The free Wales Airshow will be returning to Swansea Bay on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July 2020. Breathtaking aerobatic displays, state-of-the-art military aircraft and vintage planes from the past will thrill tens of thousands of visitors in Swansea Bay next summer. We’re looking to make 2020 even bigger with even more exciting air display teams and entertainment.
SWANSEA Bay’s Wales Airshow enjoyed another brilliant year with hundreds of thousands of people descending on the city to enjoy the country’s biggest free show.
Two days of air displays featuring The Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the first ever ‘After Dark’ element to the airshow added a new feature for visitors from all over the UK.
Huge crowds turned up to enjoy a whole range of displays and activities on the ground as well as in the air to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Swansea’s city status.
Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Innovation, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “It was yet another fantastic weekend for Swansea. On the 50th anniversary of Swansea being named a city, the After Dark event proved to be a huge success.
“Hot air balloons, the Tigers parachute display team, the Fireflies aerobatic display team topped-off by an amazing fireworks display made for a real party atmosphere.
“The Airshow contributes millions of pounds to local businesses and the local economy every year. We’d like to thank local businesses and residents for their patience with the road closures and to all traders for their contribution to the show’s success year on year.”
For safety and security reasons this year’s airshow saw road closures on Oystermouth Road which started on the Friday, but this also meant that visitors had more safe space to enjoy increased ground displays including a rare appearance on the ground of a Spitfire.
Cllr Francis-Davies said: “The real stars of the show, apart from those in the skies, were the hundreds of thousands of people who came to enjoy a day out or a weekend in Swansea. The family atmosphere they helped generate resulted in one of the best weekends the city has seen.
“I also want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the tremendous effort put in by council staff, South Wales Police and by our other partners to make the event such a brilliant showcase. I’d also like to thank our sponsors who help to support the sustainability of the Show.
“We’re confident that the thousands of visitors who enjoyed themselves this year will return to Swansea Bay again soon. We are already looking forward to the rest of this year’s events calendar, giving more people even more reasons to visit.”
Two days of flying wowed the crowds with highlights coming from the Red Arrows, Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, while the first ever After Dark element to the airshow added a new attraction for visitors from all over the UK on Saturday night.
Across the weekend huge crowds turned up to enjoy a whole range of displays and activities on the ground as well as in the air to help celebrate one of the landmark events of the Swansea 50 celebrations.
Swansea Council cabinet member for innovation, regeneration and tourism Robert Francis-Davies said: “The real stars of the show, apart from those in the skies, were the hundreds of thousands of people who came to enjoy a day out or a weekend in Swansea. The family atmosphere they helped generate resulted in one of the best weekends the city has seen.”
A military helicopter more used to the challenges of the Arctic and the deserts of Afghanistan will be performing in the skies over Swansea as part of this summer’s Wales Airshow.
The unmistakable Chinook helicopter, workhorse of armies, air forces and navies around the world, will be putting in an appearance on both days of the free event on July 6 and 7.
With a maximum speed of 160 knots and a maximum altitude of 15,000 feet, the 30-metre long Chinook can be operated in the Arctic, jungle or desert. Its cockpit has a full night-time capability when operated with night-vision goggles, allowing low-level night operations in hostile environments.
The Chinook has been on active service in military and humanitarian operations with the RAF since the 1980s. It saw action in the Falklands War, in Kosovo and in the two Gulf Wars and can carry up to 55 fully-laden soldiers.
Along with the Chinook will be the RAF Tucano, a fast jet training to RAF and RN aircrew on their training pathway to frontline fast jet aircraft. It has a length of 32ft with a wingspan of 37ft and combines the economy of turboprop power with jet-like handling.
The Tutor will also be taking to the sky of Swansea over the 2 days. Used for Elementary Flying Training by all 3 of the Armed Services, the Tutor provides flying instruction to University students and air experience flying to members of the Air Cadet organisation.
Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Major Projects, said: “This is one of our flagship events in the annual event calendar and it’s the best free event of its kind in Wales, which draws in many thousands of spectators from across South Wales and beyond, thanks to the combination of world class aerobatic displays, vintage aircraft and ground-based entertainment.
“As well as generating a bumper weekend of business for our traders, the Wales Airshow helps raise Swansea’s profile as city of high quality events. It’s one of many events and activities taking place this summer as part of our Enjoy Swansea programme of events and activities.”
The Red Arrows, the Typhoon display team, The Catalina, The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and The Blades have also been confirmed for the Wales Airshow.
There are some new displays never been seen at Wales Airshow before which are still yet to be announced! These will be fed into the Airshow App along with the timetable of displays a few days before the event.
The ground displays promise to be exciting once again this year for visitors to the Wales Airshow in Swansea next month
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary celebrations of Swansea’s city status and Armed Forces Day, the on the ground displays and activities will be offering a range of static and interactive experiences.
Thanks to the extra space being generated by the temporary closure of part of Oystermouth Road over the weekend, the footprint of the event has been increased and displays will include static examples of the Spitfire and Hurricane planes that will be showing off their skills as part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – which this year is being sponsored by Great Western Railway.
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Innovation, Regeneration and Tourism said: “The ground events are going to be great again this year and admission, as always, is free.
“Apart from being able to watch the Red Arrows reach for the sky, visitors will also have the chance to try out a Red Arrows simulator as well as a Typhoon
The visit of the ground-based Spitfire and Hurricane is a first for the Wales Airshow and they’ll be accompanied by experts ready to tell the wartime stories of these two iconic Battle of Britain-winning planes.
In addition to these attractions there will be a funfair at the Civic Centre west car park, military displays including a Replica Chinook and the Navy and Marines Virtual Reality Team. They’ll be giving visitors the chance to experience what it’s like to stand on an aircraft carrier as planes take off as well as an interactive boat-riding experience.
New for this year is also the RAF Police Military Working Dogs display which will take place twice a day on the beach area between The Secret Beach Bar & Kitchen (formerly the 360 café) and the old slip bridge.
On the Saturday, the Airshow couples up with Armed Forces Day which is the annual UK celebration of the debt of gratitude the country owes to the men and women of the Army, Navy and RAF who have served – and still serve – in combat zones around the world. The Armed forces ceremony will take place at the Cenotaph on Saturday July 6th from 10.30am
Cllr Francis-Davies said: “We’re expecting over 250,000 people to enjoy the Wales Airshow, with local businesses due to benefit from millions of pounds worth of extra spending.
said: “The city centre will be very much open for business as normal and it’s
proximity to the Airshow means that people can have the best of both worlds,
just a short stroll away. As with any
major event of this scale, there will be a large volume of visitors coming into
the city over the weekend. For safety reasons, there will diversions in place
and we would
Visit www.swansea.gov.uk/airshow or www.walesairshow.co.uk to download the Airshow App or to find out more information about road closures, diversions and event car parks and park and ride services.
The world’s only aerobatic airline will thrill tens of thousands of people in Swansea this year on Sunday 7 July at the Wales Airshow.
The Blades Aerobatic Team is due to appear over the city at the Wales Airshow, taking place on Saturday July 6 and Sunday July 7.
The Wales Airshow, organised by Swansea Council, will also include a range of other air displays including the ever popular Red Arrows. This year, as part of Swansea’s 50th anniversary celebrations, there will also be an after-dark event on the Saturday from 8.30pm.
Robert Francis-Davies, cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “The Blades are a real rarity – fully sanctioned by the Civil Aviation Authority to fly fare-paying passengers in close formation.
“They fly dynamic displays across Europe and I’m sure their display over Swansea Bay will be an unforgettable experience.
Based in Northamptonshire, the Blades have, for the first time, former RAF Red Arrows pilot Mike Ling (Lingy) at the control. Mike Ling, the longest serving RAF Red Arrows pilot has been at Wales Airshow for many years with the Reds but this will be his first year at the Airshow performing as part of the Blades display team instead.
Mike Ling said “I am very excited to be heading back to Swansea for the Wales Airshow in July. Ben Murphy (Head of The Blades) and I were the Synchro Pair in the Red Arrows at the inaugural event in 2009 and I very much enjoyed heading back to meet the huge crowds in Swansea Bay as the Red Arrows’ commentator in 2015, 2016 and 2017. It was then great to display as Red 3 with the Red Arrows in 2018 but now I get to display as Blade 3 in 2019, swapping my Hawk for my Extra 300 to perform some dazzling aerobatics as a member of the world’s only aerobatic airline.
“The natural amphitheatre of the Bay and the beach packed with spectators makes Swansea one of the best display locations we could ask for.”
The Blades are now in their 14th display season, and performs its globally recognised display to around four million spectators every year.
Flying precision, close-formation aerobatics, the Blades celebrate an aviation milestone this year – 1,000 displays flown.
They showcase the performance and capabilities of the single-propeller Extra 300 as an aerobatic stunt plane.
Undertaking aerobatic manoeuvres less than four metres apart and with crossing speeds of around 350mph, they execute high-speed synchronised passes and extreme gyroscopic aerobatics.
Cllr Francis-Davies said: “In the year that Swansea marks its 50th anniversary as a city we want to ensure that the Airshow continues to live up to its reputation as being one of our flagship events.”
“The event gets more popular every year. As well as aerial
displays, ground-based entertainment and activities form part of the event.”
“The Wales Airshow is one of the UK’s biggest free events and it’s all about the spectacular. Keep an eye on the Facebook page and website as more displays are confirmed over the coming weeks.”
The Wales Airshow App, available in Appstore and Google Play, will be updated with information about all of the displays as they are confirmed over the coming weeks.