Monday 19 March 2018

Shannon Airport announces first air show in 25 years

40,000 expected to attend July event

Pilot Harry Humphrys shows Donnacha Ryan from Limerick his light aircraft at the launch of the Shannon Airport airshow. Photo: Sean Curtin.
Pilot Harry Humphrys shows Donnacha Ryan from Limerick his light aircraft at the launch of the Shannon Airport airshow. Photo: Sean Curtin.
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Shannon Airport is set to deliver a dazzling air show on July 18, attracting an estimated 40,000 visitors on a key anniversary in its history.

July 18th marks 70 years since the first commercial transatlantic flight at the airport.

Tens of thousands are expected to attend the Shannon Airport Airshow, which will feature some of Ireland and Europe’s leading aerobatics performers, parachutists, helicopters, jet fighters and stunt fliers.

Tickets for the six-hour event cost €5 and are available now on Eventbrite.

Some 4km of fencing will be put in place around the airfield for the show, the airport says, with two vehicular access points and a pedestrian entry created.

Highlights of the programme include the Black Knights, billed as the most successful parachute team ever to come out of Ireland, and featuring members from the army, air corps and navy.

Swedish jet, the 1970s Viggen Saab, has also been added.

Iolar, a replica of the original aircraft that heralded the founding of Aer Lingus in 1936, and the Chipmunks, a popular training aircraft for both civil and military aviation, will also perform.

Among those displaying their air skills will be the Norwegian Airforce with its ‘historical squad’, which will bring the Mig-15 for its first ever visit to Shannon.

The RAF Hunter Jet, first flown in 1955, will also star. 

O’Brien’s Flying Circus, a daredevil act from the UK, will also thrill audiences with stunts including landing on a moving trailer at 55mph.

The Shannon air show celebrates the anniversary of the first ever scheduled commercial transatlantic passenger plane - the 'Flagship London' - which landed at Shannon Airport on October 24, 1945.

The American Overseas Airline (AOA) DC4 flew from Gander to Shannon in 8 hours 20 minutes.

In addition to sky manoeuvres on the day, on-the-ground events include a static aircraft and tank display, entertainment zone, live music and a catering zone.

The entertainment area will be especially geared to children, with activities to include a bungee run, obstacle course, a 30ft spider climber, giant Jenga game, puppet shows and 40 seater carousel.

Children under six go free at the show, and there is no extra cost for activities on the airfield. Ticket holders will also be entitled to free access to either Bunratty Castle, King John’s Castle or Craggaunowen visitor attractions over the same weekend.

“We are very proud of our place in global aviation and it is right that we honour that history in style with the festivities in Shannon on July 18th," said Shannon Airport Chairman Rose Hynes.

It is 25 years since an airshow has been held at Shannon.

The Bray Air Display takes place a day later, on July 19. Going to press, its line-up wa set to include The Black Knights, Patrouille Suisse (with 6 Northrop F-5E Tiger II aircraft), Iolar and an Aer Lingus Airbus A320.

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