Air Festival Displays That Cannot Be Missed – Bournemouth Air Festival

Esther Tendai Burt

My name is Esther. I was born and raised in Zimbabwe. I came to the UK, London to be specific in the year 2000. In 2005, I graduated as a psychiatric nurse at South Bank University. I moved down to Southampton in 2006. I did Journalism in 2011 and founded my own publication called DIY Girl magazine. Fast forward, I am now a full-time travel blogger.

Air Festival Displays That Cannot Be Missed – Bournemouth Air Festival

Air Festival Displays That Cannot Be Missed – Bournemouth Air Festival


The air festival was back again this year. This international air festival was bigger, buzzing as usually, and never seizing to surprise with its wonderful exhibitions. Various air festival displays attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world. This aided me to write about air festival displays that can not be missed. I was inspired by my visit to the air festival. An estimate of 820,000 people attended air festival 2019. This hit record numbers of 10,5 millions of visitors since its formation in 2008.



Being an ‘air show’ it therefore goes without saying that there would be loads of planes and anything ‘AIR’ related over the course of four busy days.



I will start with the 2019 newbies that completely stole the show as they made their debut this year. Bournemouth Air Festival welcomed for the first time four of the most iconic Warbirds.


The ultimate Warbirds included the Buchan, Spitefire, P-47D Thunderbolt and the Mustang


Saab Dranken

The Saab Dranken

Waking everyone and every single pet by the beach was the Saab Dranken. This foreign Swedish Airliner was a true star performer. The Bournemouth Air Festival would have not been the same without the most talked about Saab Dranken. It performed from the beginning of the festival all the way to a fantastic finale in style.


Foreign Displays

To mark foreign tribute was the Canadair’s Silver Star by the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron. This aircraft was a true living legacy.


Another foreign aircraft was the P-8A Poseidon Surveillance Aircraft. The specific aircraft was developed for the United States Navy (USN). This breath-taking aircraft had two turbo fans with wingspans of nearly 40 metres.


The Norwegians enormously graced the Bournemouth Air Festival this year. Also among the air festival displays that can not be missed was the Hawker Sea Fury T20. The Norwegian Spitfire Foundation operated this powerful flight. Another Norwegian beauty was the Mikoyan-Gurevinch, a fighter trainer. The sensational aircraft had wingspan of more than 10 metres.


Proud to be British

Bournemouth Air Festival would never be a ‘Stellar Festival’ without the British’s pride and joys. Welcomed this year was the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF). This included the Spitfire, the Hurricane, and the Lancaster. These displays showcased the memories that will always be remembered for years and years to come.



The RAF Chinook was an amazing whopper of an aircraft. It was a delight to see the Chinook back to the festival again.


Supper Pitts Muscle Plane

Richard Goodwin was back again by popular demand as he confidently displayed his Muscle Biplane Pitts. His genius skills were showcased by the way he handled and controlled his plane as he pulled all-eyes-to-the-skies stunts as usual.


Tucano T.Mk1

The Tucano is our home-based jet. It provides fast jet trainings for the Royal Armed Force and the Royal Navy aircrews


Blades Aerobatic Displays

Also back by popular demand were the mesmerising Blades. I salute the Blades for they are the only civilian team to display at every Bournemouth Air Festival since it was formed in 2008. That is true British pride.


Aerobatics Wing-walkers

These aerosuperbatics thrilled visitors with frightening stunts that they wonderfully executed. My heart was in my mouth all the time I was watching them. Every year they perform, they leave me astounded.


Tigers Free-fall Parachute Team

The British Army again presented an amazing display as they competently dropped onto the Bournemouth Beach with stamina. This was definitely one of the air festival displays that can not be missed.


Strike-master Pair

The British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), were back again this year. Displays from these two aircrafts proved two is always company. Their synchronised displays mirrored each other most of the times. One could tell that this did not only come from intelligence but also many hours invested in training to produce such detailed displays.


