Scotland’s biggest air show returns

The Scottish International Air Show, Scotland’s biggest event of its kind, is set to return as plans are underway to revive the display of military jets and classic airliners, according to a report by the Scotsman.

The air show will be staged again next September at Prestwick airport, 22 years after the last show at the Ayrshire-based facility.

The Scottish International Air Show was launched in 1967 and has featured iconic aircraft in the past, including a prototype Concorde in 1972, and had attracted up to 100,000 spectators in its peak years, twice as many as other Scottish displays.

The organisers are now looking to persuade the RAF to become a key part of the event, with a display by the Red Arrows. The RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which includes a Lancaster, a Spitfire and a Hurricane are also expected to feature in the show.

There are additional plans to host a Vulcan bomber, which carried the UK’s nuclear weapons in the 1960s, and also the Prestwick-built Twin Pioneer. The displays will feature famous passenger aircraft from the past, including a Lockheed Super Constellation, known as the ‘King of the Atlantic’ in the 1950s, which is owned by Swiss watch firm, Breitling.

Prestwick is seen as an ideal location for the show because its long runway enables large aircraft to land, and it has a big apron area for displaying airplanes. The 2014 event will also draw on the location’s historic connections with the RAF, from where its forerunner, the Royal Flying Corps, first flew in 1913.

Festival chairman, George Kerevan, said: ‘Everybody remembers the Prestwick airshows of the 1970s and 1980s, which attracted an audience of 100,000 people. Given time and organisation I think we can see those numbers again.

‘Everyone in Scotland is saddened by the demise of the Leuchars air show. We at Prestwick intend to fill that gap. Scotland plays a major role in the international aerospace industry. Firms at Prestwick like Spirit AeroSystems make wing parts for Boeing and Airbus. We need a serious air show at Prestwick as a shop window for our aerospace companies,’ he added.

Preliminary talks have already been held with Prestwick airport and South Ayrshire Council, Kerevan said.