UK Airshow News

Category Archives: Shoreham

AIRSHOW NEWS: BBC Radio recognises Shoreham Airshow Achievements

BBC Community Heroes Award - Derek HarbarBBC Radio Sussex and Surrey recognised the achievements of the Shoreham Airshow by awarding Derek Harber – Airshow Organiser the Community Hero’s Award under the Volunteer Section Banner for 2013.

At a presentation held at the South Lodge Hotel, Horsham Derek was presented with a glass trophy for his outstanding work. Both Derek and his wife Lesley work long hours to make sure all goes on well behind the scenes at Shoreham. Derek would be the first to admit ‘It is a Team Effort’ but every event has to have a person one can recognise as the ‘Boss’ like all RAF Squadrons do.

“It was a surprise when my name was mentioned from a short list of finalists, but I was delighted that Shoreham had the regional recognition it has so rightly deserved for many years,” said Derek. “It will be our 25th Anniversary Airshow in 2014 and hopefully the 2 million pound target for RAFA Funds will be reached. What makes Shoreham so special is the way the event is run making it a Family Airshow and one of the Pilots favourite venues – that is something we must retain,” he added.

Let’s now look forward Shoreham Airshow 2014 on the 30th and 31st August. Planning is now under way!!

AIRSHOW NEWS: Dates confirmed for the 25th RAFA Shoreham Airshow

Dates have now been confirmed for the 2014 Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) 25th Anniversary Airshow at Shoreham Airport.

August 30th and 31st will be the days that the organisers will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Airshow which to date has raised almost 1.9 million pounds for RAFA funds.

From humble beginnings, the show has now become one of the ‘highlights’ of the aviation flying display calendar. The organising team are all volunteers, and it is one of the pilot’s favourite Airshow venues!

Derek Harber, Airshow Organiser said. “The 2013 event was one of the most successful shows we have had to date. The weather was on our side – ticket sales were exceptional, and the flying display was considered by many to be one of the best.”

“We could not have done it without our sponsors and supporters,” he added.

“Rod Dean our Flying Display Director, himself a display pilot, managed to bring some new events into the flying schedules. We have proved that under the new team ‘The Show Will – and Can Go On’. Our late founders Don Bean MBE, and Peter Eager would have both been delighted.”

What about 2014? “We will celebrate in true style, and already discussions are under way with the MOD events teams, civilian display pilots and some possible overseas visitors to make next year’s show that little bit special,” said Rod Dean. “Many of the pilots contact us asking to return, before we have even confirmed our dates.”

“Tickets will go on sale earlier. We are addressing some issues re parking and exiting the event, which caused some traffic related problems for some of our visitors. We cannot please all, and most major events suffer from this issue when you get an influx of people to a venue,” said John Periam Airshow Press Officer.

Derek Harber went on to say, “We have budgets, and costing’s have increased. However; we are able to spend money wisely, so that we can afford some of the best displays the airshow circuit has on offer. Next year our budgets will reflect your views as paying guests, along with the fact that this show has now been running for 25 magnificent years. We know we will never please all, but rest assured we are going to make efforts to make it just that little bit special.”

“We will keep you updated, and it is important for you – the readers to know that we are not able to run Shoreham without the excellent support of the media. The publicity that they give us, linked to our sponsors makes sure that you are kept fully updated. For more information go to or contact the airshow office 01273 441545.”

We all look forward to seeing you in 2014 and hope that you will attend helping us to celebrate 25 wonderful years of the RAFA Shoreham Airshow. We can’t do it without you!!

AIRSHOW NEWS: Shoreham Airshow welcomes new sponsors and exciting additions

The organisers of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Shoreham Airshow being held on 31st August and September 1st are delighted to announce new major sponsors on board for this their 24th Airshow which to date has raised. 1.8 Million Pounds for RAFA Funds.

Air BP has joined Spitfire Ale (Shepherd Neame), Southern Trains and Johnson’s Press (Group Papers Hampshire and Sussex) as major sponsors. “The Aviation Division of BP is delighted to associate itself with Shoreham Airshow considered by many to be one of the most popular aviation events in the UK that has given so much to such a deserving charity as the Royal Air Forces Association,” said their spokesperson.

Other supporters include Bunn Leisure, Winner Plant Hire, Southern Water, Rabbit Skips, Splash FM, Brietling and Brighton Shoreham Airport. “These are very important to us at Shoreham as they provide the support we need in many areas to make sure the show runs to the standards the CAA expects,” said Derek Harber Airshow Organiser.

Rod Dean, the Airshow Flying Display Director has confirmed that the Vulcan has been booked for Sunday 1st September.

