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Red Arrows Celebrate RAF100 at Eastbourne Airshow

21 August 2018

Packed crowds lined Eastbourne seafront on Friday to welcome back the Red Arrows in a stunning first day performance at the show, which ended in a surprise ‘100’ smoke trail to celebrate the centenary of the RAF.


Red Arrows Celebrate RAF100 at Eastbourne Local hero, Flt Lt Toby Keeley, also flew in his second year with the team, painting a heart shaped smoke trail in the sky above his home town, in his new role as Red 7.

The show enjoyed some of its busiest days on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, despite some changeable weather, drawing to a close with fireworks on Sunday night by Frontier Fireworks, after a challenging day of low cloud halting many of the flying displays.

Many visitors took advantage of new ground displays including a brand new RAF Virtual Reality experience, the world debut of a LEGO® brick red jet cockpit and Airbourne’s first ever Big Wheel.

As work now begins on collecting and counting up donation buckets and programme sales across the town, car parks have already been counted up, showing an increase for 2019, while Hospitality, Bandstand concerts and Exclusive Seating enjoyed sell out success across many of the days.

Fans can however still donate and support the future of the airshow, with collection points at the Tourist Information Centre and Seafront Office over the next few weeks, or donations can still be made online.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “The RAF100, our debut of the Belgian A109 and our first ever LEGO brick cockpit, made for a memorable 26th year at Airbourne.

Despite some challenging weather, we managed some impressive flying displays across the event and extended and rescheduled the flying programme wherever we could, to safely get as many displays here as possible once the rain and cloud base unfortunately dropped.

Our thanks go to the many volunteers and our partners, including the emergency services, for keeping Airbourne safe and secure for the hundreds of thousands of people visiting. Work is already underway on Airbourne 2019, as we begin our aircraft bids in September.”

The free four day festival enjoyed a packed programme with Saturday being the busiest day for visitors. Fans were treated to a new display from the Belgian Agusta A109 which flew every day, along with displays from the Typhoon, Chinook, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, The Blades, Wingwalkers, Strikemaster and the Rich Goodwin Pitts Special, among others.

Eastbourne AirshowDespite poor weather on Sunday, many turned out for the screening of The Greatest Showman on the beach, with thousands staying on for the firework finale.

Volunteer bucket collectors were in force during the show, along with Airbourne mascots Ace and Aimee AirBear, collecting donations and posing for photos. Funds will support both future Airbourne flying displays and three charities – Chestnut Tree House, Citizens Advice Bureau and Charlie’s Challenge.

With collections organised by Steve Newman, Mike Barlow and Robin White, plus members of Sovereign Harbour and Hailsham Rotary Clubs, work continues throughout the next few weeks to collect and count up all of the donations.

The show is supported this year by Bright Bricks, Boundless by CSMA, More Radio, Caffyns Volvo, Hendy Group, Stagecoach South East, Frontier Fireworks, Euro Self-Drive, W. Bruford, Gemini Press, Harvey’s, Kier, Eastbourne Motoring Centre, Serco, Saxon Plants and Eastbourne Hospitality Association.

Airbourne returns from 15 - 18 August 2019, with exclusive seating and VIP hospitality available to book now.

Fans can still donate at Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre in Cornfield Road, at the Seafront Office or online at

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