THOUSANDS enjoyed the first Airbourne in three years.
It was a gloriously sunny day on Eastbourne seafront as people browsed the many stalls, enjoyed the rides – and surveyed the Chinook parked on the town’s Western Lawns.
Others set up lounge chairs on the beach, while others took boats to find the best spots indoors to watch the air show.
The day began with parachute team The Tigers descending at a breathtaking pace before landing gracefully on the beach in front of the applauding crowd.
Wing Walkers put on an acrobatic display at around 2pm, and at 3pm the long-awaited Battle of Britain commemorative flight rumbled by.
A Lancaster bomber flanked by a Hurricane and a Spitfire flew past Eastbourne from west to east.
They circled before each plane completed its own flyby in a hair-raising moment. The Lancaster bomber is one of only two examples left in airworthy condition.
Airbourne then traveled forward with the 1954 Strikemaster, one of the first jet aircraft of its day.
It was followed by the Red Arrows, who provided the standard performance with whirling, rapid acrobatic maneuvers. They flew from inland, over the heads of the excited crowd.
The team of seven took turns in a game that looked like a “chicken” as they raced towards each other with a puff of smoke behind them, before turning away at the very last moment.
Margaret Bannister, Senior Cabinet Member for Tourism and Culture Services at Eastbourne Borough Council, told The Argus it was brilliant to be back in action after the cancellations forced by Covid.
She said: “It’s just wonderful to have Eastbourne Airbourne back. It was just such a great day.
“The weather was fantastic, we were so lucky.
“Even now there are boats at sea and lots of people at sea. It was so busy.
“It’s really a miracle that a Thursday is so busy. It bodes well for the rest of the three days.
“I’ll be here all weekend.”
Airbourne lasts until Sunday.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20672355.eastbourne-airbourne-returns-three-years/?ref=rss Eastbourne Airbourne returns after three years