Newcastle 2020 date revealed

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Newcastle Festival of Flight 2020 cleared for take off!

The Newcastle Festival of Flight returns in 2020 on the 20th June! After the success of last years show the Airshow has been kept in June for 2020!

As of right now I am unable to confirm any aircraft, that will come later in the Spring when the RAF start to release their schedules. However, mark the date. as reported in today’s Mourne Observer, 20th June 2020 will see the return of the Newcastle Festival of Flight.
Mourne Observer press release

Newcastle’s Festival of Flight will take to the air again in June this year.

The annual spectacular was brought forward by two months from its regular August slot last year as a result of festival mainstays, the Red Arrows embarking on a 9 week North American summer tour. and whilst the RAF have not yet published the aerobatic teams dates for 2020 the council has pencilled in June 20th as the date for its marquee Newcastle event.

Last week the local authority began a £25,000 search for suppliers to support the delivery of its annual events programme for 2020/21. Other festival dates were also listed through the provision of ancillary services and personal.

As well as the Festival of Flight, the tender includes Footsteps in the Forest in Slieve Gullion (date to be confirmed) Warrenpoint’s Wake the Giant (29th & 30th August) Halloween in Newy (30th October) Hallowtides in Newcastle (31st October)

Narnia in Kilbroney Park (A date to be confirmed in November) Newry Christmas tree lights switch on (19th November) Downpatrick Christmas lights switch on (20th November) and the St Patricks day events in Newry and Downpatrick (17th March 2021)

The successful tenderer will have to supply each event with a range of items and services, including generators, porta-loos, pedestrian barriers, electricians, and general labourers.

Bray announce 2020 dates


The Bray Air Display recently announced their dates for 2020.

The show will once again be a 2 day show taking place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th July 2020. On the ground events are stated as starting at 12pm  including static displays, a fairground, Helicopter pleasure flights and a food market

Flying usually starts around 2pm.

The Bray Air Display is the largest airshow in the Republic of Ireland held in County Wicklow south of Dublin and displays will be announced in June 2020.

I had an eventful 2019 getting over to England 3 times as well as doing our two local shows. Weather was all over the place during the visits but I still had a great 2019. Photos taken from FB so quality a little lower than the High res ones.

First up was a 2 day visit to Duxford in May for the Air Festival. Boiling hot day with blue skies on Saturday, damp with spots of rain on the Sunday. My first trip to Duxford, the museum was remarkable.

Next up was Newcastle, a lovely sunny day in contrast to the washout of 2018. Nothing out of the ordinary but still a fun day. I did suffer with a 300mm lens though.


Then came the big one! RIAT 2019 at RAF Fairford, the biggest airshow in the world! Saturday was spent in the public grandstand and Sunday in the Pimms enclosure which was brilliant.

Last up for airshows was a wet and cold Portrush, a 2019 show that suffered a lot of cancellations due to weather, but was still a decent day out. My first test with a 600mm lens

I got an unexpected trip to Heathrow due to the flights to Birmingham costing an arm and a leg, so stayed the night at Heathrow before getting the train up to Birmingham. Runway views for both hotels :) Light was terrible, but you expect that in the middle of December!

Cork Air Spectacular postponed until 2021

Statement from Cobh Air Spectacular.

THE inaugural Cobh Air Spectacular has been postponed until August 2021.

Organisers were bowled over by the level of national and international interest following the launch and, as a result, the event has become much bigger than originally anticipated.

In a statement, they said they are pushing back the date to facilitate a number of international fleets, which will, in turn, attract many overseas visitors to the region.

Those involved say this is a huge opportunity to showcase Cork and to establish Cobh and the lower harbour as a regular venue for a world-class air show, so they want to ensure the most successful event possible.

The event has already attracted dozens of aircraft, such the AeroSuperBatics Wing walkers, The STRIKEMASTERS, Team Raven, Jet Display teams, Historical aircrafts, the coastguard and RNLI.

More announcements are expected to be made over the coming months.

The event was originally scheduled to take place on July 12, 2020, with organisers saying it could attract up to 100,000 spectators.

At the launch earlier this year, event organiser, Captain Rich MacIlwraith, a former commercial airline captain on 737s and 777s, who is now a senior instructor at the Atlantic Flight Training Academy in Cork, said the Cobh Air Spectacular has been years in planning.

“Having been involved with airshows around the world, I have always believed that Cork Harbour provides the best natural backdrop for an event of this kind,” he said.

“This event will be unlike anything we have ever seen on the south coast, and marks a huge opportunity to establish Cobh and the lower harbour as a regular venue for a world-class airshow”.

