Smiles and sighs of relief as Red Arrows close fantastic Scottish International Airshow 2017
It was smiles all round as 80,000 people came along to the first-ever two day flying display at the Scottish International Airshow in Ayr on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September.
Photo © Derek Cooper/Ayrshire Daily News
15,000 people braved the wind and the rain on Sunday to come to the Low Green and the surrounding area, after 65,000 people soaked up the sun on the Saturday; however, the crowds were treated to tantalising displays on both days.
Tens of thousands more enjoyed the show right along the South Ayrshire coastline and beyond. Displays included an exclusive – and breathtaking – appearance by the RAF's Red Arrows on Sunday after the world-famous display team had to pull out of the Airshow in Portrush due to the weather and the Bournemouth Air Festival was cancelled for the same reason. The Red Arrows undoubtedly stole the show on Sunday, but weekend crowds enjoyed some amazing first-time displays from the Belgian Air Force's F16 fighter jet as well as a spectacular '50s wartime display' between a MiG and two US Mustangs. The hugely popular RAF Typhoon also made sure to #BringTheNoise2017 and had lots of younger spectators covering their ears with its sound-barrier breaking display! The Low Green in Ayr was packed with people enjoying not only the some of the best flying around, but a massive funfair, stalls selling an array of goodies, vintage car display, armed forces village and a state-of-the-art flight simulator. The stunning Kelpie Maquettes also caused quite a stir, and proved a huge 'selfie' hit. The 3m high models were created to help to promote Scotland as a visitor destination and there was no better place to be than Ayr as tens of thousands of people from all over the world flocked to the prestigious event. Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: "As main sponsor and funding partner for the Airshow, it was great to see so many people coming along and getting the chance to experience all that South Ayrshire has to offer. "We are very proud to be a venue for a number of world-class events such as the Scottish International Airshow and The Open Golf Championship, and I have no doubt visitors to the Airshow will have been impressed by our scenery, our coastline, our history and our heritage and come back for more. "Over the last three years, the Airshow has generated around £17 million for the local economy, and we hope to see a significant boost from this year's event for our accommodation providers, retailers, restaurants and other businesses across South Ayrshire. "We also hope the event, especially the exciting FutureZone, inspired those interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects to become tomorrow's pilots, engineers and scientists. "All in all, it was a terrific event and we were proud to be a part of it." The Airshow was also supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland's Events Directorate. Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: "The Scottish International Airshow has once again proven to be a successful event, attracting impressive crowds eager to catch a glimpse of the stunning aerial action. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and this spectacular show will no doubt deliver strong benefits for the area." Doug Maclean, a Director of the Scottish International Airshow, added: "What another fantastic event. We estimate we had record-breaking crowds of around 110,000 watching the Airshow from across south-west Scotland on Saturday. "The Airshow pilots said it was an amazing and astonishing sight to see from the air and a joy to take part. The crowd, especially with the poorer weather on Sunday, were delightful, patient and – as always – full of admiration for the pilots. "We thank everyone for their support and planning is already underway for 2018."