AIR aces are taking to the skies today with the launch of the Bournemouth Air Show.

Royal Marines abseiled into action as part of the launch of the programme with a dramatic amphibious assault, using ships, landing craft and helicopters.

A De Havilland Sea Vixen jet fighter performed unscheduled manoeuvres over Bournemouth  town centre as part of the HMS Illustrious decommissioning ceremony taking place in Portsmouth.

Four days of flying featuring a Second World War bomber and a Cold War-era Vulcan bomber are scheduled for the weekend with the Red Arrows performing aero-acrobatics each day.

The festival will be opened today by 94-year-old wingwalker Tom Lackey while a Canadian Lancaster bomber - one of only two airworthy planes - will join the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on both Saturday and Sunday.

A crowd-pleasing Vulcan is due to fly on Saturday, while the speed and noise will come from the Typhoon and Hunter jet Miss Demeanour and there will be the Tutor and Tucano training aircraft and the Chinook helicopter, while the Army brings its Lynx helicopter.

The festival gives crowds the chance to get up close and personal with a host of RAF, Royal Navy, Army and civilian aircraft.

The show opens at 10.30am today with Tom Lackey starting the flying at 1.30pm and the Red Arrows spraying red, white and blue smoke at 3.15pm.

Flight Lieutenant Noel Rees, a member of 29 Squadron based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, which is involved in training pilots, has been chosen as the display pilot.

As ever, the displays are dependent on the weather - the forecast is expected to be cloudy which means some displays may not take place.

Keep up-to-date with this weekend's events here.


94-year-old wingwalker Tom Lackey

Flying Scholarships for Disabled People display

Black Cats

RAF Falcons parachute team

RAF Tutor

RAF Chinook

BBMF Dakota C-47

RN Merlin

Red Arrows

RAF Tucano

Rolls Royce Spitfire

  • 7.15-8.40pm:

RR Spitfire

O'Brien's Flying Circus

Solo Twister

Red Devils parachute team