The event is being actively supported and facilitated by management at Cork Airport.

Rush to hold annual Airshow this Saturday!

This Saturday Whats on in Rush hold their annual airshow at Rush North Beach at 3pm,

Rush has a great aerobatic line up featuring Team RavenRich Goodwin Airshows, a colourful Christen Eagle II flown by Andrew Fenton .The Irish Coast Guard will be doing a Search and Rescue demo in their Sikorsky S-92.

The Fantastic Aerosuperbatics WingWalkers will astound you with their brilliant display as will Chipmunks and a Boeing Stearman from the Irish Historic Flight as well as a local parachute club display!

We hope they have a great day!

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Aircraft Preview – RAFAT Red Arrows

Our final Newcastle Aircraft Profile is the world Famous RAF Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows in their 9 Red T1 Hawk aircraft.

The Red Arrows are returning to Newcastle having been a regular at the Festival of Flight since the beginning.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams. Representing the speed, agility and precision of the RAF, the team is the public face of the service.

They assist in recruiting to the Armed Forces, act as ambassadors for the United Kingdom and promote the best of British. Flying distinctive Hawk jets, the team is made up of pilots, engineers and essential support staff with front-line, operational experience.

Initially, they were equipped with seven Folland Gnat trainers inherited from the RAF Yellowjacks display team.

This aircraft was chosen because it was less expensive to operate than front-line fighters. In their first season, they flew at 65 shows across Europe. In 1966, the team was increased to nine members, enabling them to develop their Diamond Nine formation.

In late 1979, they switched to the BAE Hawk trainer. The Red Arrows have performed over 4,600 displays in 56 countries worldwide

The engineering team that supports the Red Arrows is known as “The Blues” and consists of 85 members who cover all of the various trades in the RAF.

Each season nine members of the Blues are selected to be members of the ‘Circus’. Each member of the Circus works with the same pilot for the duration of the season and is responsible for servicing their aircraft and preparing their flying kit prior to each display. The Circus also fly in the back seat of the jets during transit flights.


The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. It was first flown at Dunsfold, Surrey, in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk, and subsequently produced by its successor companies, British Aerospace and BAE Systems, respectively. It has been used in a training capacity and as a low-cost combat aircraft.

The Hawks used by the Red Arrows are modified with an uprated engine and a modification to enable smoke to be generated, diesel is mixed with a coloured dye and ejected into the jet exhaust to produce either red, white or blue smoke.

The Hawk T1 version is currently used at RAF Valley for fast-jet pilot advanced training, however this role will increasingly migrate to IV(R) Sqn and the Hawk T2 in the future. The Hawk T1 is also operated by the RAF Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, and 100 Sqn. While the Hawk T1 is used primarily in the advanced flying-training role, it is equipped to an operational standard and is capable of undertaking a war role.

However the Red Arrows are based at RAF Scampton and not RAF Valley like the rest of the Hawk aircraft.

I look forward to seeing the Red Arrows in Newcastle once again. Having already seen them a number of times I can tell you this year the display from the Red Arrows is fantastic

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Newcastle aircraft preview Day 5 part 2 – BBMF DC3 Dakota

Newcastle aircraft preview Day 5 part 2 – BBMF DC3 Dakota

The Douglas C-47 Dakota is without doubt one of the most successful aircraft designs in history. It became one of the world’s most famous military transport aircraft and saw widespread use by the Allies during World War Two and subsequently by Air Forces and civilian operators worldwide.
The aircraft was adopted by Strike Command and issued to the BBMF in March 1993. In 2004, an original and authentic floor and interior was re-fitted to the Dakota, returning the cabin to the original, wartime specification. As there are now no other multi-engine tail wheel aircraft in RAF service outside the BBMF, the Dakota is an important training asset used for initial training of aircrew for the BBMF multi-engine aircraft and for renewing the currency of the Flight’s Lancaster pilots each year. In addition to this role though, the Dakota is a sought-after display aircraft in her own right and, as such, she appears regularly on the air show circuit either on her own or as part of a BBMF formation. She continues to be capable of para-dropping and is used in that role for special commemorative events.

ZA947 is now painted to represent Dakota FZ692 of No 233 Squadron, around the D-Day period in 1944. This aircraft, which was named ‘Kwicherbichen’ by her crews, was involved in Para-dropping operations on the eve of D-Day and subsequently in re-supply and casualty evacuation missions into and out of forward airfields in the combat areas. Info from BBMF website

Check back later for our final aircraft preview.