Lowestoft Air Festival gets under way
Amy GrayThousands of people are expected to line the beach and promenade in Lowestoft today for the start of the town's Seafront Air Festival.Amy Gray
Thousands of people are expected to line the beach and promenade in Lowestoft today for the start of the town's Seafront Air Festival.
Favourites including the Vulcan bomber and the Red Arrows, plus new displays such as the Red Bull Matadors, are due to take to the skies.
Hopes were high last night that the forecast of sunny intervals would involve very long intervals and the predicted showers would hold off until the evening.
Paul Bayfield, managing director of the charitable trust which organises the festival, said: 'We know that the British people are used to dealing with the English climate. As they always say, if you don't like English weather, wait a minute and it will change.
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'We're very hopeful that the weather will be kind to us. Generally, we are very lucky. The coast seems to have its own little eco system.
'We've got our fingers crossed that we will have fine sunshine with minimal showers.'
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Mr Bayfield revealed his picks from today's packed programme.
'I love the Red Arrows, I love the Vulcan, but the one I am personally looking forward to seeing are the Red Bull pair.
'Paul Bonhomme is the current world Red Bull Air Race champion, I've heard about their display is really, really something. It's even more awesome when you think that these two pilots, their proper jobs are flying 747s.
'But there are so many other highlights.'
The volunteers behind the two-day event have continued to urge people to give a minimum �2 donation towards costs, and will have plenty of bucket collectors out along the beach today.
Mr Bayfield said that his excitement about the festival, which continued tomorrow, was 'tinged with a great deal of apprehension' about the weather and the donations needed from people who enjoy the show.
He added: 'It's very difficult to keep going on about it but if the public support us as a community event, we will have enough to do it all again next year.'
For tomorrow's programme and coverage of today's show, buy tomorrow's EDP and visit www.edp24.co.uk later today and tomorrow for extra pictures.
Look out for the Lowestoft Journal when you are at the show for a 24-page festival guide.
Today's provisional display programme
12.10pm Tigers parachute display
12.25pm Yak 52 x6
12.40pm Swift, Pawnee, Twister
12.52pm Hawker Hunter
1pm Stearman x2, Team Breitling
1.16pm Antonov AN2
1.27pm Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane, Battle of Britain Memorial Flt
1.44pm Shorts Tucano
1.55pm Dornier Alphajet x2
2.07pm Bolkow BK117
2.17pm Beach King Air
2.26pm Spitfire Mk 1X
2.38pm BAe Hawk
2.49pm Sukhoi 26 x2
3.04pm Avro Vulcan
3.15pm Sea King SAR/ Lifeboat
3.38pm Sikorsky HH 60G
3.50pm Extra 300 x4 The Blades
4.06pm Dakota, Battle of Britain Memorial Flt
4.15pm Twister x2
4.25pm Grob Tutor
4.40pm RAFAT Red Arrows x9