Battle of Britain Memorial Flight part of Sunderland Airshow

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SOME of the world’s most iconic planes will launch this year’s Sunderland Airshow.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – featuring the Lancaster bomber, Spitfire and Hurricane fighters – will form part of a spectacular display for seafront crowds on the Friday evening, ahead of the main weekend flying programme.

The Red Arrows are planning a full display for the first time on the Friday launch event – July 26 – which will feature the SWIP Twister Display Team, complete with airborne pyrotechnics and a spectacular firework display at 10pm.

On the ground, there will be live music at Cliffe Park, including performances from the Royal Marines Band Scotland and Take That tribute band Re-Take That.

“We are looking forward to a great time,” said Chris Alexander, chief operating officer, of Sunderland Live, which is running the airshow for Sunderland Council.

“This year we will have exhibitors, catering concessions and fairground rides available from Friday teatime and throughout the weekend.

“We are also relaying the music right along the seafront so everyone can pick their favourite place to watch the evening display, whether it is near the stage at Cliffe Park or further along the promenade with a great view of some spectacular flying.

“It will also be a good time to buy your souvenir programme with details of the flying display, to help you get the most from the weekend.”

Councillor John Kelly, cabinet member for culture, said: “The fun on the Friday night event is a great start to the weekend’s flying programme and all the other many attractions on the ground along the seafront.”

He added: “This year’s launch again has something for everyone.

“With a mix of traditional and current music, the flying and fireworks, I’m sure that I’m not the only one that’s looking forward to a great evening’s entertainment.”

Gig headliners Re-Take That are mostly Wearsiders. Paul Waite, who takes the role of Gary Barlow, said: “It’s going to be a real privilege to be in front of our home crowd, performing at such a fantastic event.”

Park and ride will be available on Friday evening from the Stadium of Light to the Bungalow Café, for £2 per person.

Buses will run from 4pm. The last will leave the Bungalow Café at 11pm.

There will be a road closure in place throughout the event, from the Marriott roundabout to Bungalow Café, starting from 3pm on the Friday.

Souvenir programmes will be on sale at the same price as last year, £5 each.