Blackpool Airshow is an iconic event in the yearly calendar – it’s a fabulous FREE fun day for all of the family!
Blackpool Airshow 2023 – 12 and 13 August
There’s been an airshow in Blackpool for more than 100 years. Did you know it’s one of the longest running ones in the world? It was way back in 1909 when the first major airshow was held at Blackpool Airport. 2000 people marvelled as the most primitive planes performed their routine. It was the same year that French flyer Louis Bleriot made the first historic crossing of the English Channel.
The free two-day show on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 August will feature loads of thrilling displays from a wide range of military and civil aircraft.
Red Arrows to fly on BOTH Blackpool Airshow days!
Great news – the world-famous Red Arrows display team will return to Blackpool this summer to perform on both days of the annual Air Show. One of the world’s foremost aerial aerobatic display teams, they’ll perform high above the seafront opposite The Blackpool Tower.
NOTE: The Red Arrows will be OPENING rather than closing the shows. The RAF Typhoon Team will close the shows
The Red Arrows will be joined on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 August by the RAF Typhoon Display Team and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Both are also confirmed for both days of the free event.
Plus a whole host of incredible flying machines. The full programme of civil and military aircraft will be confirmed in coming weeks.
In 2022, the Air Show was one of the region’s biggest events, attracting an estimated 250,000 people to the Promenade over the two days. To complement the aerial programme, there will be plenty to see and do on the ground with a wide range of stalls, attractions and food concessions in the Air Show Village on the Tower Festival Headland.
Get there early or stay for the weekend!
Organisers VisitBlackpool are advising visitors to get to the resort early as demand for public car parks is likely to be exceptionally high.
Why not make a short break of it and book a hotel for the weekend? Book your hotel accommodation with the Visit Fylde Coast and StayBlackpool guide. Know that you’ll have a great place to stay while you enjoy this event. Find Trusted accommodation, right here on this page.
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Blackpool Airshow Village
To complement the aerial programme, there will be plenty to see and do on the ground with a wide range of stalls, attractions and food concessions in the Air Show Village on the Tower Festival Headland.
Here’s a short video from previous shows. Get the atmosphere and the sunny sea breeze of this huge event on Blackpool sea front!
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Blackpool Airshow 2019
The team includes pilots flying the distinctive Hawk fast-jets. Plus engineers and essential support staff with frontline, operational experience. Together, they demonstrate the excellence and capabilities of the Royal Air Force and the service’s skilled, talented people.
With a breath-taking combination of close formations and precision flying, the Red Arrows have been displaying since 1965. Based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, the Red Arrows had flown almost 5,000 displays in 57 countries, by the beginning of 2022 – the team’s 58th season.
Enjoy the new display
Squadron Leader Tom Bould is Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team and Red 1. He said: “Displaying at Blackpool is always one of the highlights of any busy summer for the Red Arrows. With the Tower in sight and the wonderful coastline stretching out before you, Blackpool is a location which really excites you as a display pilot.
“One of the key aims of the Red Arrows is to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds through a dynamic demonstration of teamwork and precision. This is another reason why Blackpool Air Show is a great event for us. It attracts tens of thousands of people, many of whom are families, and it’s wonderful to know so many are watching and enjoying our new display.”
Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight
The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) operates from RAF Coningsby, a Typhoon base, in Lincolnshire.
The mission of the RAF BBMF is to maintain the priceless artefacts of our national heritage in airworthy condition in order to commemorate those who have fallen in the service of this country.
The Flight operates six Spitfires, two Hurricanes, a Lancaster, a C47 Dakota, and two Chipmunk aircraft (primarily for training), all flown by regular RAF aircrew.
The Blackpool Air Show weekend will see a display on both days by a Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster Bomber, one of only two airworthy Lancasters in the world.
The RAF Chinook Display Team, based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, aims to demonstrate this giant helicopter’s all-round capability. It’s an extremely capable and highly versatile support helicopter. The Chinook can be operated from land bases or seaborne vessels into a range of diverse environments, from the Arctic to the desert or jungle.
The aircraft may be heavily armed and is fitted with a suite of self-defence equipment allowing it to operate across highly contested battlespace. They’re primarily used for trooping, resupply and battlefield casualty evacuation. But the crews are trained to accomplish these tasks under threat from both ground and air-based enemies.