He added, “The flying display is all but completed and we will be featuring some new participants to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of 617 Squadrons Dambusters Raid and the Salute to the US Mighty 8th Air Force. The RAF is providing a full assortment of display aircraft including the Eurofighter and Lancaster.

Civilian owned Aircraft including the North American Sabre, Hawker Hunter T7 and Strikemaster jets will also be flying. The Breitling Wingwalkers and the Matadors will take to the air as will the RN Historic Flight’s Sea Fury and Swordfish. The Airfield Attack and Scramble supported by pyrotechnics and ground support will return along with the World War One Display Team.”

“Ground attractions and the static aircraft display make it a full day out for all our visitors and we have not forgotten the children with a fun fair and flight simulators. Military vehicle displays will run alongside the popular craft tent. On Saturday evening we have the very colourful kite display lighting up the skies over the airfield,” said John Periam Airshow Press Officer.

“It has now become a mammoth task for the airshow team to run this event. We know we can’t please all, but we can assure you that it is a real value family day out with over 5 hours flying and 60 participating display aircraft. With the backdrop of Lancing College and the South Downs it makes Shoreham a unique display which is highly respected by pilots and members of the armed services, as is shown by their continued support over the years,” said Derek Harber.

Our website is updated on a regular basis and the Johnson’s Press ticket hotlines are now open on 01903 714135 and 01903 282382. They are also selling tickets at over 75 retail outlets in Hampshire and Sussex.

For those that want to see the show in style there is the Executive Enclosure where you can enjoy lunch and afternoon tea whilst watching the flying close to the crowd line. For more information please contact the airshow office on 01273 441545.

AIRSHOW NEWS: New plans revealed for RAFA Shoreham Airshow

The organisers of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Shoreham Airshow 2013 which is being held on the 31st August and 1st of September have announced some exciting changes for this years event.

The show now in its 24th year has raised over 1.8 million pounds to date for RAFA funds which go towards supporting ex and current members of ‘The RAF Family’.

It will be a year of ‘Celebrations’. The 70th Anniversary of the Dam Busters Raid by 617 Squadron will see the return of the Lancaster and other aircraft from The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The 70th Anniversary of the US Mighty 8th will see a display from US Aircraft lead by Sally B the B17 flying in formation with fighters from that era.

Not to be out done the Royal Air Forces Association will also be celebrating its 70th Anniversary supported by Shoreham Branch Members.

“With our new Flying Display Director Rod Dean there promises to be some changes to displays for this year. Rod who has organised the flying at Farnborough and was a top display pilot himself has a wealth of experience,” said Derek Harber Airshow Organiser. “He is highly respected by other pilots and has contacts within the aviation industry that will benefit Shoreham for many years to come.”

It has been announced that the Eurofighter Typhoon will be displaying both days along with other aircraft from The RAF and Royal Navy as well as The Falcons Parachute Team.

Our show is highly respected by both the aviation press, and other display pilots as being a show that contains the best of both civilian and military flying. Once again Shoreham will aim to please.

Other confirmed aircraft are the Skyraider, F-86A Sabre, C47, and the return of the popular WW1 Team with 8 aircraft. Shoreham of course would not be the same without the Airfield Attack and Scramble by Spitfires and Hurricanes.

“Before you ask? If the Vulcan is flying we will do our utmost to book it for Shoreham,” said Derek.

“It is early days and as this goes to press more display aircraft are being booked,” said Rod Dean. You can keep up to date by going to the Airshow website;

“Children are important both to the Airshow, and of course to the future of the armed forces so we plan to make sure the ground attractions are updated to include more interesting activities for them.

Our two day Airshow is a ‘Family Event’ and there will be many attractions from a craft tent through to trade stands, large static aircraft display, airside attractions with vehicle parade and a fun fair for all,” said Press Officer John Periam.

Tickets Hotline will open soon (01903 282382 and 714135). Tickets can also be purchased on line at and direct from Shoreham Airport. Retail outlets for sales will be announced later this spring.

The popular Executive Marquee will also be open for those that want to watch the Flying in style. Please contact the Airshow Office on 01273 441545.

Don Bean MBE

Don Bean MBE

Don Bean MBE

It is with deep regret that the organisers of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Shoreham Airshow announce the passing of its organiser Don Bean MBE following a recent illness at the age of 80.

In the year 2000 Don was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his tireless work for the Association. He founded the Shoreham Airshow 23 years ago following a small fete that was held to the East of the Airfield. The rest is history with donations made to RAFA of over 1.7 million pounds.

Don would have been the first to admit that it was a team effort. A firm handshake followed by a pat on the back was his way of saying thank you sometimes followed by a pint in the Airport Terminal Bar. Don was a modest man who worked hard to make the airshow what it is now – one of the best in the UK and respected by the aviation industry.

