Full line-up for air show is unveiled

PUBLISHED: 10:53 26 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:26 06 July 2010

THE full line-up for this year's Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival was revealed last night as organisers again urged people to dig deep to ensure the show goes on in future years.

THE full line-up for this year's Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival was revealed last night as organisers again urged people to dig deep to ensure the show goes on in future years.

Thirty-four aircraft are scheduled to delight hundreds of thousands of spectators at the two-day event on July 23 and 24, which attracted record-breaking crowds of 440,000 last year.

In a show dominated by jet aircraft, a surprise late edition to next month's event has no engine, but is set to be a show-stopper.

Flown by eight-time national glider aerobatic champion Guy Westgate, the S-1 Swift glider will be appearing in a display with two other engine-powered aircraft that make up the Swift Aerobatic Display Team.

Of the aircraft scheduled to take part, there are 18 jet aircraft, 13 engine-powered aircraft and three helicopters, as well as the glider and, at sea level, a lifeboat.

Topping the bill are the Red Arrows, which will close Thursday's five-hour flying programme and open Friday's schedule. The Avro Vulcan Bomber, which was credited with attracting a lot of visitors last year, will also fly again on both days.

Other highlights include a KC-135 Stratotanker, from the United States Air Force, and an F-16 Fighting Falcon, from the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

Among old festival favourites are the Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the Team Guinot wingwalkers and the Blades aerobatic display team.

The full programme of flying times will be released nearer the time of the show.

Despite the exciting line-up, organisers have admitted the show could be axed next year unless people donate more to the free event. Traditionally, spectators are encouraged to give £1, but the request has doubled this year after the economic recession led to a drop in the number of sponsors.

An air festival spokesman said: “This event is a huge and risky undertaking and, even though we are in recession, we feel that it is not too much to ask people to put just £2 each in a collecting bucket to help us meet our costs and ensure the air festival goes ahead in 2010.

“The air festival takes 12 months to organise and costs in the region of £300,000. It is run by volunteers, who have formed a charitable and not-for-profit company.”

Last year, the company handed back almost £28,000 to charities that had helped at the event by providing collectors and stewards.

The air show is part of a four-day land, sea and air spectacular. Lowestoft has again been chosen as the venue for the Honda 4-Stroke Powerboat Grand Prix, taking place over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26.

And on the Sunday afternoon about 1,000 motor cyclists will head to Lowestoft from Norwich in their annual charity ride, the Eastern Lights Motorcycle Cavalcade.

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