There are only four days left until the annual air show returns to the Sunderland skies.
This year the Sunderland Airshow 2016 is set for a swinging start with The Rap Pack Boys tacking the stage on Friday night, 22 July.
The Rap Pack Boys promise “a great spectacle” and “a fitting start” for the long-awaited weekend.
Timings are to be confirmed but expected to fly on the opening Friday evening are: The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight with live musical accompaniment from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band), the Red Arrows, RAF Typhoon and the pyrotechnic Twister Duo.
The evening will close with the traditional firework display at around 10pm.
Councillor John Kelly, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said:
“The ever popular launch on the Friday night is a fantastic way to start the airshow experience. The sound of swing music and the family festival atmosphere will set the scene perfectly for the rest of the weekend.
“This year we will once again have some top local talent starting the event and I encourage everyone to go along early and show some support to these fabulous acts.
“The music will be relayed right along the seafront from Roker to Seaburn so everyone can pick their favourite spot to perhaps settle down with a picnic and watch the fantastic display.”
Among the teams taking part in the packed flying programme on Saturday and Sunday are: RAF Falcons, Royal Navy Black Cats, The Blades, Norwegian historic Flight MiG 15 and Vampires, OV-10 Bronco, Curtis P40 Warhawk and P51 Mustang and the stunning Fairey Swordfish from the Royal Navy Historic Flight and the Impressive RAF Chinook.
The Sunderland International Airshow is one of the major seafront airshows in the UK and one of the biggest free shows in Europe
It features some of the best aerobatic pilots in the world, a large number of planes and a vintage aircraft.
Each year the show attracts around one million visitors over the course of three days.
Alison McDonough, Chief Executive of Sunderland Live, which is delivering Sunderland International Airshow on behalf of Sunderland City Council, added:
“This year we will have all the fantastic ground exhibitions, activities and fairgrounds open from Friday teatime.
“With entertainment starting at the main stage around 4.30pm I’m sure the fantastic mix of music, aerobatics, pyrotechnics and fireworks will have something for everyone.”
Road closures are in place from 2pm on Friday from the Bungalow Café to Marriott Roundabout.
A Park and Ride is available on Friday evening from the Stadium of Light to Bungalow Café for a charge of £2 per person.
An express service to the Sunderland International Airshow will run on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July, providing a direct link between Sunderland City Centre and the popular regional event.
The 510 service, which stops at Fawcett Street, Wheatsheaf, Stadium of Light Metro, and the A1 express from Park Lane Interchange will run every few minutes from 10am until 6.30pm.