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Monday 22 September 2014

Air Show scales new heights as 85,000 people turn out

Claire McCormack

Published 21/07/2014 | 02:30

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THE air was dark with Vampires, Ravens and Black Knights – and 85,000 turned out to watch the free air show over the weekend.

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Jets, choppers and retro crafts were amongst the aircraft that took to the skies in ideal conditions at this year’s Bray Air Display.

Launched in 2005, the country’s biggest free air show featured spectacular flyers from all across Europe with some making their debut in the Co Wicklow town.

Highly skilled Irish flyers Eddie Goggins known as ‘The Flying Dentist’ and Gerry Humphreys known as ‘The Flying Farmer’, took to skies over the east coast yesterday.

An estimated 88,000 spectators turned out to see Ireland's biggest air show in Bray
An estimated 88,000 spectators turned out to see Ireland's biggest air show in Bray
An estimated 88,000 spectators turned out to see Ireland's biggest air show in Bray
An estimated 88,000 spectators turned out to see Ireland's biggest air show in Bray
An estimated 88,000 spectators turned out to see Ireland's biggest air show in Bray
An estimated 88,000 spectators turned out to see Ireland's biggest air show in Bray

The opening of the event was carried out by a parachute troop called the Black Knights dropping onto the beach followed by the Aer Lingus A321 and The Twister Team trio in their Silence Twister aircraft with pyrotechnic effects. 

As smoky displays of crossover loops, synchronised hammerheads and split shamrocks filled the skies, large crowds eagerly anticipated the meat of the show from some newcomers.

“Most people are exited for the Hawker Hunters from the UK and The Vampires from Norway, it’s their first time in Bray and they will certainly light up the end of the show,” said Se Pardy, the display director.

We have a better range of acts this year and we have great support form the Irish Aviation Society. It’s a little bit longer this year too,” he said.

Aviation history was also on display with the unique showcasing of three vintage aircraft: the Iolar from Aer Lingus, along with two Chipmunks, flying in retro Irish Air Corps colours.

Ground displays were also showcased from the RAF, Irish Defence Forces and the Mullingar Model Flying Club.

The Bray Air Display is just one of the highlights in the annual Bray Summerfest programme running over five themed weekends from July 5 until August 4.

A spokesperson for Bray Summerfest said: “The five week festival programme contributes an estimated €8m every year to the local economy.”

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