RECORD crowds visited this year’s RAFA Shoreham Airshow, which enjoyed the best weather it has had for years.
Organisers declared the two-day show the most successful to date, despite the disappointment of the Vulcan not being able to appear on Sunday.
The airshow was under the guidance of a new team this year but the quality and the atmosphere were as good as ever.
Organiser Derek Harber said: “Last year saw the passing of Don Bean, our airshow organiser, and Peter Eager, our flying display director.
“It is not an easy act to follow, but once it was decided we would have a 24th airshow, we were determined it was going to be one of the best to date.”
Many did indeed describe the show, on Saturday and Sunday, as the best ever, with a mixture of old favourites and new features.
Press officer John Periam said:”We have never had so many people attend, it was well over the 40,000 expected and has broken all records for the show.
“The weather was the best we have had for a very long time. On-gate ticket sales rocketed, which shows a lot of people still rely on the weather and buy at the last minute.
“A major disappointment was no Vulcan on the Sunday but a lot of people came up and said the show was so good with other aircraft, it made up for it.”
Flying display director Rod Dean kept the unique mix of old and new aircraft, with both civilian and military combined, which is popular with the pilots.
Mr Periam added: “Everyone has said it was a superior flying display with aircraft never seen at Shoreham, such as the F86 Sabre and the Douglas A-1 Skyraider.”
The Sabre is the world’s oldest jet aeroplane still flying and the one seen at Shoreham is the only one of its kind left, described as a ‘500 dollar beauty’.
The aerobatic displays were of a very high quality, particularly the RV8tors and the Matadors, who performed manoeuvres such as an Irish break, mirror flying and drawing a heart in the sky.
The Vulcan was unable to fly due to an internal fuel leak, but Shoreham was lucky to have the RAF Eurofighter Typhoon, as tensions grow over Syria.
Show commentator Terence Henderson said: “We are very fortunate to have it here as six have already been sent to the Akrotiri base in Cyprus pending a decison on what to do next.”
The £70million aircraft flew both days, closing the show on Sunday with a spectacular display.
Mr Henderson commented on its ‘remarkable agility’ and it was by far the noisest aircraft of the weekend, setting off many car alarms as it flew past.