Crowds enjoying the Foynes Air Show last year. This year's event is on July 22 Picture: Oisin McHugh
SPANISH Air Force F-18 jets, British Spitfires, and Viggen jets flown by the Swedish Air Force are just a small sample of the daredevil acts unveiled this week as part of this year’s Foynes Air Show.
The largest air show ever to be held along the west coast of Ireland, supported this year by the Irish Aviation Authority, will have a total of 16 awe-inspiring acts.
This year’s show will look to the future of aviation with demonstrations from some of the world's most modern aircrafts, but will also pay homage to the past aviation history of Foynes.
“This is the biggest year ever for the Foynes Air Show. We have 16 acts coming from all across Europe, and visitors to the show will be amazed at the daredevil acrobatics of the skilled pilots and the impressive sight of some of the world's most extraordinary aircrafts,” said Margaret O’Shaughnessy, Director of the Foynes Air Show.
“This year’s show is a massive undertaking for Foynes and indeed Limerick, and has the potential to be the stand out event of 2017,” she added.
The Catalina flying boat will be on display during the show on Saturday, July 22, to mark the 80th anniversary of one of the first transatlantic flights.
The historic flight was undertaken on July 5 1937, when flying boat G-ADHM Caledonia, commanded by Capt A.S. Wilcockson, took off from Foynes for Botwood in Newfoundland.
Coming in the opposite direction on the same day was Capt Harold Gray in the Pan American Sikorsky S42B N16736 Clipper III, which landed in Foynes before travelling on to Southampton.
The line-up of aerobatic performers includes a demonstration from the Spanish air force display team – a first for Ireland – as well as a six ship formation display team based in the UK. The Swedish Air Force will showcase combat aircraft, while a British Spitfire will also be part of the line-up. Norway, Ireland and France will also be represented by teams.