Royal Navy Black Cat Helicopter


The RN Black Cat Helicopter team were last seen in the skies in 2016. It was a great surprise to see them back again. After a couple of years’ break, the Black Cat Helicopter amazingly performed wowing viewers throughout as usual.



Each and every single night except for the last day, there were spectacular displays. The Red Devil Parachute Regimental Team stormed the night skies.

The Fireflies Aerobatic Display Team relentlessly performed both during the day and in the evening too. Their twilight shows featured pyrotechnics and leaving thousands of viewers undisputedly stunned.


Not to be left out was “Otto the Helicopter”. Otto was one of the aircrafts back again by popular demand. Its spectacular explosive displays kept night-lovers entertained throughout the evenings.


This year Bournemouth welcomed RFA Lyme Bay and HMS Argyll to the Air Festival. There were special Anchorage Tours ferrying passengers to view these vessels’ close quarters. Leaving from the Bournemouth Pier we were offered a lifetime opportunity to see these magnificent ships from all angles.


I used the Liberty Lass pleasure boat to explore the sea adventures. The Liberty Lass offered 45-minute touring trips to enable its eager passengers up-close views of the two honourable ships.


RFA Lyme Bay

The RFA Lyme Bay is a Bay-Class landing ship dock. This huge ship is capable of delivering a magnificent fighting force to any part in the world.


HMS Argyll

The HMS Argyll is the longest serving Type-23 frigate in the Royal Navy. I had never seen such a grand ship in my life. It was such an honour to experience its presence at the Bournemouth Air Festival.


Shieldhall Steamship

Staging its significance by right was  Shieldhall Steamship. It was refreshing to see Shieldhall Steamship again taking centre stage amongst the big vessels such as the Lyme Bay and the Argyll. It shows variety is the spice of life when it comes to Bournemouth Air Festival. I had an awesome experience the last time I used Shieldhall Steamship. Personally I truly agree it deserved a spot of honour during the Bournemouth Air Festival for all that is known about Shieldhall Steamship.



Newbies were not only found in the air but also on land this year. For the first time, the Lower Gardens hosted this year’s entertaining Beat Retreat’s sunset ceremony. The magnificent ceremony was performed by HM Royal Marines Band Portsmouth. Despite raining on Saturday afternoon, scheduled programmes were managed to carry on, with slight disruptions here and there.


There was plenty of action and entertainment on the ground as much as it was in the air. Numerous funfairs were scattered everywhere giving both children and adults plenty of choices to keep them entertained all day. Food stalls and brilliant military villages kept visitors captivated with interesting experiences. The golden-sand resort beach was fully packed with terrific traders and various vendors providing in different ways to thousands of visitors.


Air Festival Bars

There were plenty of bars to choose from across the site. Drink-lovers were never left thirst for that desperately needed quench. Bars stretched all the way to Bournemouth Town Square. This proves drinking has become extremely popular and much loved by today’s society.



Air Festival Displays that can-not be missed at air festival are currently held at the address below:


Bournemouth Air Festival

Bournemouth Seafront



England, UK



The telephone Number: +44 1202 45 1781 (from abroad) or 012 0245 1781 (if local). Apparently when the festival started, Bournemouth Airport hosted the event. Visitors used to pay but fortunately these days this international event is now free to all. It made it exceptionally different from other air festivals that enforce entry-fees such as  Southport or Farnborough Farnborough Air Shows.



If you missed the Air Festival this year, do not worry. Next year the air festival will be back to the popular resort beach. The 13th annual Air Festival will take place between, Thursday 20th August to Sunday 23rd August 2020. Just remember to stick down the dates in your diary.


This proves Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole are famous tourist-resorts attractions on the south coast. And this goes without saying why this beach is well known as an ‘Award Winning’ beach on the coast. If you attended this year’s air show do share captured images via my social media platforms. Your valued comments below are always welcome. And finally, do subscribe so that you do not miss any new published posts.

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