130,000 attend historic FlightFest air show

Crowds view Airbus A330 and historic aircraft in Ireland’s biggest air show

An estimated 130,000 people lined the Liffey today to watch over 30 aircraft participate in the FlightFest airshow. Two R-V7s and an Airbus A330 started the show which was billed as the biggest fly-past in Irish aviation history.

The fly-past took place between the East Link Bridge and the Talbot Memorial Bridge and was brought to a close by the British Airways A380 Airbus.

Other aircraft included the last remaining airworthy B-17 Flying Fortress in Europe, a Hawker Hunter and a Korean War era F86 Sabre. An RAF jet-powered Vulcan strategic bomber did not participate in the air show due to technical problems.

Despite a heavy downpour an hour before the event the rain held off and strong winds which remained strong throughout the afternoon did not deter the pilots who flew their aircraft at 800 feet.


The event was organised by the Irish Aviation Authority with Dublin City Council as part of the Gathering Ireland celebrations and attendance was estimated at 130,000 by Garda chief superintendent Mick Sullivan.

Describing the event as “ one of the best Dublin has ever seen,” Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn said: “The spectacular sight of these aircraft over the River Liffey and the centre of Dublin will be remembered by all who viewed it for many years to come.”

IAA chief executive Eamonn Brennan said: "We are absolutely delighted with the tremendous success of FlightFest. Aviation in Ireland is a major contributor to the economy through jobs, and the air finance and leasing community, so it was fantastic to be able to showcase Ireland's deep involvement with aviation on the world stage."

“We have seen some of the world’s most impressive aircraft today, and I would like to thank the people of Dublin and Ireland for their interest and enthusiasm in supporting FlightFest today.”

* This article was amended on September 17th, 2013, to correct a reference to the RAF Vulcan aircraft which did not participate in the show due to technical difficulties.

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Iriseoir agus Eagarthóir Gaeilge An Irish Times. Éanna Ó Caollaí is The Irish Times' Irish Language Editor, editor of The Irish Times Student Hub, and Education Supplements editor.