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Air show thrills 88,000 flight fans in seafront spectacular

THOUSANDS of people gathered at Bray's seafront to enjoy the country's biggest air show.

Pilots from across Europe gathered at the Wicklow town to take part in the air display section of the annual Summerfest.

Last year some 85,000 people enjoyed the spectacle and this year the numbers were even higher, with an estimated 88,000 in attendance.

Among the main attractions for sky-watchers was the Hawker Hunter jet, nicknamed 'Miss Demeanour' and the Vampires of the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron.

A 1936 Iolar from Aer Lingus took part and two Chipmunks both flew in retro Air Corps colours.

The Black Knights Defence Forces parachute team also preformed a jump, much to the enjoyment of the watching crowd.

Captain Se Pardy, the display director for Simtech Aviation, said that this year's event was the most family-friendly yet.

"From vintage planes from the 1940s and 50s to high-speed aerobic formations, we're welcoming top pilots from Ireland and around the world to Bray to showcase aviation at it's very best," he said.

Organisers of the show paid their respects to the passengers and crew of the Malaysia Airlines plane that went down in Ukraine during the past week.

For the first time in the event's history, the full display was live-streamed through AerTV.ie.

There were also ground displays along the seafront from the Irish Army, Air Corps and Naval Service, the RAF, the Mullingar Model Flying Club and Executive Helicopters, along with an artisan food market and funfair.