His efforts did not stop there. He in 1986 provided the Standard for Shoreham Branch RAFA. Later he became a Founder Member of the Friends of Sussex Down which was the RAFA residential home at Storrington in West Sussex. Several concerts were organised by Don to raise funds for Sussex Down with guests including the late Max Bygraves and the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. Dame Vera Lynn became a close friend supporting his efforts on many occasions.

The word ‘Yes’ was replaced more with the comment ‘I Am Sure You Can Do Better’ when it came to negotiating prices for flying displays and the many others items associated in running such a large event. He had retained his selling skills from running his own company!

Don had no fear when it came to talking to a member of the Royal Family or a senior officer at MOD. The word ‘No’ did not exist when it came to getting a specific aircraft to Shoreham. He had a list of private phone numbers that got him to the highest places as well as some of the aircrew dispatch desks.

Don served his National Service in the RAF from 1950 – 1953 working mainly in Air Traffic. Following this he became an apprentice Glazier specialising in leaded light. He then founded Lancing Glassworks which he ran until his retirement.

He was a member of Old Steine Masonic Lodge, where his charitable interests developed, and was an ardent Brighton and Hove Albion supporter.

He was dedicated to his wife Anne who supported him through rough and smooth. The worries regarding the Airshow were tenfold and many restless and late nights were spent at their home sharing their concerns. The logistics involved were vast when it came to costings and planning the flying schedules. The worries prior to the airshow turned to smiles once it was over.

Most airshows have a fully paid staff and are there to make a profit. Don made sure his profits went to RAFA. The highest amount given in one year was just over £165,000 – an achievement no other airshow world wide has done for this charity. In 2012 it cost just over £340,000 to run the airshow! The first show made £1,800 – what an achievement!

‘True Grit and Determination’ made Don the man he was. He was respected by those that knew him. The word ‘Thank You’ was at the top of his list. He gave help to others when needed and was a loyal ‘friend’ to many.

The Airshow will carry on and it will be a fitting tribute to Don as well as the late Peter Eager who passed away earlier this year.

Acting Airshow Organiser Derek Harber said, “It is not easy to put into words how we feel about this sad loss other than to say; he will be remembered with the respect he truly deserved. The office at Shoreham Airport will not be the same without his smiling face and his laughter. He was a man dedicated to his love of aviation which grew from humble beginnings. Shoreham Airport is steeped in history and Don’s memory will be linked to this for others in the future to see.”

Don leaves his wife Anne, 2 daughters, a step son and step daughter, 10 grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

AIRSHOW NEWS: RAFA Shoreham Airshow announce dates and exciting plans for 2013

The dates for the 2013 Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Shoreham Airshow have been confirmed for Saturday August 31st and Sunday September 1st 2013.

“It has been a sad year with the passing of our highly respected Airshow Display Director Peter Eager who has been at the helm for 23 years following a short illness. However, we know Peter would have been delighted with the appointment of Rod Dean as his successor,” said Derek Harber Acting Airshow Organiser. “Rod has a wealth of aviation experience as a display pilot and as a Display Director for the Farnborough Airshow so we can expect to see some new displays linked to some of the old at the 2013 event.”

Rod commented, “Taking over the Flying Display side of this show, where I have displayed for many years, from such an eminent predecessor as Peter Eager is not going to be easy. Peter was the Shoreham Flying Display, it reflected his individual style and character and it had developed from the early beginnings to the outstanding flying display we now have as a direct result of his efforts. I see my job as ensuring that this Shoreham ethos continues into the future.

Display pilots enjoy flying here because of the friendly and relaxed atmosphere and I aim to continue in that vein. We are just starting the process of assembling our thoughts for the flying display and plan to have some ideas formalised early in the New Year but, in any event, certain well liked items such as the Scramble, some locally grown display talent and a strong MoD presence will feature again in 2013, as they have for many years.”

There are certain aviation milestones to be celebrated in 2013 and rest assured we will link into one of them,” said John Periam Airshow Press Officer.

“We cannot run Shoreham without the support of our respected sponsors who help in many different ways and the dedicated organising team helped by many volunteers over the weekend that help to make the show the success it is,” John added.

Peter Eager

Peter Eager - Picture by John Periam

Peter Eager - Picture by John Periam

It is with regret that the organisers of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Shoreham Airshow have to report the passing of the Display Director and Commentator Peter Eager after a short illness.

“It is a very sad day for us all,” said Don Bean MBE Airshow Organiser. It was 23 years ago that Peter (then Manager of Southern Air) met Don at Shoreham Airport and both decided to hold a small Fete in the South East corner of the airfield. “That day the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was in the area and they did a fly through. We managed to give RAFA £1,300. To date we have now given almost one point eight million pounds to RAFA funds,” added Don.

