Some 140,000 people flocked to Bray at the weekend to take in the spectacular Bray Air Show.
On Saturday, 50,000 people lined Bray Promenade marvelling at the spectacular aerobatic performances during the first of the two-day Bray Air Display which supported by the Irish Aviation Authority.
Amid glorious sunshine, spectators were treated to a dazzling display of precision perfect manoeuvres from some of the world’s most accomplished aerobatic display teams as they looped, twirled and zipped across a picture perfect blue sky.
Headlining Saturday’s display were the Royal Jordanian Falcons – one of the world’s most experienced and accomplished aerobatic groups. A professional national aerobatic team formed in 1976 at the request of His Majesty the Late King Hussein Bin Talal, the Royal Jordanian Falcons have an international reputation for precision, professionalism and spectacular performance. Flying Extra-300 L aerobatic aircraft the highly skilled team set Bray skies alight with their award-winning performance.
Other display highlights included a very special 74-year-old Catalina Flying Boat and the ‘Swedish Air Force Historic Flight’ team flying Viggen jets.
Vintage glamour was on display with a British Spitfire and a Seafire as well as a beautiful vintage Aer Lingus aircraft, the DC-3, popular in the 1940s and 50s. Patrouille Tranchant, a Celtic jet team from Brittany in France put four Fouga jets through their paces while Norway was represented by a MiG aircraft as well as a pair of ‘Vampires’. Irish aviation was celebrated at the event by the Irish Air Corps and Eddie Goggins aka ‘The Flying Dentist’. The Irish Coast Guard also demonstrated a safe water rescue.
A total of 13 acts performed on Saturday while 18 took to the skies on Sunday, when the number of spectators surged to 90,000.
The sun also shone on Sunday which ensured a very festive atmosphere throughout the day.
Headlining Sunday’s performances was an F-18 jet from the Spanish air force demonstrating the very best of aerobatic skill and performance. The Royal Jordanian Falcons also wowed the crowd flying Extra-300 L aerobatic aircraft. A little more sedate but equally special were displays of a 74 year old Catalina Flying Boat and a beautiful vintage Aer Lingus DC-3 aircraft resplendent in 1940s livery.
The Irish talent on display again included Eddie Goggins as well as the Irish Air Corps and the Irish Historic Flight Foundation flying Stearman and Chipmunk aircraft. The Irish Coast Guard also demonstrated a safe water rescue and a tribute was paid to the crew of R116 who tragically lost their lives earlier this year.
Performances by international acts included the ‘Swedish Air Force Historic Flight’ team flying Viggen jets, a British Spitfire and a Seafire and a MiG aircraft as well as a pair of ‘Vampires’ representing Norway.
A Celtic jet team from Brittany in France, ‘Patrouille Tranchant’, flying four Fouga jets were one of the highlights following their magnificent fly-over above Croke Park and U2’s homecoming gig on Saturday night.
As well as spectacular scenes in the air there was plenty of fun to be had on ‘terra firma’ where family-fun activity included a food and craft village, a fun fair and live music.
Sé Pardy, Bray Air Display Director said: ‘Bray Air Display 2017 has been a great success with fantastic public support. Thank you to everyone who came out over the weekend to enjoy the spectacle. Once again we were blessed with glorious sunshine which made the two days even more special. We were delighted to be part of the IAA’s ‘Aviation Ireland’ weekend and look forward to another wonderful display next year.’
Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive of the Irish Aviation Authority said: ‘The Bray Display has been a phenomenal success over the last couple of years. Aviation is a hugely important economic driver for our country and this year under the IAA’s ‘Aviation Ireland’ campaign we supported not just one but two spectacular air shows over the same weekend at Foynes and at Bray, making this year an extra special one for fans of aviation across Ireland. We see this as a great avenue to raise the profile of aviation and to generate an interest in our industry.’
Supported by main sponsors the Irish Aviation Authority, as well as Wicklow County Council and Bray.ie, the award winning Bray Air Display is renowned as one of Europe’s best air displays.