Huge crowds delighted by daredevil flying at Clacton Air Show
- Credit: PAVEL KRICKA
More than 100,000 people turned out for the first afternoon of flying at Clacton Air Show.
And with the weather set fine for Friday, organisers are hopeful that the final figure for the two-day event will top the quarter of a million mark as people flocked to the Greensward overlooking the beach.
The first day of this year’s show saw perfect conditions for flying which started at lunchtime with some of the most unusual aircraft seen in the sky.
The Red Arrows are always likely to be the highlight of any airshow, but this year the single plane to attract the most attention was probably the Catalina which was making its first appearance at Clacton.
The Catalina is a flying boat that was designed in the 1930s and modified during the Second World War for a variety of missions in both Europe and the Far East.
It was used for coastal patrol flights, for anti-submarine warfare and for bombing missions – but only a few examples have survived around the world.
The Red Arrows are appearing at both days of the show and flew over a family day at Wattisham Air Base in Suffolk on their way to the coast where they were able to provide a good display for the audience.
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Although the Second World War planes always attract a great deal of interest – a Hawker Hurricane and an American Mustang fighter from the North Weald airfield took part in the display – there was also a focus on Cold War planes.
A display featuring a Russian MiG-15, one of the key planes of the Korean War, attracted the attention – as did a flight by two de Haviland Vampire jets whose design dates back to the 1940s.
On the ground there was entertainment for all the family with an appearance by Titan the Robot and many other attractions.
On Thursday evening there were twilight displays near the pier with a fireworks display from the pier to round the day off.
The planes were due to return on Friday for another day of flying over the North Sea.
This is the 26th year of the Clacton Air Show – one of the great free entertainment events of the East Anglian summer.
Extra parking was laid on for the event – but many visitors were encouraged to use the train to reach the resort and avoid the need to drive altogether.
The event is arranged and run by Tendring District Council.