Thousands of spectators defy the weather at Sunderland airshow

Sunderland Airshow bosses finally lost the war with the elements today, with the final display of the day cancelled as the clouds opened.

The mighty Typhoon roared onto the seafront, only to disappear in the encroaching cloud cover.

The Red Arrows perform at the 2017 Sunderland International Airshow. Picture: TOM BANKS

The Red Arrows perform at the 2017 Sunderland International Airshow. Picture: TOM BANKS

Sunday was the reverse of Saturday, which saw early rain give way to glorious blue skies and scorching sunshine by the time the day’s display came to a climax.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the RAF Falcons and Tigers parachute display teams all fell victim to the weather on Saturday, but organisers worked hard to fit in most of today’s programme before the forecasted downpour arrived, with the show finishing an hour earlier than scheduled.

Large numbers of spectators left early on Saturday and the seafront was noticeably less busy today than in previous years but thousands still defied the weather on both days.

Sunderland City Council head of events Victoria French paid tribute to their dedication and the efforts of organisers.

Sunderland Air Show 2017 (Saturday)

Sunderland Air Show 2017 (Saturday)

“I think the flight programme has been fantastic. The display teams have done a brilliant job,” she said

“I think the numbers were certainly lower yesterday than today. Friday night was really busy.

“The one thing the planning team can’t control is the weather.

“The flight director did a great job of ensuring everything we had in the schedule was able to fly before the weather became too detrimental.

Sundeland Air Show 2017 (Saturday).

Sundeland Air Show 2017 (Saturday).

“Unfortunately, the weather was not good enough for the Typhoon to do their full display. It is a shame but hopefully they will be back for the 30th anniversary next year.”

The Red Arrows featured on all three days, thrilling the crowds on Friday night, closing the show on Saturday and appearing early on Sunday before flying off to a show in Lincolnshire.

Other highlights included the massive twin-blade Chinook helicopter, the stirring sight of the Blenheim and the Flying Fortress and the aerobatic thrills of the Blades, Fireflies and Breitling Wingwalkers.

And there was plenty of entertainment on the ground, with displays, stalls and performances by the Band of the Royal Marines kicking off the proceedings.

Crowds shelter from the rain at the 2017 Sunderland International Airshow. Picture: TOM BANKS

Crowds shelter from the rain at the 2017 Sunderland International Airshow. Picture: TOM BANKS

The Red Arrows perform at the 2017 Sunderland International Airshow. Picture: TOM BANKS

The Red Arrows perform at the 2017 Sunderland International Airshow. Picture: TOM BANKS

RAF Falcons at the 2017 Sunderland International Airshow. Picture: TOM BANKS

RAF Falcons at the 2017 Sunderland International Airshow. Picture: TOM BANKS

The Breitling Wingwalkers perform at the 2017 Sunderland International Airshow. Picture: TOM BANKS

The Breitling Wingwalkers perform at the 2017 Sunderland International Airshow. Picture: TOM BANKS