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Fast jets to thrill crowds at Bray air show

IRELAND's biggest air show is set to to experience the thunder of military fast jets.

Fast jets have been lacking from the line up at the Bray Air Spectacular, unlike the now defunct Salthill Air Show in Galway where F-16s, Tornados and Typhoons were regulars.

Large and slow military jets including the US C-17 Globemaster and B-52 bomber have made occasional "guest" appearances along the Bray seafront.

The Air Corps no longer has any fast jet trainers and the show's staple routine includes propeller aircraft and helicopters and small aerobatic aircraft displays. Now organisers are set to change all that with the sleek Hawker Hunter T7 jet next July.

Hundreds of near supersonic Hunter fighters and trainers served from the 1950s to the 1990s with many air forces including the RAF, Swedish, Swiss and Indian air forces.

Hunters still fly with the Lebanese Air Force.

Display pilot Neil McCarthy, who will fly the Hunter at Bray, said that he hoped his Jet Provost trainer could also be booked for the show.

Mr McCarthy, who has roots in Cork, is chief pilot with the Newcastle Jet Provost Group in Newcastle upon Tyne. The Air Spectacular is a "not for profit" event, bringing together national and international pilots, aviation enthusiasts and aerobatic display teams.

Organised as part of the Bray summerfest, it has never had a sponsor but is now looking for a title sponsor. The Air Spectacular had a recording breaking 80,000 spectators in 2011.