Floods & farmers
The Chinook’s lifting capability is also held at readiness under the National Resilience commitment to respond to emergencies in the UK. In recent years these have included resupplying snowbound farmers in Northern Ireland and moving tons of aggregate to help reconstruct flood defences damaged by winter storms.
As well as being part of the RAF Chinook Display Team, the crew are also part of a fully operational Squadron where they combine their daily training demands with practising their display sequence.
RAF Typhoon Display Team
Bring the noise! This year’s RAF Typhoon Display, Callsign ‘Anarchy1’, is piloted by Flight Lieutenant Adam O’Hare. He’s based at RAF Coningsby. In 2021, he was selected to be this year’s Typhoon Display pilot from a short list of highly-skilled instructors from 29 Squadron. When Adam is not displaying, he is teaching the next generation of front-line Typhoon pilots how to operate the jet.
The Eurofighter Typhoon has a top speed of more than 1400mph. It’s powered by two Rolls Royce engines, producing a whopping 40,000lbs of thrust.
This year Rich Goodwin will perform at the Blackpool Air Show in the highly-modified Pitts Special S2S, his ‘Muscle Biplane’.
The Muscle Biplanes are designed to provide the ultimate in spectacular aerial entertainment. The aircraft’s extensive modification programme has given this biplane unique capabilities, which allow Rich to perform an extraordinary brand of aerobatics including torque rolls, backwards flight and knife-edge flypasts.
Formerly known as the Breitling Wingwalkers, AeroSuperBatics are the world’s only professional formation wingwalking team.
This year, Kirsten Pobjoy and Emma Broadbent will perform on the top wings of beautiful 1940s Boeing Stearman biplanes, liveried in a striking orange, white and blue. At the same time, the pilots will fly through a choreographed and energetic routine of dazzling aerobatics and close formation flypasts. These manoeuvres include loops, rolls, stall turns and inverted flight – all reaching speeds of up to 150 mph.
The powerful smoke system used in the display works by injecting environmentally-friendly smoke oil directly into the exhaust system.
The Strikemaster was built by the British Aircraft Corporation at Warton in Lancashire (now British Aerospace). It was a light ground attack export version of the Jet Provost. Although never operated by the RAF, it was used extensively by air forces as diverse as Ecuador, Oman and New Zealand.
The plane that will display at Blackpool belongs to Strikemaster Flying Club. Imported from Oman, it’s in the immaculate grey camouflage colour scheme from its entry into service with the Royal Air Force of Oman.
The programme will also see displays by Chipmunk and Bulldog aircraft, as well as an L39 Albatros and an Autogyro (also known as a gyroplane). There’ll also be an appearance from a Spitfire V, the model adopted by Blackpool during World War II.
Sadly, in 2019 the Blackpool Airshow was scuppered by very unseasonable, stormy weather.
VisitBlackpool, organisers of the event, made the decision to cancel the first day, the Saturday, due to a forecast of extreme weather conditions. Their spokesperson said: “The safety of the pilots and the watching public is paramount. With wind speeds forecast at more than 45mph on Saturday afternoon there is no option other than to cancel that day’s programme.”
The second day went ahead and although the wind wasn’t quite as ferocious, the weather was far from ideal.
A cool and windy August day
Visit Fylde Coast contributor Barrie C Woods braved the wind and rain and went along to get some photos for us.
Here’s the AeroSuperBatics Wing-Walkers in action – the ladies on top of the wings cause considerable drag. This would prove too much for the original 220hp engines these aircraft were originally built with. Plane modifications included an up-rated air-cooled radial engine rated at 450hp. They date to 1940 – the planes not the ladies! Produced by Boeing from 1933, the Super Stearman model 75s have various other modifications. These accommodate the ladies and additional stresses which the aerobatic show imposes on the structures.
Immediately the show finishes the ladies climb down from their harnesses on the wings back into the front cockpit. You can see in the next photo that it’s devoid of most controls to enable them to clamber in and out. The pilot sits in the rear cockpit.
A Jinxed Year…
Unfortunately the Red Arrows couldn’t come along to perform their amazing stunts at this years Airshow… The Breitling Jet Team were booked for an appearance instead. Sadly they also experienced problems and had to cancel their display on the Sunday too.
The World’s Finest Aircraft!
Some of the world’s finest military and civilian aircraft have performed over the iconic seafront.
