Southend Festival of the Air
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 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.
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).
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.