Red Arrows to headline Festival of Flight event

Red Arrows to headline Festival of Flight event

8 August 2018

THE countdown is on to this Saturday’s international Festival of Flight in Newcastle which will again be headlined by the Red Arrows.

Sponsored by Rockwell Collins, the festival will feature an afternoon of stunning airborne displays, while on the ground in Donard Park and Castle Park there will be family fun events, including an aviation centre and food village. 

This year is the RAF’s centenary and to mark the occasion, the organisation will be displaying aircraft on the ground to encourage the public to meet crew members and get close to the magnificent planes, with the Mourne mountains providing a stunning back.

There will be a special STEM zone focusing on aviation as a career, offering the public the opportunity to have hands-on experiences with the aerospace world as well as the chance for younger visitors find out more about the aviation profession. 

The RAF100 STEM and Youth Zone will concentrate on innovation in the world of aviation in a bid to encourage young people to explore the world of aerospace. 

There will also be the opportunity for the public to get up close to iconic aircraft from the RAF’s 100-year history and immerse themselves in technology progressions in aeronautics. 

The aircraft tour will be located in Donard Park with all areas available to visit for free this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

A uniquely designed RAF100 Flypast App is downloadable for mobile phones and tablets.  As the RAF has chosen Newcastle for its 100th year celebrations, bespoke elements have been designed specifically for the Festival of Flight. 

The app gives users the opportunity to view a Red Arrows flypast in so-called augmented reality, collect and store 3D models of aircrafts and reveal stories and information about each aircraft. The app is available to download on Apple and Google Play app stores by searching RAF100 AR Flypast. 

The weekend festival, marking the third of five events in the Giant Adventures summer programme spearheaded by Newry, Mourne and Down Council, is expected to attract up to 100,000 visitors. 

Ahead of Saturday’s event, Newry, Mourne and Down Council chairman, Mark Murnin, described the annual festival as a “spectacular event” and perfect for a great family day out.  “Newcastle will be transformed into an aviation hub, not only for people to enjoy the airborne display, but to be captivated by the festival as a whole,” he said.

“With particular focus on STEM, I believe this will provide invaluable experience for young people to expand their knowledge, preparing the next generation to grow within the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.”

Martin McGinley, managing director and vice-president of Kilkeel-based Rockwell Collins, described the company’s passion for aviation as the “bedrock of its success.”

He continued: “We look forward to sharing our enthusiasm with the audience of almost 100,000 people who are expected to converge on this beautiful corner of Co Down for this year’s event.”

Mr McGinley said the festival promises to provide a “thrilling highlight” to the summer, explaining research demonstrates that the positive economic impact of “this great event” will continue long after the roar of the engines subsides, with many visitors encouraged to make return visits to the region. 

Ahead of Saturday’s event, which is also supported by Tourism NI, important advice has been issued to mariners and pleasure craft users to ensure the show runs undisrupted.

Due to necessary restrictions, all vessels are asked to observe boundaries from 2pm until 6.30pm, with their co-operation greatly appreciated to ensure maximum safety at the event.

Further festival information is available at