IT WAS a record-breaking weekend for one of the South's most spectacular events.

Almost 1.2million people went along to the seventh Bournemouth Air Festival to be wowed by a series of jaw-dropping aerial displays.

Daily Echo:

About 850,000 people - a best-ever figure - attended the showpiece over the course of the weekend, while the event brought in about £300million to the South Coast's economy and created about 500 jobs.

Visitors were treated to displays by the Red Arrows and the last-remaining Avro Vulcan strategic bomber, musical performances by the likes of Rizzle Kicks and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

Pilots say the annual extravaganza is now the biggest show in the country.

Brendan O'Brien, who performed in O'Brien's Flying Circus, said: “This is one of the premier air shows, let alone one of the premier beach shows, in the UK.”

And Typhoon display manager, Andrew De Gier, said: “Bournemouth is our biggest festival of the year in terms of numbers and the actual show itself.

“It's coming towards the end of our season, but we have been really looking forward to this one.”

Daily Echo:

The Typhoon is one of the highlights of the show, demonstrating its capabilities at the forefront of RAF operations in conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan with ear-splitting noise and incredible speed.

And the dates for next year's event have already been announced - the eighth Bournemouth Air Festival will take place on August 20 to 23.

Mark Smith, director of tourism at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “The event goes from strength to strength, it's wonderful to see so many people here enjoying the world's largest free four-day event.

“Bournemouth has got a wonderful festival that not only entertains local people but is also great for the visitor economy, supporting jobs and helping investment.”