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Docklands set for flights of fancy as vintage craft take to sky for Gathering

MORE than 30 aircraft including a vintage fighter and bomber from World War II will fly over Dublin in a €250,000 air show.

FlightFest includes the ML407 Grace Spitfire, which flew 176 combat missions in World War II.

The Spitfire patrolled over the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944, where it shot down the first enemy aircraft over the Normandy beaches on that day.

It went on to serve with the Irish Air Corps as a two-seat trainer before being sold into private ownership.

Thousands are expected to line the city quays along the River Liffey on September 15 for the free event which is part of The Gathering.

Irish Aviation Authority chief executive Eamon Brennan said: "All the airlines are giving their aircraft free, the IAA is giving the air traffic control free, Dublin Corporation are helping us put in the ground infrastructure for free. For about €250,000 we're getting €1m of services free."

The first aircraft in the fly over will be the Iolar, which was the first Aer Lingus flight, which flew to Bristol in 1936.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar and Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri were present for the launch of the event on the Sean O'Casey bridge in the IFSC, with an Air Corps Agusta 139 helicopter hovering in the background.

The aircraft will set off from Dublin Airport, into Dublin Port and along the river as far as the Custom House. It will last for two hours, with flights every five minutes.

Irish Independent