Peter was one of those charismatic characters whose knowledge of aviation made his commentary skills that bit special. He knew his facts and had a manner of putting them over that made the public at Shoreham feel they were listening to a discussion in ones living room. It was personal and he always spoke from the airside where he introduced the pilots and guests to the public.

A good listener Peter was a caring person and offered his advice when needed in a friendly and positive manner which gained him high respect from many aircrews. His pre airshow crew briefings will long be remembered for their informal content supported by his wife Michelle with some of her poems linked to those attending.

He did the commentary at the Goodwood Revival each year and was often to be seen with the late great Raymond Baxter talking about the history of aviation. Peter had so much respect for this man!

His commentary skills became a household name and extend to other events including some family days for the Royal Air Force at several stations in East Anglia where he lived with his wife Michele and son and daughter James and Catherine.

Derek Harber acting airshow organiser said, “Peter although he was not well, made a concerted effort to attend this year’s Shoreham Airshow as well as the Goodwood Revival. He so much wanted to do it and meet up with his many palls from the world of aviation. He will be sadly missed but will leave a legacy for all!”

AIRSHOW NEWS: RAF King Air Display Dates 2012

The RAF King Air 2012 Display Season is as follows:-

  • Abingdon Charity County Airshow – 6 May
  • Southend Air Festival – 26 May – 27 May
  • Duxford Jubilee Airshow – 27 May
  • Folkestone Jubilee Airshow – 2 June
  • Dawlish Airshow – 8 June
  • Danish Airshow, Aalborg – 10 June
  • RAF Coningsby Families Day – 16 June
  • RAF Cosford Airshow – 17 June
  • Welshpool Airshow – 17 June
  • RAF Marham Families Day – 23 June
  • RAF Musical Salute to the Queen’s Jubilee, Guildford – 23 June
  • Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival – 23 June – 24 June
  • Central Flying School Annual Reunion – 28 June
  • RAF Waddington International Airshow – 30 June – 1 July
  • Royal International Air Tattoo Fairford – 7 July – 8 July
  • Farnborough International Airshow – 14 July – 15 July
  • Sunderland International Airshow  - 21 July – 22 July
  • Rhyl Airshow – 21 July – 22 July
  • East Fortune Airshow – 28 July  
  • Eastbourne International Airshow – 9 August – 12 August
  • 72 Sqn Association Weekend – 17 August
  • Whitby Regatta and Carnival – 18 August – 20 August
  • RAF Benson Families Day – 23 August
  • Clacton Airshow – 23 August – 24 August
  • Dunsfold Wings and Wheels – 25 August – 27 August
  • Children in Need Flying and Car Show, Little Gransden – 26 August
  • Bournemouth Air Festival  - 30 August – 2 September
  • RAF Linton-on-Ouse  - 01 August
  • RAF Shoreham Airshow – 1 September – 2 September
  • Southport Airshow  - 8-9 September
  • Official Diamond Jubilee Northern Ireland International Airshow – 8-9 September
  • RAFA Guernsey BoB Air Display  - 13 September
  • Jersey Airshow – 13 September
  • Leuchars Airshow – 15 September
  • Sanicole International Airshow – 16 September
  • Ostrava Airshow – 22 September – 23 September
  • Malta International Airshow – 29 September – 30 September  
  • Duxford Autumn Airshow – 14 October

AIRSHOW NEWS: RAF Tornado GR4 Role Demo Display Dates

The 2012 Tornado GR4 Role Demostration Display Dates are as follows:

  • RAF Coningsby Friends and Families Day (Private Display)  - 16th June
  • RAF Cosford Air Show – 17th June
  • RNAS Yeovilton Air Day 2012 – 23th June
  • RAF Musical Salute to the Queen’s Jubilee, Guildford – 23th June
  • Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival – 24th June
  • RAF Waddington International Air Show – 30th June 01st Julyy
  • Goodwood Festival of Speed- 29th-30th June
  • The Italian Job, Saltburn, Yorkshire – 1st July
  • Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford – 07th-08th July
  • Farnborough International Airshow – 14th-15th July
  • Sunderland International Airshow – 21st-22nd July
  • Rhyl Air Show – 21st-22nd July
  • ‘Airbourne’, Eastbourne International Airshow – 11th-12th August
  • Dunsfold Wings and Wheels – 26th-27th August
  • Best of British Show, Cirencester – 26th-27th August
  • Bournemouth Air Festival – 01st-02nd September
  • RAFA Shoreham Airshow – 01st-02nd September
  • Southport Air Show – 08th-09th September
  • Duxford Air Show – 08th-09th September
  • RAF Leuchars Air Show – 15th September
  • Rennes Airshow – 22nd-23rd September



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