Sunderland International Airshow 2016 weekend comes to an end

Photo: Stela Taneva
Photo: Stela Taneva

Hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed their visit to the 28th Sunderland International Airshow.

Held along the city’s coastline at Roker and Seaburn, on Friday evening and through Saturday (23 July) and Sunday (24 July), the Airshow has seen a major programme of air, land and sea displays.

Sue Stanhope, Airshow Director, said: “Once again the public have come out in their thousands for a fantastic weekend of free, colourful and, with some of the jets and the beach invasion, loud entertainment.”

Friday evening’s launch party heard music from the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, the Rat Pack Boys and aerial displays from the RAF’s Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Euro-figher Typhoon.

Alongside the air displays through Saturday and Sunday – and with HMS Bulwark moored off-shore – crowds saw an amphibious role demonstration with the Royal Marines of 4ASRM, the Queen’s Own Yeomanry and 4th Regiment Royal Artillery all showing their specialist skills (see also Notes for Editors).

Mrs Stanhope added: “On behalf of the people of Sunderland and all who visited the Airshow, I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone who helps make it happen.

“I would especially like to thank all of the military personnel who have given so much time and effort whether they’ve been in the air, on the beach, at sea or helping in the ground displays.

“There are many, many strong and long links between the military and the people of Sunderland and the North East. And, we all appreciate their hard work, and their dedication to duty and the work they put into making sure that so many people enjoy their visit to Sunderland International Airshow.”

With forecasts of inclement weather, Sunday’s flying programme was brought forward by an hour and clouds lifted as the RAF Typhoon brought the weekend’s flying programme to a close.

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture said: “Everyone who was along the seafront entered into the spirit of the launch event and got the weekend off to a great start.

​”On Saturday we were rewarded with fair weather. We’ve had lots of support from a huge number of visitors, and it’s always a pleasure to see so many people enjoying themselves.

“Each year we deliver an impressive event that shows what the city and its beautiful seafront has to offer and this year has been no exception.

“The Military Village also gave the armed forces a better arena in which to showcase their many capabilities.

“There was a huge amount of interest and support from people, which is a trademark of Sunderland and the North East.

“Whether they’ve been visitors or helping with the event, thanks to all.”

Over the weekend, the huge crowds enjoyed exhibitions, funfairs, stalls and activities and more than ten hours of flying displays.

Voice of the Airshow, Peter McNamara (who has commentated on more than 20 of the shows) said: “We’re all very pleased that every aircraft flew and (although serviceability issues prevented her from flying on Saturday and Sunday) that Friday’s visitors experienced the sights and sounds of the Lancaster bomber.”

​This year has also seen the return of the RAF Falcons parachute display team (who have been in the line-up for every one of the previous 27 airshows), the remarkable Gyrocopter, the inspirational Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and, of course, the magnificent RAF Aerobatic Display Team – the Red Arrows on Friday and Saturday, and many others.

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