The inaugural Portsmouth Airshow launched


A Royal Air Force Avro Vulcan Display Team Vul...

Vulcan - coming to Portsmouth? (Image via Wikipedia)

Next year over the weekend of 18 and 19 August, the skies above Portsmouth will play host to up to seven hours of air displays. Sandwiched between the London Olympics and the Paralympics, it’s shaping up to be a fantastic occasion. It should be a huge draw, and great for Portsmouth. And best of all, it will be completely free to the general public!


The organisers are in the process of assembling an impressive array of participants. Already confirmed are a De Havilland Sea Vixen and the Breitling Wing Walkers. The organisers are also in talks with the Vulcan Bomber, various Spitfires and a Hawker Hunter. From the RAF the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Eurofighter Typhoon, Tornado, Tucano and a Jet Provost have been invited. The Red Arrows have also been applied for, although given recent events they are grounded and their 2012 schedule will not be confirmed until February. The Royal Navyhave also been asked to provide displays, and in terms of foreign assets the French Air Force display team and the Swiss aerobatic team are also in discussion, and these kind of rarities are the icing on the cake of the airshow circuit. Two parachute display teams have also been invited, from the RAF and the Royal Navy. In many cases the organisers have actually been approached by teams wanting to display.


But it’s not just about what is going on in the skies. Southsea Common will be alive with events, including a Family village, retail and merchandise areas, a food village, craft village, business and enterprise areas and corporate hospitality. Of course Southsea Seafront, with its panoramic views, historic setting and naval heritage, is perfect for such an event. And in a real treat, there will be a pop concert on the Saturday evening – including a Queen tribute act! – and a firework display finale. A field gun competition between the Royal Navy and Royal Marines is also a possibility.


The idea is that this will become an annual event, and the organisers Maurice and Steve are very keen to make sure that it is a sustainable event, on a firm business footing. In the words of Steve, it should have a real ‘Goodwood’ atmosphere. There are plenty of opportunities for sponsorship and corporate hospitality. The organisers are also on top of the game thinking about transport – park and ride will be an option in getting to and from the seafront for the festival.


Whats more, the event is not-for-profit, and will be to benefit some very appropriate charities – the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charities, The Army Benevolent Fund and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. The event will also support the Exercise Tiger Trust, raising awareness of a tragic event at Slapton Sands in Devon prior to D-Day in 1944.


I absolutely applaud Maurice, Steve and everyone involved. It has taken a massive amount of work to get this far, and they are to be congratulated. I wish them all the best. Lets all get behind it and give ourselves yet another reason to be proud of Portsmouth.




Filed under airshow, event, Navy, Royal Air Force, Vulcan Bomber

18 responses to “The inaugural Portsmouth Airshow launched

  1. John Erickson

    You lucky little sod, you! I envy you the celebration that seems to be shaping up nicely!
    And great to hear that there will be recognition of Operation Tiger. This is one of those tragedies that, understandably at the time, were swept under the rug for sake of civilian morale, and have drifted dangerously towards obscurity. Please pass on my congratulations to the organisers for being willing to bring more attention to Tiger.
    Hope you’re having a Happy Thanksgiving! (Hey, if the US celebrates it, the whole world must, right? 😉 )

    • James Daly

      To say I’m looking forward to it is an understatement. I think its got a great chance, it seems to me that the organisers have thought of everything and ticked all of the boxes. Which is important when it comes to this kind of event, what with weather and suchlike being unpredictable, you need to take control of whatever you can to compensate for the unknowns. It’s a unique location, with some gems lined up in the air and some good stuff on terra firma for the non-plane geeks amongst us!

  2. No naval aircraft though…hmm. Thank you Mr Cameron.

    • x

      Last Navy Days I watched the Black Cats from HMS Warrior’s bridge. Good day.

      • James Daly

        I think the Black Cats are a possibility, as is the Royal Naval Historical Flight – Fairey Swordfish et al.

        Its a shame that due to operational constraints and busy shipping channels that we couldn’t get the RN to anchor something big at Spithead. Would be great to have some helos taking off from an LPD and storming the beaches for example lol

  3. pompeydoomcrew

    I have to say ever since we were talking about this the other night I am genuinely really looking forward to this! I think if it is handled properly it could be a really successful venture that will bring much commerce and tourism to Portsmouth. That can only be a good thing for future of the city and from a personal note it can’t be a bad thing when Spitty’s and Lancs are involved!!

    • James Daly

      it sure is going to be a great event. I’ll be keeping you all up to date with the latest news. And who knows, I might have some input into it in my own small way… 😉

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