Largest airshow on the island of Ireland hailed major success
Record crowds descended upon Portrush at the weekend for the largest airshow on the island of Ireland.
Up to 200,000 spectators made the trip to the North Coast to enjoy two days of thrilling flying displays by some of the world’s most famous aviation attractions.
The stellar line-up for Air Waves Portrush, organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, included the world-famous RAF Red Arrows which kicked off both days of the show by performing their trademark formations, close-passes and dynamic loops.
The only flying Vulcan XH558 in the world mesmerised the crowds on Saturday with its last ever appearance here, before being permanently grounded in September.
One of the most iconic single seat strike fighters, the SAAB Viggen “Thunderbolt” jet fighter, provided a thrilling show of power and sound with its first ever display on this side of the Irish Sea on the second day of the show.
The star of Hollywood blockbuster, Memphis Belle, the “Sally B” B17 Flying Fortress treated spectators to an iconic flypast on the Sunday, after being forced to postpone its Saturday appearance due to technical issues.
The Blades aerobatic display team, a ‘Muscle biplane’ and the Garvagh based Wild Geese Parachutists each performed their unique daredevil routines and aerial manoeuvres.
Sunday’s airshow drew to a poignant close by commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, with a Royal British Legion Poppy Drop by the Huey helicopter, which showered spectators with millions of fluttering poppies.
Speaking about the success of the show, Councillor Michelle Knight–McQuillan, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough said: “Air Waves Portrush has been a resounding success. It is now firmly established as the finale to the summer season. We’re delighted that up to 200,000 visitors have enjoyed the sights and sounds of what has been a fantastic spectacle right across the weekend. On behalf of the Council and all visitors, I would personally like to thank all of the event sponsors, Ministry of Defence, emergency service agencies and all the volunteers who have helped to make this a safe, successful and spectacular event. ”