Thousands of people gathered on Bray Promenade and at the Limerick village of Foynes today to watch aerobatic performances.
The 13th annual Bray Air Display, supported by the Irish Aviation Authority, saw displays of aviation expertise from some of the most talented pilots and aerobatic display teams from across Ireland and Europe.
The Irish Air Corps opened the show, followed by the Royal Jordanian Falcons flying four Extra-300 L aircraft, a professional national aerobatic team formed in 1976.
The crowds were also trated to displays from the UK’s Richard Goodwin and Dublin’s Flying Dentist, Eddie Goggins, while Gerry Humphries, The Flying Farmer showed off his ‘Flying Cow’ Vans RV7 aircraft.
The Swedish Air Force Historic Flight’s Viggen jet roared across the skyline as well as two Strikemaster aircraft from North Wales. The Strikemaster aircraft has a top speed of 450 knots and a sea level climb rate in excess of 6000 feet per minute.
This evening, the RAF Red Arrows will carry out a flypast along the River Liffey at approximately 7.50pm.
Peter Kearney, Chief Executive of the Irish Aviation Authority said: “Today was a wonderful start to the IAA’s #AviationIreland weekend of spectacular air displays in Bray and Foynes, Co Limerick. Tomorrow’s line-up at Bray will be really exciting as well and a great chance to enjoy a wealth of aviation talent on display.”
“Thank you to everyone who came to Bray today to support the event,” said Sé Pardy, Director, Bray Air Display.
"Sincere thanks also to our main supporters, the IAA, as well as Wicklow County Council. We couldn’t operate without their support. An Gardaí has also done a sterling job to ensure everything runs smoothly.”
Spectators will have a chance to see the Red Arrows again tomorrow for the second day of the show, as well as other displays.
Meanwhile, Foynes Air Show brought thousands of spectators to the west Limerick village to witness awe-inspiring and daredevil acts by 23 of the world's most iconic and celebrated aircraft.
One of the largest annual events along the Wild Atlantic Way, the Foynes Air Show is estimated to be worth more than €750,000 to the local economy, and forms part of the IAA’s #AviationIreland weekend, along with the Bray Air Display.
Margaret O’Shaughnessy, Foynes Air Show Festival Director described the annual air show as a celebration of the strong and proud aviation history of Foynes, Limerick and the Mid West of Ireland.
“The Foynes Air Show is a huge undertaking for Foynes and Limerick, but it has proven to be a massive success year on year. It originated as a day for families to enjoy and celebrate Foynes and its place in the aviation world, but has grown to be so much more, while retaining its original aims.
“The Air Show has helped to cultivate a worldwide understanding of Foynes and its history, while showcasing what Limerick has to offer as a tourism destination. It is also of huge benefit to the local economy.”
“More than 200 bed nights were booked directly by organisers in hotels and local B & B’s in Limerick City, Adare, Rathkeale, Glin and Foynes and feedback from local accommodation providers is that they saw a huge peak in business as a result of the Foynes Air Show last year,” said Ms O’Shaughnessy.
Minister of State for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Patrick O’Donovan TD said, “The Foynes Air Show has gone from strength to strength, and is now one of the biggest attractions on the Wild Atlantic Way. It's a family occasion that has thrills and spills that wows the audiences young and old on the banks of the River Shannon.”
Commenting on the Foynes Air Show, Peter Kearney of the IAA said: “Foynes has played a pivotal role in the history and development of aviation in Ireland; a country that has always been to the forefront in aviation innovation.
"The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) with its central role in the promotion and development of aviation in Ireland is delighted have supported the Foynes Air Show, enabling the high-quality and spectacular displays that were seen on the day.”