Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sunderland Airshow 2011

This weekend is the annual Sunderland International Airshow. This has been running for about 20 years now and gets more popular each year, with hundreds of thousands of people attending over the weekend, making it the largest free event in Europe.

We went yesterday, and found a spot about half way along, on the cliff top at Roker.  Here's the view north up the coast, to Seaburn and Whitburn:

I don't know if you can make them out, but there were huge crowds all along the sea front.

There was plenty to see, as usual, and the weather was absolutely beautiful, as you can tell.

There were no serving military aircraft this year; presumably they're all otherwise engaged. My lack of knowledge about planes is total, so you'll have to forgive the vagueness, but here are a few highlights as best as I can remember.

This Cold War classic is the Vampire, though to me it looks for all the world like Thunderbird 2:

There were a few display teams, including this pair:

And these biplanes with wing-walkers:

I'm not sure of you can tell, but the people on top of the planes were upside down at this point!

This is think was a Hawker Hunter, but what mostly struck me was its jazzy paint job, which reminded me of the 'rocket' ice-lollies we used to get as kids:

This guy made me nervous - he kept going straight up, and then straight down again, in a rather jerky fashion:

This art deco beauty is a Catalina flying boat:

Isn't that just a gorgeous sight?

No UK airshow is complete without a Spitfire:

And finally, the star of the show, the Vulcan bomber:

You can really see its Concorde-like shape from the side:

A great day out, and I can thoroughly recommend you come along next year if you have the chance.


  1. Thunderbird 2 and Rocket lollies! You're talking my language, Ruth!=)

  2. I was once taken to an onstage play of The Thunderbirds - having never heard of them. (My parents didn't allow me to watch commercial tv).

    I spent the ENTIRE show wondering why everyone was walking funny with their arms stuck out in front of them.........

    Pretty aeroplanes!