RAF Red Arrows draw 90,000 to Bray Air Display

Irish Defence Forces parachute team and Italian Frecce Tricolori crew also take part

50,000 people turned out to watch the first day of the weekend's Bray Air Display. Ireland’s only free public air show features a packed schedule of aerobatic display teams led by the Irish Air Corps. Video: Bray Air Display / Irish Air Corps

 

A crowd of more than 90,000 thronged the seafront in Bray to catch a glimpse of the famed British Red Arrows at Bray Air Display on Sunday.

Now in its 11th year, the display was extended to a two-day event for the first time with upwards of 50,000 people also in attendance on Saturday.

Exhibitions by the Royal Air Force Red Arrows kicked off proceedings and proved a big draw for aviation enthusiasts. Spectators were also treated to a grand finale by the Italian Frecce Tricolori crew .

They were joined by planes and pilots from Sweden, France and the UK, and as always there was a strong Irish contingent among the performers.

The Black Knights Irish Defence Forces parachute team made a dramatic airborne entrance, and Air Corps aircraft took part in displays as well as the Irish Historic Flight Foundation and an Aer Lingus Airbus A321.

Also popular were the Breitling Wingwalkers who performed aerial acrobatics atop their Boeing Stearman bi-planes, followed by a flypast by British Spitfire aircraft.

One particularly satisfied spectator was Ben Twomey from Fermoy, who blew out the candles on his aeroplane-themed 14th birthday cake alongside Red Arrows squadron leader Mike Ling.

Bray Air Display director Sé Pardy described Sunday as “a day to remember in Irish aviation history.

“This is the first time in the event’s 11-year history that the Red Arrows have performed and we are thrilled to have them here, ” he said

The show was sponsored by the Irish Aviation Authority, and its chief executive, Eamonn Brennan, said he hoped the weekend “will help to inspire a new generation of pilots, engineers, and enthusiasts”.