Destination UK

Bournemouth Air Festival 2018 in Review

Posted on
September 7, 2018

Bournemouth Air Festival is something we look forward to every year, having attended every year for the last 10 years.
It is the largest seaside air show of its kind in the UK, running for four full days and best of all, is completely FREE to attend.
The weather has been a bit hit and miss in recent years, with rain leading to poor flying conditions and the cancellation of whole days of flying, but the weather gods were shining on us this year and we had four days of glorious sunshine.
The great thing about being held at the seaside, is that you can choose to explore all the stalls that are lined up along the seafront, or you can just sit on the sand and let the kids play whilst watching the action in the sky.
Sebby Bucket
We try to aim for midway between Boscombe and Bournemouth Piers when we visit, as it is how the pilots work out the central position for their displays, so you get the best view.
Red Arrows
It is also where the Royal Navy’s beach assault normally happens, but sadly they were unable to do it this year. They did have HMS Diamond, a Type 45 Frigate, in attendance though.
HMS Diamond
There were also some displays on the beach from some of the army vehicles and vintage cars lined up on the cliff top for something a little more relaxed.
Vintage Cars
The highlight of the event is the aerial displays and this year we were treated to some new and old favourites.
Red Arrows Bournemouth
I have been watching the Red Arrows in Bournemouth since I was a tot, as they have always visited at some point over the summer holidays and they were amazing as always.
Red Arrows Clouds
A first for Bournemouth Air Show this year was the Gravity Industries team who were demonstrating a pair of jet suits.
Over the weekend, Dr Angelo Grubisic managed to break their Jet Suit Speed Record by flying at 74 kmph following the Guinness World Record that was set in November 2017 of 51.3 kmph.
Gravity Industries
Despite both pilots having to ditch in the sea over the weekend, the second pilot, Richard Browning of Gravity Industries, was also able to fly the longest distance of 1.4km – which is further than the team has ever flown before.
Jet suit
The RAF is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and in another first for the Air Festival  was the Bremont Great War Display Team who recreated a swirling dog fight over the sea.
Battle of Britain
For fans of the planes from yester year, the Battle of Britain memorial returned for an emotional display and there was also a rare mixed formation of heritage jets to see.
Bournemouth Air Festival
The Brietling Wingwalkers are always a firm favourite with the crowd and did a fabulous display on their return to Bournemouth.
Breitling Wingwalker
Despite the absence of the noisy planes this year, there was still plenty to see and one of our favourites was the Muscle Biplane Pitts S2S G-EWIZ, with a daredevil routine which combined aerial manoeuvres and high energy muscle biplane aerobatics!
Muscle Plane
The Chinook is always a highlight too – in fact it is probably the one aircraft that I would love to be in during a display.
We did find that there was more of a gap between the air displays this year, but that does give you a good opportunity to take advantage of some of the entertainment on the beach.
Boats Bournemouth Beach
Also joining the Air Festival for the first time were Europe’s largest professional civilian jet display team, the Breitling Jet Team.
Breitling Jet Team
They flew five times over the four-day air show and their dusk display was one of the highlights of the weekend for us.
Breitling Jet Team Dusk
The perfect sunset, lit up the planes and turned their smoke trails into trails of gold and their finale worked even better against a darker sky.
Brietling Jet Team Finale
Following a short break after the daytime flying, there were the dusk displays of Night Air on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, which are well worth staying for.
Night Air
The FireFlies and Twister Pair combo joined forces to put on a sparkling performance with neon lights and a stunning pyrotechnic show as they looped and rolled their planes around the sky.
Fireworks Planes
The night belonged to Otto The Helicopter who lit up the skies, with daredevil pilot Brendan O’Brien in the cockpit, which sees the helicopter fitted with the most pyrotechnics an aircraft has ever had – more than 2,000 shots during his show.
Otto the helicopter
Bournemouth Air Festival will be back next year between 29th August to 1st September 2019, will you be adding it to your diary?

  1. Reply


    September 7, 2018

    Oh my gosh! I genuinely never knew about this! We love an air show and this looks spectacular. It’s defo in my diary for next year now. Thank you.

  2. Reply

    Laura - Dear Bear and Beany

    September 7, 2018

    We were at Sandbanks on the Sunday and got to see so many planes. I didn’t realise it was such a big event, we will definitely be heading down next year!

  3. Reply


    September 8, 2018

    Bournemouth air festival looks great and it’s not far from me so I’m sure my boyfriend would enjoy going. It looks fantastic, great photos!

  4. Reply

    Sarah Bailey

    September 13, 2018

    Oh wow this looks like an absolutely amazing festival to go and see. I’m sure I see lots of photos of it every year and every year I think I would love to go and see it for myself!

  5. Reply

    Mom Life Optimized

    September 14, 2018

    Those colors and designs they can do in the sky are magnificent! It is scary to watch I’m sure, but then exciting to see what they can do.

  6. Reply

    Jasmine Hewitt

    September 14, 2018

    looks like so much fun! we haven’t been brave enough to try air shows with the toddler yet

  7. Reply


    September 14, 2018

    How cool is this? My son would absolutely love something like this! Wish they did something similar in the area that I live in.

  8. Reply


    September 14, 2018

    This looks like such fun! My kids would love it These pics make me feel like I was there.

  9. Reply


    September 15, 2018

    This sounds like so much fun & I can’t believe it’s free. These pictures are great!

  10. Reply


    September 15, 2018

    How cool! This looks like so much fun, and also theres so much to do~

  11. Reply


    September 15, 2018

    Seems really nice event and lot is going on x

  12. Reply

    Bella at Dear Mummy

    September 15, 2018

    What a wonderful show and it’s seems like you know the best place on the beach to head to! Love the look of the displays and we really should visit next year 🙂

  13. Reply

    Pati Robins

    September 15, 2018

    Oh my what a fantastic photos ! i really want to visit that air show ! we dont live that far neither

  14. Reply


    September 15, 2018

    This looks like a perfect get away for me and my family. Just enough mix of relaxation for me and hubby and then a little thrill and excitement for the kiddos. Thanks for sharing this one– putting on my list of places to go.

  15. Reply


    September 15, 2018

    I was there on the beach! It was amazing especially ths red arrows! and we had such beautiful weather too, loved reading your blog, thanks for sharing x

  16. Reply


    September 16, 2018

    What a fantastic event! My son loves all kinds of aircrafts and he would be crazy happy to attend this air festival!

  17. Reply

    GSE Solutions

    January 16, 2019

    Air Festivals are always great days out. Stunning photos Kara, thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply


Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog