THis year’s Sunderland International Airshow has been branded a soaraway success after hundreds of thousands of people flocked to see the three-day extravaganza.
The disappointment of Friday’s launch, after the Red Arrows aerial display team was grounded due to bad weather, was soon forgotten as a weekend of dazzling displays and fantastic flights took place in the skies over Wearside.
The RAF Falcons parachute display squad helped get both other days of the city’s 26th airshow off to a flying start, and other highlights included a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – featuring a Lancaster bomber and Hurricane and Spitfire fighters – and appearances by a Sea King helicopter, Black Cat Lynx, an autogyro and the Breitling Wingwalkers.
Airshow director Sue Stanhope said: “When I’ve been around the site everybody is smiling.
“There are lots of faces concentrating on the skies, and people seem to have come down and made a day of it with lots enjoying a picnic.”
Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for culture, added: “Not being able to hold the flying display on Friday evening was a great disappointment.
“On Saturday and Sunday, we were rewarded with fantastic weather, and the support from the huge numbers of visitors was a pleasure to see.”