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Top flight line-up set for show

PUBLISHED: 11:19 16 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:23 05 July 2010

A BULGING programme containing eight hours of flying and some brand new aircraft have been announced for this year's Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival.

But last night, a cloud was still hanging over the appearance of the world's only airworthy Arvo Vulcan - the plane that everyone wants to see.

A BULGING programme containing eight hours of flying and some brand new aircraft have been announced for this year's Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival.

But last night, a cloud was still hanging over the appearance of the world's only airworthy Arvo Vulcan - the plane that everyone wants to see.

Organisers remain hopeful that the iconic bomber will be included on both days of the programme but this week a warning bell was sounded by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, which is behind the 15-year, £6m restoration project.

The aircraft successfully completed its final test flights last week and now the paperwork is being submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority so that it can be given an official permit to fly. But the funding of the project still remains an ongoing problem with its future in doubt unless a sponsor can be found.

While it would be a major disappointment to Lowestoft air show organisers if the Vulcan was unable to appear there will still be a spectacular display beginning at 1pm and continuing through to just after 5pm both Thursday and Friday, July 24 and 25.

Barry Hartley, one of the festival's directors said: “We are obviously keeping a close eye on events involving the Vulcan and at the moment we are including it in our programme for display for both days. Should the worst happen and the Vulcan cannot appear this year then there will be no gaps - other aircraft are standing by to takes its place.”

The theme of this year's show will be the 90th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force with a variety of aircraft exhibited.

The RAF will be led by the Red Arrows whose 25-minute display has become a regular feature of the seaside event. The team is expected to open the programme on the first day and bring proceedings to a close on the Friday.

Completing the RAF'S contribution will be the latest supersonic jet fight, the Typoon, the legendary Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, a Hawk, Shorts Tucano trainer and a Sea King search and rescue helicopter.

Two other teams on view will be the four-strong team of former Red Arrows pilot, the Blades, and the five helicopters of the Blue Eagles, from the Army Air Corps.

A team of tiny Cassult planes will be giving a flavour of modern air racing, while the early days of aviation will be represented by two Boeing Stearman biplanes of Team Guinot, the wingwalking team, and a Fairy Swordfish biplane from the Royal Navy's historic collection.

Other aircraft scheduled to appear include a Hawker Hunter, the Grace Spitfire, piloted by the world's only female Spitfire pilot Carolyn Grace, and famous second world war aircraft the Curtis P40 Kittywake.

Crowd favourites the Tigers freefall parachutists from the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment will once again be dropping onto the beach.

There will also be much to see on the ground where the seafront will be packed with attractions. The funfair, stalls, exhibitions, attractions and ice cream and catering areas will be open for business from 10am.

There will be park and ride facilities at Dip Farm, Corton, and at Africa Alive! in Kessingland, where people will be offered discount vouchers to the theme park.

All spectators and visitors are asked to make their usual voluntary donation of just £1 each to help organisers achieve their ambition of making every show bigger and better.

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