Eastbourne's Airbourne 2022: Behind the scenes

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Herald reporter India Wentworth has been behind the scenes at Airbourne to see what the airshow has in store this year.

The free four-day airshow opened today (Thursday, August 18) at 12pm and will run until Sunday night (August 21) with a closing firework display at 9pm.

The airshow will feature more than 50 displays, military exhibitions, simulators, and plenty of food and drink options. There will also be children’s entertainment and live music on August 19-20.

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India Wentworth went to check out the show before it opened.

Airbourne 2022 (photo by Justin Lycett)Airbourne 2022 (photo by Justin Lycett)
Airbourne 2022 (photo by Justin Lycett)

Sergeant Tom Fuller is the project officer for the RAF village which includes 14 stands to show off a variety of roles and sides to the air force.

He said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to be doing shows like this again. It’s all about positivity, speaking to the public, and showing them how great the air force is.

“I’m excited, I absolutely love it.”

One of the headliners is the Red Arrows. Craig Tavares-McKoy, public relations officer, said: “Expect to see lots of red, white and blue. It’s something you wouldn’t see on your average day.

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Airbourne 2022 (photo by Justin Lycett)Airbourne 2022 (photo by Justin Lycett)
Airbourne 2022 (photo by Justin Lycett)

“It’s great to have a footprint on the ground and show the public what the air force do and a softer element of what we do - the human side.

“Get ready for lots of speed!”

New to Airbourne is the army. The local brigade for the South East (SE) of England has a range of things going on to show the public including a climbing wall and a gaming bus.

Major Andrew Knight said: “It’s a great opportunity to engage with the public and wider society and explain what we do round the world and what we’re doing in the UK and South East.

“It’s important to us to connect with society.”

There are currently around 17,000 army personnel in the SE.

As well as the armed forces there are plenty of local traders to keep you satisfied.

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Sarah and Jamie Davies own Orange Beach Bars and have six bars running across the show with lots of local produce including Long Man Brewery and Harvey’s Brewery.

Sarah said: “We’re a local family business employing local people and selling local products. This is our biggest event of the year and we’re really looking forward to it. It feels amazing to be back.”

Jamie said: “It’s great meeting new people and being out again, it’s such an enjoyable experience and it brings lots to the town.”

Offering a soundtrack to the show is Radio Airbourne at 87.7FM. The station is run by volunteers and will supply important information to show-goers, interviews with pilots and local figures, and music in between displays.

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Barry Spray is one of the presenters who has volunteered for the last 14 years.

He said: “It’s absolutely brilliant to be back, we’ve really missed it.”

Councillor Margaret Bannister, lead cabinet member for tourism and culture, said: “There’s such a buzz, it’s wonderful.

“It’s the biggest event for Eastbourne - hotels and restaurants are full. It brings so many people into Eastbourne and showcases what Eastbourne is like, it’s great.

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“I’m personally most excited for the Typhoon and Spitfire because it’s something different.”

Ian Fletcher-Price, CEO and founder of Posturite, is one of the sponsors. He said: “I’m very proud as an Eastbourne person through and through, it’s great to sponsor Airbourne. It’s a real privilege.

“I’m excited for the noisiest display and can’t wait to enjoy the show like everyone else!”

For more information go to EastbourneAirshow.com

Go to posturite.co.uk/airbourne for discounts and competition details

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