Hundreds of thousands at the Sunderland Airshow

Hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed Sunderland's 31st Airshow.

Held along the city's award winning coastline at Roker and Seaburn, on Friday evening and through Saturday (27 July) and Sunday (28 July), the Airshow always has a major programme of air, land and sea action.

Friday’s programme of air displays, live music and fireworks attracted the crowds with the magical Fireflies, the ever popular Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the RAF Typhoon and new this year, the brilliant Swiss Air Force PC-7 Team.

Saturday’s flying programme started with the Royal Navy’s Wildcat helicopter and the Bronco display team taking to the skies but a low cloud base across the North East put dampers on further flying for the day.

Crowds saw storming sets from Scouting For Girls on Friday evening and Sophie Ellis Bextor on Saturday afternoon at the event’s main arena. DJ Pat Sharp’s sets were huge hits on Friday and Sunday.

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller said: “As much as there is planned in the skies, there’s always plenty of arena sights and action, dozens of displays in the Military Village, trade and exhibition stalls, plus the huge Funfair, which thousands have enjoyed.

”Yes, like any British seaside event the weather can always be an issue and with low cloud and mist, visibility for flying hit the display programme on Saturday.

“What we have seen though are plenty of visitors who have been patient, the public have come out in their thousands for a fantastic weekend of free, colourful and, with aircraft that have got up and out, some very loud and spectacular entertainment."

Sunday’s flying programme saw the navy’s helicopter team return, the aerobatic Blades display team, Strikemaster pair, the RAF Chinook, Fireflies, and the Swiss Air Force PC-7 Team.

Cllr Miller added: “On behalf of the people of Sunderland and all who visited the Airshow, I'd like to give a big thank you to everyone who helps make it happen. And thank you for all our visitors.

"I would especially like to thank all of the military personnel who have given so much time and effort whether they've been in the air or helping in the ground displays.

"There are many, many strong and long links between the military and the people of Sunderland and the North East. And, we all appreciate their hard work, and their dedication to duty and the work they put into making sure that so many people enjoy their visit to Sunderland Airshow."

The RAF Typhoon brought the weekend's flying programme to a close as low cloud came in.

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture said: "Everyone who has been along the seafront has entered into the spirit of the launch event and got the weekend off to a really great start.

"Once again, we’ve had lots of support from a huge number of visitors, and it's always a pleasure to see so many people enjoying themselves.

"Each year we deliver an impressive event that shows what Sunderland and its beautiful seafront has to offer.

"There was a huge amount of interest and support from people, which is a trademark of Sunderland and the North East.

"Whether they've been visitors or helping with the event, thanks to all." 

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Sunderland's Friendship Agreement with Washington DC makes us the only city in Europe to enjoy such a relationship with the world's most powerful city. Washington Old Hall is home to the direct ancestors of the first president of the United States of America.

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