AeroSuperBatics have been specialists in display flying for over 30 years and operate one of the best-loved civilian air display acts in Europe. They perform a breath-taking sequence of acrobatic stunts, all whilst strapped to the top wings of the beautiful 1940s Boeing Stearman biplanes.
The Blades Aerobatic Team comprises extremely skilled and highly-experienced pilots with more than 25,000 hours of flying experience between them. Undertaking aerobatic manoeuvres less than four metres apart in perfect formation and at speeds of up to 200mph, crowds watch 30 separate awe-inspiring manoeuvres in their 15-minute display.
The Calidus Autogyro joins the show for some up close and personal aerobatic fun! The Gyro Display is allowed to fly just 50 metres from the crowd, due to their low speed.
2018 – 100 Years since the end of WWI
2018 is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team performed to millions of people, in commemoration and celebration.
The Red Arrows’ 54th season is also the RAF’s 100th anniversary. The Red Arrows performed a magnificent display in Blackpool on Sunday, 12th August.
Highlights of the show included the roar of the RAF Typhoon, along with aerobatic displays from the Wing Walkers, The Blades and the Turbulent Team. The Chipmunk, Strikemaster and Swordfish are some of the world’s best aircraft that you’ll see – all flying over Blackpool seafront.
The programme always showcases the very best in British aviation. Watch a whole host of amazing flying machines and some of the country’s most talented pilots.
Blackpool Airshow in 2017
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight put on a hugely patriotic display in 2017. Featuring a Spitfire, a Hurricane and a Lancaster Bomber.
Huge crowds watched an RAF Typhoon thunder across the horizon. Aerobatic displays from Team Twister and Team Trig included their own versions of aerial ballet with exhilarating sequences of loops and rolls.
For the first time, the 2017 airshow included the Red Arrows on both days. Relive their famous fly-past along a packed-out Blackpool seafront in this video clip –
The RAF Red Arrows concluded the display on both days with their own display of aerial control and speed.
See them arrive at Blackpool Airshow to perform their finale in this clip!
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2015 – Last Chance to see the Vulcan
One of the world’s most popular aircraft, Vulcan XH558, made its final ever appearance in the North West at Blackpool Air Show in 2015.
Watch the Vulcan in this video, flying low over Cleveleys beach, on its way to Blackpool Airshow on 9.8.15
The plane played a key role both during the conflict in the Falklands and during the Cold War. To celebrate her final flying season, the crew launched a dramatic new display routine. It was led by Martin Withers, who captained Vulcan XM607 on the famous Black Buck mission during the Falklands conflict.
Restoration and Renewal
Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST) operated Vulcan XH558. It returned to the skies in 2007, after what’s believed to be the most ambitious technical restoration programme ever undertaken.
The charity raised more than £2 million each year to service and operate the aircraft, based at Robin Hood Airport.
VTST Chief Executive, Dr Robert Pleming, said: “There will be no more opportunities to hear a Vulcan’s spine-tingling howl as she climbs high into the sky for another dramatic display, or to see her rolling onto her side to reveal her giant delta silhouette. It’s highly gratifying that the aircraft made a return appearance to the Blackpool Air Show.
“She was among many iconic aircraft and in highly distinguished company.”
More About the Red Arrows
The Red Arrows are a firm favourite of everyone who enjoys the Blackpool Airshow. They are ambassadors for the United Kingdom and showcase the excellence of the Royal Air Force.
The team consists of nine display pilots and 110 support staff. There are operations and flight planners, engineering technicians, photographers, safety equipment experts, drivers, a public relations department, suppliers and administrators. The Blues are the engineers and support staff who wear distinctive blue coveralls.
The Red Arrows are based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, flying Hawk jets.
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5 thoughts on “Blackpool Airshow 2023”
Same old same old thing .
Nothing like they used to be when they were held at Blackpool airport .
And not a patch on Southports show.
Will watch it again.
Looking forward to a good Blackpool airshow in 2022
Really looking forward to the 2019 Airshow.
For this year’s show it has forcast showers/rain!! Will the show be still on? Which planes can fly in showers and rain. Obviously travelling from out of the area and do not want to waste my family’s time if there is no show. Where do I find updates to find out?
Thank you for your help.
Generally speaking the only time that planes don’t perform is if the wind is too strong, and/or it’s torrential rain. ‘Normal’ rain doesn’t stop it from going ahead! You’ll need to check and last minute details at visitBlackpool.com – Blackpool Council’s official tourism website.