Belfast Telegraph

Festival of Flight 2017: Everything you need to know

The annual Festival of Flight will see more than 100,000 spectators look to the skies in Co Down this weekend.

With a packed programme of events to keep the whole family entertained, here's everything you need to know.

When does the Festival of Flight take place?

The Festival of Flight will take place in Newcastle, Co Down on Saturday, August 5, with flight displays kicking off from 2.30pm.

Who will be part of this year's flight displays?

It's a packed event this year, with the famous Red Arrows headlining the event.

There will also be displays from the Pitts Special, Global Stars, a Chinook, a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which will include a Spitfire, a Lancaster and a Hurricane.

Meanwhile, Wildcats, Global Stars, Team Raven, a Strikemaster and Muscle Pitts, as well as a Piston Provost, flown by Lisburn man, Simon Wilson are all included.

A tribute will also be paid to Rescue 116, with a slow flyby of the new aircraft to commemorate the four crew members who tragically passed away earlier this year.

Festival of Flight 2017 (3).jpg
Festival of Flight (Pic by Brian Morrison)

What's on offer on the ground?

The Aviation and Food village will be open from 10am, with live music, a range of local food and drink suppliers and a dedicated beer tepee.

Visitors can also stop by the RAF cadet stand to sit in a Jet Provost or Hunter cockpit, take a selfie with the WWll re-enactors and their jeep or get up close to a range of civil and military aircraft thanks to Ulster Model Aircraft Club.

A replica Ferguson Flyer will also be on display outside Newcastle Centre, a tribute to the town’s high flying role in aeronautical history after pioneering engineer Harry Ferguson famously made the first public flight on Newcastle beach in 1910.

Will the motorcyle rally be making a return?

Yes, following last year’s successful rally, The Belfast Chapter of the Harley-Davidson Owners’ Group will return to Newcastle this year.

Over 200 riders are expected to cruise into town with a grand parade at 11am.

Will there be musical entertainment?

Of course, 80’s tribute band, The Pleasure Dome will be on hand to dance the night away to classic 80’s tracks after the airshow.

Festival of Flight 2017

Where is best to park during the Festival?

Visitors are encouraged to use the free Park & Ride facility this weekend, which will operate from the designated Northfield parking site located on the A50 Castlewellan Road.

The site will be signposted with temporary yellow event signs and a free park & ride shuttle bus service will operate between the Park & Ride site and the town between 9am - 9pm.

Drivers are requested to adhere to all parking restrictions in place, including temporary “No waiting” cones, to ensure the safe flow of traffic throughout the day and are advised to allow additional time to travel to/from Newcastle due to the increased volume of traffic on the roads.

Public parking will be available at Higher Donard Park, Bryansford Road, Causeway Road; Downs Road car park; Harbour car park; Main Street, Railway Street and Shimna Road, with disabled parking concentrated at Newcastle Visitor Information Centre, Donard Park and Glen River car park. Motor home parking will also be at Higher Donard car park.

Any other information?

Visitors are urged to pay close attention to PSNI and Marshalls’ directions and to obey all beach signs.

Spectators should not approach the water’s edge at low tide as that will force aircraft out to sea and spoil everyone’s enjoyment.

Spectators are also warned that the use of drones is strictly prohibited. If a drone is detected in the area, all display flying will stop immediately.

And for those planning a stroll into Newcastle from Murlough Beach please set-off early, as the beach area from Murlough Beach to Newcastle will close before the event.

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