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Airbourne Doubles the Zoom
Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow will be zooming in popularity this year as it is set to welcome, not one, but two F16 display teams.
Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow will be zooming in popularity this year as it is set to welcome, not one, but two F16 display teams.

Both the Belgian Air Force and Royal Netherlands Air Force have opted to send their teams to the South’s biggest free airshow from Thursday 12 – Sunday 15 August, sponsored by csma (Civil Service Motoring Association).

The F16-A MLU Fighting Falcon is one of the most popular displays with the 700,000 strong crowd at Airbourne, for its high speed pass across the five mile seafront and zoom climbing manoeuvre up to 12,000 feet.

Both teams plan to fly every day of the four day airshow, with the Royal Netherlands Air Force displaying in Eastbourne for the very first time.

On behalf of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Captain Christian van Gestel of 322 Squadron will be putting on a stunning display, Captain van Gestel said “This is my second and last season being the display pilot and my first year to attend the Eastbourne airshow. My absolute favourite airshows are the ones at the seafront. That is why I am very much looking forward to my participation at the Eastbourne airshow. I hope to see a lot of people out there.”

From the Belgian Air Force, 31 Tiger Squadron, Commandant John Vandebosch will also be displaying as the Belgian Air Force celebrates the 25th anniversary of F16’s flying in the Belgian Air Force.

Both pilots will be visiting fans on the ground to sign autographs and provide exclusive interviews and commentary on Radio Airbourne 87.7FM.

Airbourne also has a full complement of RAF flying displays this year with the Harrier GR7, Tornado GR4, Jaguar GR3, Hawk T1, Tucano T1, Tutor and Nimrod MR2 all flying all four days.

The Red Arrows also provide an extra special display this year, celebrating their 40th display season on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Airbourne will also be the only free airshow in the South where fans will be able to meet the team on the ground as part of the anniversary on Saturday 14th August.

The Falcons will also be dropping in from heights of up to 12,000 feet on all four days and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight returns with a Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane from Friday to Sunday.

The RAF Ground Display returns with the RAF Police Volunteer Dog Display Team and the RAF Regiment Presentation Team both performing in the arena. Visitors can sit in the cockpit of life size replica Harrier or Hawk jet, visit the Nimrod cockpit and fuselage, or ride the Eurofighter Typhoon simulator.

Other favourites return including the csma Wings & Wheels exhibition and their ‘Route 66’ Vintage Vehicle Cavalcades, helicopter rides, children’s playzones, exclusive seating at the Bandstand and on Sunday evening the Sunset Ceremony and flypast at the Bandstand, ending in a spectacular firework finale from Eastbourne Pier.

Eastbourne Borough Council, Spokesperson for Tourism, Councillor David Elkin said “Airbourne is increasingly recognised throughout the airshow circuit as one of the premier seafront airshows in the UK. To be chosen by not just one, but two international F16 display teams is quite an accolade and highlights our growing reputation internationally.”

Airbourne returns from 12 – 15 August and is open from 10am to 6pm each day. Further flying displays will be announced between now and the event. For further information on Airbourne visit or telephone 01323 411400.
07 July, 2004

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