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Herne Bay air show preview and full timetable as thousands descend on town

By Dan Wright

Organisers have arranged for 15 stunning fighter jets to perform – including the world-famous Red Arrows at 6.15pm.

The free event, which last year attracted an estimated 80,000 people, will finish with an eye-catching pyrotechnics show at dusk for the first time.

The Red Arrows are due to perform at Herne Bay air show this weekend. Picture Gary Browne

The Red Arrows are due to perform at Herne Bay air show this weekend. Picture: Gary Browne

Senior organiser Gerald McCarthy, from the BayPromoTeam, said: “It is Kent’s biggest one-day event and we are honoured to do this event for the town.

“We are really excited to be able to stage something this big in Herne Bay. In my view this is our most impressive line-up yet.

“Hopefully it will create lasting memories for people. It is astonishing for us to be able to raise the bar this high.”

Gerald McCarthy, senior organiser of the Herne Bay air show

Gerald McCarthy, senior organiser of the Herne Bay air show

Two de Havilland Vampire jets are scheduled to perform, along with five vintage warbirds from the Second World War, 10 replica First World War aircraft, 11 aerobatic machines and two helicopters.

The AeroSPARX display team will close the show at dusk, performing with colourful pyrotechnics about two hours after the Red Arrows.

Mr McCarthy said: “The Red Arrows do not usually do three displays in a day, but they have put in a special effort to get to Herne Bay this year.

The AeroSPARX display team will be in action. Picture Toni Tejon

The AeroSPARX display team will be in action. Picture: Toni Tejon

“They are performing at Biggin Hill and Eastbourne as well and I think more people will be hanging around for longer as they’re performing in the evening.

“We have got more fighter jets than we have ever had before and hopefully people will get to the town nice and early to enjoy it all.”

"We urge people to use public transport as those bringing their vehicles may face long delays..." - Gerald McCarthy

Mr McCarthy says spectators should treat Herne Bay like getting to a live stadium venue on the day of the show, which will also feature the jaw-dropping Eurofighter Typhoon.

He said: “We urge people to use public transport as those bringing their vehicles may face long delays.

"Extra trains and bus services are in place, and although not ideal for all, we don’t want people stuck in traffic and missing all the fun because they’ve decided to bring their vehicles.”

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight remains on the timetable but only one Griffon-powered Spitfire will perform after an engine issue was discovered with the Lancaster and Hurricane.

The Spitfire and Hurricane from the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar are also still set to display, with an exciting late addition to the line-up in the shape of the Douglas Dakota C-47.

Organisers say people should not enter the water or go on the sand at low tide – where marked by signs on the beach – between 12.45pm and 6.45pm.

There will be no access to Central Parade from 8pm on Friday, August 18, until 10pm on Sunday, August 20, to allow for the town’s classic car show the next day.

Helium balloons may not be bought or sold at the event and the public should report anyone seen selling such items to stewards or security.


Following changes at the Eastbourne air show and Biggin Hill Festival of Flight, flying display times have been altered from those in the official air show programme.

  • 12.45pm Wildcats
  • 1.05pm Justyn Gorman
  • 1.25pm Great War Team
  • 1.50pm GyroCopter
  • 1.15pm Vampire Pair
  • 2.40pm Gnat
  • 3.05pm Kent Spitfire & Hurricane
  • 3.25pm Westland Wasp
  • 3.40pm Boeing Stearman
  • 4.00pm MiG-15
  • 4.20pm Eurofighter Typhoon
  • 4.40pm Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
  • 5.00pm Strikemaster
  • 5.20pm Team Raven
  • 5.40pm AeroSparx daylight display
  • 6.15pm Red Arrows
  • 8.20pm AeroSparx Pyro Display


The 72-page Herne Bay air show programme is still on sale, costing £5. It is available at:

  • The Pier Platform
  • Herne Bay Museum
  • Makcari’s
  • Kids Korner
  • Peters Produce
  • The Activity Box
  • Queens Newsagents
  • Co-op High Street, Sea Street and Beltinge
  • Hampton Stores
  • Mortimers Cafe
  • Salt & Light
  • Kala Stores
  • Hampton Inn
  • Divers Arms
  • The Ship Inn
  • Vintage Empire
  • Salon 123

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