Scottish National Airshow set to mark 20th anniversary

The Red Arrows, the RAF's world-famous aerobatic display team, in the skies above East Lothian. Picture: Jane Barlow
The Red Arrows, the RAF's world-famous aerobatic display team, in the skies above East Lothian. Picture: Jane Barlow

Expectations are sky-high for the Scottish National Airshow tomorrow on what will be its 20th anniversary.

The National Museum of Flight is to host the country’s biggest aviation exhibition, with a line-up likely to delight event-goers.

Saturday will see the air show return to East Fortune with a wide-ranging programme that promises to provide thrills from the ground to the sky.

Steve McLean, the museum’s general manager, said: “This will be the 20th time that the National Museum of Flight has hosted an air show and we’ve planned a superb programme of aerial entertainment, ranging from fast jets and helicopters to Second World War bombers and other amazing heritage aircraft.

“There’s a host of family entertainment on the ground, plus the chance to explore our fascinating museum.”

The Red Arrows will headline the day with their acclaimed high-octane precision flying and dramatic formations.

The RAF Typhoon is also part of the line-up, known for its delta wings and its capability for reaching supersonic speeds.

Spectators can also look forward to many rare World War Two aircraft, including a 1945 Avro Lancaster Bomber – one of only two remaining Lancaster bombers of the 7000 that were produced.

The Lancaster will form part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, a unit created 60 years ago as a tribute to those who gave their lives during the attack. A Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane, one of only 12 air-worthy crafts of its kind, will also fly in the memorial flight.

Attendees can also look forward to seeing a Second World War Bristol Blenheim bomber – an aircraft designed by Frank Barnwell who co-developed Scotland’s first successful powered aircraft alongside his brother. The Blenheim would have been a common sight in the skies over East Fortune in the years 1941-1943 as the air base was used for training for anti-shipping strikes and air flights.

Also on the programme is a Canadian version of the Blenheim, the Bolingbroke, which will be in the museum’s military aviation hangar.

Entertainment at ground level will include flight-related artwork by North Berwick’s Donna Ford and an art display featuring creations by the winners of the museum’s East Lothian Primary Schools Come Fly With Me competition.

The 2016 European bike trial champion, Aaron Duke, will also feature in a series of shows, while Haddington Pipe Band will open the event with additional entertainment provided by traditional ceilidh group Feis Rois.

Aside from music and aviation, further entertainment will come in the form of cheerleading displays, work shops, 
storytelling sessions, stilt walkers, a soft play area for under-threes, a fairground, re-enactors, a craft and culture marquee and food and drink stalls.

Mr McLean added: “The National Airshow is one of Scotland’s best family days out and we hope as many people as possible will come along to join us.”

For more details visit 
www.nms.ac.uk