Sunderland International Airshow: Your essential guide to what's happening

Sunderland International Airshow launches tonight
Sunderland International Airshow launches tonight
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The Sunderland International Airshow kicks off tonight with hundreds of thousands of visitors set to flock to the seafront over the next few days.

From what to expect to see in the skies, through to all you need to know about parking and road closures, here's your essential events guide for today and across the weekend...

WHAT'S HAPPENING TONIGHT?

The Airshow launch event gets underway at 4pm at the main stage in Cliffe Park, Seaburn, with performances from Mia Carney, Lewis Conlon, Olivia Lawson and YUMA from 4-6pm.

From 6.10-9.30pm, entertainment will be provided by Ste Johnson, The Band o fHer Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band) and The Rat Pack Boys.

As for the action in the skies, all displays and flying times are subject to change due to weather or operational conditions, but from 6pm tonight visitors can expect to see:

* RAF BBMF - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire) with live musical accompaniment from The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth

* Royal Air Force Aerobatic Display Team - the Red Arrows (9 x Hawk T1)

* RAF Typhoon (Typhoon FGR4)

* Twister Duo pyrotechnic display (2 x Silence Twister)

* The brand new AeroSPARX display team (2 x Grob 109)

* The evening will close with a firework display at around 10pm.

WHAT ROADS WILL BE CLOSED?

Road closures will be in place on Whitburn Road from Bungalow Cafe to Morrisons Roundabout.

WHAT PARK AND RIDE SCHEMES ARE RUNNING?

A park and ride scheme will be operating from the Stadium of Light to Bungalow Cafe on Friday, costing £2 per person. Buses will be running from 2pm and the last bus will depart from the Bungalow Cafe at 11pm.

WHAT'S HAPPENING ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY?

Flying displays are set to run from 12.30-5.15pm, but again all displays and flying times are subject to change due to weather or operational conditions.

Here's what you can expect to see..

Both days:

RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team

RAF BBMF - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire

The Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team

Royal Navy Swordfish - Fairey Swordfish

Royal Navy Black Cats - 2 x Wildcat HMA Mk 2

Red Bull Matadors - 2 x Xtreme XA41

OV-10 Bronco

Gyrocopter - Calidus Rotorsport

Twister Duo

Amphibious Beach Assault

Vampire Pair - de Havilland Vampires FB52 and T55

The Blades - 4 x Extra 300

RAF Typhoon 35 - Typhoon FGR4

Strikemaster Mk82A

Hangar 11 Combo - P40 Kittyhawk and P51D MustangA

Saturday only:

Royal Air Force Aerobatic Display Team - the Red Arrows - 9 x Hawk T1

Sunday only:

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15

Mitchell 320 - B-25 Mitchell

HOW EASY WILL IT BE TO PARK?

Visitors can pre-book parking at Seaburn Showground for £15 per car, per day by visiting www.sunderlandlive.co.uk. Otherwise it is £20 when purchased on site on the day.

Disabled parking is also available behind Morrisons Supermarket - follow signposts from all main routes. Rosscare Shopmobility will be located outside the Seaburn Centre and will provide wheelchairs free of charge.

Coach parking is provided at Harbour View. No booking is necessary, follow the signposts.

Motorcycles can be parked behind Seaburn Centre, again there will be signage from all main routes.

WHAT OTHER WEEKEND TRANSPORT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE?

Nexus will be running park-and-ride buses from Fulwell Quarry (near Millers Inn) and Downhill Sports Complex, Kingsway North, on both days. This will cost £2 per person (under 5s are free). The buses will operate at 10 minute intervals between 9am and 7pm when the car parks close.

WHAT ABOUT PUBLIC TRANSPORT?

Extra Metros will be running on both days between Sunderland and Newcastle. A DaySaver costs £4.80 and is valid for all day and all zone travel. It can also be used on the Shields Ferry and on Northern Rail services between Newcastle and Sunderland.

Stagecoach and Go North East are also operating special airshow services. For more information on running times, visit their respective websites.