Thousands marvel at air show

TENS of thousands of spectators lined the seafront at Clacton to marvel at the first day of the town's annual air show.The disappearance of some of the sunnier weather of late did not stop the audiences on the greensward and the promenade from enjoying the amazing aerobatic displays.

TENS of thousands of spectators lined the seafront at Clacton to marvel at the first day of the town's annual air show.

The disappearance of some of the sunnier weather of late did not stop the audiences on the greensward and the promenade from enjoying the amazing aerobatic displays.

Opened by the world famous Red Arrows, the crowd were instantly transfixed by the death defying manoeuvres.

It is hoped the two-day spectacular, supported by the East Anglian Daily Times and organised by Tendring District Council could attract more than the figure of 75,000 people who attended last year.


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One of yesterday's highlights was the Battle of Britain memorial flight, which was making a welcome return to the show, with a Lancaster, flanked by a Spitfire and a Hurricane forming the nostalgic display.

The flight has been in existence since its formation at Biggin Hill in July 1957 and stirrred poignant memories for many in the crowd.

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Contrasting with the planes of yesteryear, were the fly-bys from the Jaguar, a Hawk and a Tornado GR4.

Gasps of amazement greeted the stomach churning stunts from the St.Ivel Utterly Butterly Wingwalkers, as they looped through the skies over East Anglia.

A new display to the show this year was the Sea Vixen. With a wingspan of 55ft and more than 55ft long the aircraft, was first flown in 1957 and has an oddly positioned cockpit on the port side of the plane.

Mick Page, Tendring council's regeneration portfolio holder, said: "We promised that this would be the biggest event yet, and the way the flying programme is shaping up, we will certainly be on target to achieve that goal.

"The event is a terrific boost for tourism in the area and I know many local residents who regularly put it in their diaries too."

Today's line-up promises even more fun for the expectant crowds, with the Royal Artillery Parachute Display Team, the Essex Air Ambulance and the return of the Wingwalkers in an extensive line up throughout the afternoon.

One of the fans favourites, the Sukhoi 26, will be on display, demonstrating the most complex manoeuvres due to the planes extraordinary rate of roll, which can be in excess of 450 degrees per second.

It is said that no other aerobatic aircraft comes close to the performance offered by the Sukhoi.

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