting point. There are plenty of landmarks to act as a meeting point from the Spitfire Ales Refuelling Point to the historic terminal building
- Guide dogs only. Unless you own a guide dog, leave your pets at home. Pets are not permitted on the showground and an air show is not a good environment for them
- Air shows are noisy. Make sure your children’s ears are protected. Expect pyrotechnic special effects as well
Organisers said that with very large crowds expected there will be possible delays on the A27, A259 and A283.
There will be a free shuttle bus to the air show from Shoreham train station.
Gates open at 8.30am on both days and tickets are available on the day priced £22 for adults and £8 for children aged five to 15.
Under-5s are free. Only cash and cheques are accepted on the door.
For more information on the air show, visit www.shorehamairshow.co.uk.
Strength to strength
From humble beginnings, the show has become one of the highlights of the aviation flying display calendar.
The organising team are all volunteers and it is the pilots’ favourite air show venue.
Organiser Derek Harber said: “The 2013 event was one of the most successful shows we have had to date. The weather was on our side, ticket sales were exceptional and the flying display was considered by many to be one of the best.
“We could not have done it without our sponsors and supporters. In 2014, we will celebrate in true style and already discussions are under way with the MoD events teams, civilian display pilots and some overseas visitors to make next year’s show that little bit special.
“Many of the pilots contact us asking to return before we have even confirmed our dates.
“Tickets will go on sale earlier. We are addressing some issues re parking and exiting the event, which caused some traffic related problems for some of our visitors.
“We cannot please all and most major events suffer from this issue when you get an influx of people to a venue.
“We have budgets and costs have increased. However we are able to spend money wisely, so that we can afford some of the best displays the air show circuit has on offer.
“Next year our budgets will reflect your views as paying guests, along with the fact that this show has now been running for 25 magnificent years.
“We know we will never please all, but rest assured we are going to make efforts to make it just that little bit special.”