Hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy Sunderland International Airshow
Now in its 25th year, the Sunderland International Airshow is a wonderful weekend for the whole family
This year's event celebrating 25 years of the airshow again welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors along the seafront enjoying the weekend's air and ground entertainment.
Organised on behalf of Sunderland City Council by Sunderland Live, the airshow takes place on the city's beautiful coastline alongside and above Roker and Seaburn beaches.
Crowd estimates are that around 300,000 people visited the airshow on Saturday 27 July and experienced a trouble-free day, with no major incidents reported.
Chris Alexander, Chief Operating Officer of Sunderland Live, said, "The excellent Friday night launch with Retake That, The Band of the Royal Marines Scotland and a full evening flying programme set the standard for what has been a fantastic weekend.
"Yet again we were rewarded with some great weather and built upon previous years by providing an even better line-up of entertainment and attractions for our many visitors. Refining a winning formula, we are already making plans to ensure our next one is as memorable as this one is sure to be."
Over the weekend, the possibly record crowd also enjoyed exhibitions, funfairs, stalls and activities. Add to that musical interludes from the Royal Marines, unarmed combat techniques from the Royal Marine Commandos and almost ten hours of flying displays and you had a recipe for success.
Highlights of the 2013 flying programme included the dramatic rescue scenario from the Catalina, Messerschmitt, Mustang and Kittyhawk. Thrilling and skilful aerial displays from the Tucano, The Blades, The Matadors and Xtreme Air.
Visually stunning displays from the SWIP team and the first of hopefully many visits from the Royal Netherlands Air Force Apache team, the return of the RAF Falcons parachute display team (who have been in the line-up for every one of the 25 airshows) the only airworthy Vulcan in the world and of course the famous RAF Aerobatic Display Team - the Red Arrows.
Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council's Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said, "After 25 years of providing what is regarded as the biggest free airshow in Europe, the challenge is always there to keep the event fresh, exciting, and accessible to as many people as possible.
"Saturday in particular, the weather was fantastic and it was great to see so many people having a great time with family and friends. It is particularly satisfying for everyone who works on the airshow to see so many people enjoying themselves."
Sunderland City Council's Airshow Director, Sue Stanhope said, "During the planning sessions I have the chance to speak with many of the crews who fly at the event and they all look forward to coming here for the warm welcome and fantastic seafront display area.
"After landing, many of the crews choose to stay in Sunderland over the weekend and enjoy making the most of the city's legendary hospitality.
"It's been great to see so many people enjoying the event, the coastline and our city. The airshow continues to be the largest event in Sunderland, indeed in the region. It puts the city on the map and continues to attract visitors from near and far."