One of your author’s favourite airshows is the four day spectacular at Eastbourne. The friendly atmosphere and unique viewing locations plus a superb varied flying display make Eastbourne one of the top airshows in the country.
2009 was a real return to form for Eastbourne after a disasterous 2008, publically in any case. The decision to charge for access to the seafront had been a PR catastrophe for the airshow. 2009 saw a return to the free access and the crowds did return, though not in the numbers pre 2008. However, it was enough to at least secure the future in to 2010 and hopefully beyond.
Like other seafront airshows, the aircraft are based at a number of airfields in the local area. One of the main bases for Eastbourne is Shoreham Airport just along the coast. It’s good to see Planes TV make good use of the airfield to capture some behind the scenes footage and some interviews with the display crews.
One of the remarkable moments of Airbourne was the formation of ARCo’s Spitfire IXT and the Netherlands Air Force F-16 which is not only captured well from the ground, but onboard cameras on the Spitfire and through the Heads-Up Display camera on the F-16. The HUD camera also gives an eye-popping impression of the F-16s spiral climb and dive.
Footage is recorded a number of different vantage points from the seafront – the attractive seafront architecture frames the action perfectly for film in the beautiful summer sunshine. There’ s little to fault in the coverage except for the misidentification of the Harvard, which is not the Goodwood example mentioned in the commentary. However, this is a small blip in a briliant production rich with interesting onboard footage set against perfect weather.
One rather odd inclusion in the DVD package is the Vulcan Campaign video just after the main production which is perhaps a little out of place for a show that didn’t include the aircraft itself. However. as with all of Planes TV productions, the DVD does include “Interactive” extras including on baord footage from the F-16 HUD Camera, Spitfire, Mustang and Team Guinot which are all worth watching.