The world-famous RAF Red Arrows were the star of the show as over 150,000 spectators turned out to enjoy two days of thrilling flying displays at Air Waves Portrush.
The skilled Red Arrows pilots lit up the skies over Portrush’s East Strand shoreline on Sunday afternoon with their famous coloured smoke trails as they performed their trademark formations, close-passes and dynamic loops as part of the RAF’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
Over Saturday and Sunday spectators, despite challenging weather conditions, were treated to a packed programme of aerial and land-based entertainment at the largest free air show on the island of Ireland.
Highlights on both days of stellar aerial line-up, organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, included the Wildcat Aerobatics performing their dramatic and thrilling aerial gymnastics, as well the mind-blowing display of speed, power and agility by the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4.
A familiar visitor to the Air Waves Portrush, the Consolidated Catalina flying boat, used to patrol the North Atlantic shipping lanes during World War Two, gave a vintage exhibition of graceful flying.
The four glorious aeroplanes of the Swiss Classic Collection, a private collection of 1940s transport aircraft consisting of the DC3 and three Beech 18 aircraft, made their first appearance at Air Waves Portrush and wowed crowds with their distinctive formations.
The Global Stars aerobatic team also dazzled spectators with their distinctive close formations and freestyle flying, and the Calidus Autogyro provided an up-close display of flying within close proximity to the East Strand display line.
Sunday’s show also included the Grob Tutor, the only RAF aircraft flying in Northern Ireland today, which performed a variety of aerial movements across the Portrush skyline, and the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter from the Irish Coast Guard showcasing its service and rescue capabilities over the Atlantic Ocean.
On the ground, a spectacular array of ground-based activities and events provided first class visitor entertainment for the entire family including The STEM Village, street entertainment, play zone, Motor Village, and artisan marketplace. Portstewart also hosted the Air Waves Concert, pyrotechnic air display and fireworks on Saturday evening.
Councillor Trevor Clarke, Deputy Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, said: “Air Waves Portrush is a signature event for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and it’s an event that truly captures the imagination of the Northern Ireland population.
“This year’s event has been a tremendous success with over 150,000 visitors making the trip to the Causeway Coast to experience this amazing spectacle. Thanks to everyone who came to this part of the world to see it and experience it for themselves. We must thank our partners, sponsors and local business as the success of Air Waves Portrush would not be possible without this support.”