Lowestoft show prepares for take-off

EXCITEMENT was building today ahead of an aeronautical spectacular that is set to light up the skies above Suffolk.

EXCITEMENT was building today ahead of an aeronautical spectacular that is set to light up the skies above Suffolk.

The 13th Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival will take off tomorrow with an eye-widening array of aircraft past and present.

As the final touches are being added to the two-day land, sea and air show, the extensive programme of events has now been released.

The highlight will be the appearance of the world famous Avro Vulcan bomber, which was given the thumbs-up to fly just nine days before the event.

The Vulcan XH558 had been grounded due to difficulties renewing its permit, but the Civil Aviation Authority has now allowed the RAF's atomic bomb-carrying aircraft to repeat last year's performance when it amazed crowds for the first time.

Other old favourites like the Red Arrows will be joined by overseas aircraft, including the giant KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft re-fueller from the United States Air Force at RAF Mildenhall.

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Crowds of around 400,000 will also be dazzled by a Westland Lynx military helicopter and a parachute display.

Legendary Second World War fighters including the Lancaster and the Hurricane will delight spectators with a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Meanwhile, other engineering feats from the ages will be celebrated with flights from a Hawker Sea Hawk, Supermarine Spitfire Mk iX and a Gloster Meteor.

Paul Bayfield, festival managing director, said: “It is the best display we have ever had. It will be a fantastic, fun family day out. Obviously the weather is going to be key.”

Since its launch in 1997, the air show has exploded in popularity, but it has been hit by a funding crisis this year which has threatened to send the event into a nose dive.

Organisers have revealed a drop of �40,000 in sponsorship due to the credit crunch.

The show is free to visitors, who have traditionally been asked to donate �1 in collecting buckets, but now people are being urged to double figure.

Mr Bayfield said: “If people don't donate their �2, the 2010 event won't go happen. It's as profound as that. If people don't support the event this year, we don't know what we can do.”

For more information, visit www.lowestoftairfestival.co.uk

TRAIN services on the East Suffolk line between Ipswich and Lowestoft will run as per the scheduled timetable, although some additional supplementary bus services will operate from Halesworth and Beccles.

Alternatively, passengers can go via Norwich, where extra trains will run in addition to the scheduled services.

There will be services on both days at 9.30am, 9.45am, 11.10am and 11.55am from Norwich to Lowestoft and at 6pm and 7.57pm from Lowestoft to Norwich.

Passengers can obtain further information on train services to the air show by visiting www.nationalexpresseastanglia.com, calling 08457 48 49 50, or by referring to the posters displayed at local stations.

For people travelling by car, there are two park and ride services - one at Kessingland Zoo and another north of the town at Dip Farm near Corton.

A park and walk will also operate from Asda in Waveney Drive, Lowestoft. All services will be clearly signposted.

THURSDAY

12.45 Parachute Display

13.08 Extra 300 x 4 The Blades

13.25 Supermarine Spitfire Mk iX

13.36 BA Hawk

13.47 Westland Lynx

14.10 Hawker Sea Hawk

14.27 Lockheed KC-135

14.35 Gloster Meteor

14.46 Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

15.02 Swift Aerobatic Team

15.13 Hawker Hunter

15.24 Stearman x 2 Team Guinot

15.38 Avro Vulcan

15.49 Bolkow BK-117

16.00 DH Venom

16.11 Grob Tutor

16.21 Gen Dynamics F-16

16.32 Hunting Jet Provost

16.43 Sea King SAR / Lifeboat

17.10 RAF Red Arrows

FRIDAY

11.30 Red Arrows

12.40 Westland Lynx

12.50 DH Venom

13.00 Grob Tutor

13.12 Hawker Sea Hawk

13.24 Hunting Jet Provost

13.36 BAe Hawk

13.48 Supermarine Spitfire Mk lX

14.00 Lockheed KC-135

14.07 Hawker Hunter

14.18 Bolkow B-17

14.20 Sea King SAR / Lifeboat

14.40 Honda powerboats display

15.00 Battle of Britain Flight

15.17 Avro Vulcan

15.28 Swift Aerobatic Team

15.40 Gloster Meteor

15.50 Gen Dynamics F-16

16.00 2 x Stearman Team Guinot

16.15 Extra 300 x 4 The Blades

16.32 Parachute Display - The Tigers