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Southend Festival of the Air

 

Eurofighter Typhoon at Southend Festival of the Air 2009

Eurofighter Typhoon at Southend Festival of the Air 2009. Photo by Roger Whitcomb - Milairpix.com

 

Southend-on-Sea has staged the Festival of the Air for the last twenty four years. Staged against the backdrop of the Thames estuary along two miles of Southend seafront. As well as an extensive flying display throughout the day, there are exhibitions from the Army, Navy and RAF and sideshows and trade stands.

 

Southend Festival of the Air website

 

 

Southend Festival of the Air 2009

 

Royal Navy Black Cats Display Team Westland Lynx refueling at Southend Festival of the Air 2009

Southend Air Show (which is sponsored by the Westcliff Casino) usually takes place over the bank holiday Sunday and Monday in May and is one of Europe's largest free air shows with more than half a million people lining the town's seven mile shore over the two day spectacular.

This two-day event includes a good mixture in the flying display including modern Royal Air Force & Royal Navy participation along with display teams, aerobatic aircraft, and historic aircraft. There is also plenty of entertainment taking place on the ground with various displays and demonstrations.

 

Royal Navy Black Cats display team Westland Lynx refueling at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee B G-BDPJ at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Marganski S-1 Swift G-IZII at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb AB910 at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Avro Lancaster Mk BI PA474 The phantom of the Ruhr at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Avro Lancaster Mk BI PA474 The phantom of the Ruhr at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
The Red Arrows Display Team at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
The Red Arrows Display Team at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
The Red Arrows Display Team at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
The Red Arrows Display Team at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
The Red Arrows Display Team at Southend Festival of the Air 2009

 

Most of the aircraft displaying at the seafront operate out of Southend Airport. The airport usually has open days during the air show so that people can see the aircraft at close quarters. These open days attract many visitors to the airport and its resident Vulcan (XL426).

 

Royal Navy Black Cats Display Team Westland Lynx pair at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Royal Navy Black Cats Display Team Westland Lynx pair at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Royal Navy Black Cats Display Team Westland Lynx pair at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Royal Navy Black Cats Display Team Westland Lynx pair at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Team Guinot Wingwalkers at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Grob G 115E Tutor G-BYWL at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
P-51D-20-NA Mustang G-SIJJ 44-72035 Jumpin Jacques at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
de Havilland DH.110 Vampire T11 G-VTII/WZ507/74 at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Folland Gnat T1 G-RORI/XR538 and G-TIMM/XS111 at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Red Bull Matadors Sukhoi SU-26M2 G-IIIS and G-IIIZ at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Royal Air Force BAE Systems Hawk at Southend Festival of the Air 2009
Eurofighter Typhoon at Southend Festival of the Air 2009

Images courtesy of Roger Whitcomb - Milairpix.com

 

The two-day Festival of the Air is undoubtedly the most spectacular event in Southend's calendar. Southend was the first seaside resort in the country to stage an air show and it has become one of Europe's largest FREE events of its kind.

 

Review by Roger Whitcomb