Air Attractions

PUBLIC NOTICE: The information displayed on the page is correct as of Thursday 29th August 2019. For live event updates please refer to the Air Waves Portrush Facebook page. 

Saturday
Global Stars
Catalina
P-47 Thunderbolt
OV-10 Bronco
Calidus Autogyro
Irish Coastguard S-92
Yak 3
Scout
Ulster Gliding Club
Wild Geese Parachute Team
Wing Walkers
Team Raven
Sunday
Global Stars
Catalina
P-47 Thunderbolt
OV-10 Bronco
Calidus Autogyro
RAF Tucano T1
Yak 3
Ulster Gliding Club
Wild Geese Parachute Team
Wing Walkers
Team Raven

Some of the stars taking to the skies at Air Waves Portrush

Catalina

A familiar visitor to Air Waves Portrush the graceful Consolidated Catalina flying boat used to patrol the North Atlantic shipping lanes during the Second World War from RAF Castle Archdale, located on the eastern shore of Lower Lough Erne near the village of Lisnarrick. This particular aircraft G-PBYA was originally ordered for the Royal Canadian Air Force and entered service in 1943. It conducted mainly anti-submarine patrols until July 1945. After the war it entered a period of storage before being converted into a freighter in 1948. During the next few years the aircraft flew photographic reconnaissance missions in the Arctic and conducted search and rescue and flood relief supply flights before finally leaving military service in May 1961. Converted to a ‘water bomber’ and wearing a French registration this aircraft undertook fire-fighting duties based in Marseille during the mid to late 1960s. G-PBYA first displayed in the UK in 2004 when it was painted bright yellow, red and green colour scheme before being painted in it’s current scheme which represent WW2 USAAF Catalina of 8th Air Force 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron which was based at Halesworh in Suffolk, England. The pilot for this display will be Angelo Cunningham.

P-47 Thunderbolt

The P-47 Thunderbolt  is making its Irish debut at Air Waves Portrush. ‘Nellie’ as she’s fondly known only appeared on the UK air display scene in May last year. The Thunderbolt was involved in the D-Day invasion and was instrumental in striking bridges and German gun emplacements in Normandy. Hence white D-Day invasion stripes on the aircraft. Many P-47’s that operated from the UK in WW2 staged through RAF Sydenham, Northern Ireland which is the present day site of George Best Airport. This particular aircraft is no stranger to the UK as it operated from Duxford from 1986 but returned to the USA in 2006. Fighter Aviation Engineering Ltd brought the P-47 Thunderbolt back to the UK in 2018 and the aircraft with the registration G-THUN flew in UK skies again on 4 May 2018.

Global Stars

The Global Stars team provide spectacular formation and solo air displays. They fly a mixture of Extra 300 series and CAP232 and 260 aircraft, all high performance aerobatic aircraft. They have displayed all over the world including Australia, India, Belgium, China, Dubai, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Malta, Romania, Denmark and Netherlands. A number of pilots fly for the Team with a combined total of many thousands of flying hours, these pilots include Mark Jefferies, Tom Cassells, Chris Burkett, Steve Carver, Michael Pickin and Chris Heames.  The team is based at Little Gransden, Cambridgeshire with a main grass runway of 810 metres.  Four of the team will display at Portrush and then also the evening pyros display at Portstewart.

Calidus Autogyro

The tandem 2-seat aircraft was designed in Germany with a fully enclosed cockpit, not like the early autogyros which had the pilot open to the elements! The Calidus is equipped with a 115hp Rotax four-stroke engine running on regular petrol. The rotor is not connected to the engine which only powers the propeller at the rear. Main rotor turns due to airflow over the blades which make them spin. With an empty weight of 285kg and a maximum take-off weight of 560kg, it can reach around 120mph with a range of about 350 miles.  Flown by Peter Davies who has been flying for 32 years and flying gyroplanes for 22 years and has over 2500 hours flying time.  Peter has displayed at several major air shows including Paris, Farnborough and Biggin Hill.

Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers

Air Waves Portrush is delighted to have the worlds only formation aerobatic wingwalking team, formed in 1984. Using a Boeing Stearman the team have displayed in 20 countries around the world including China, India  Japan and most European countries. The ‘standard’ Stearman has a 220 horsepower engine but those used by the wingwalkers have the much larger 450 horsepower radial engine.

OV-10 Bronco

The team formed in 2010 to maintain a living memory of the historic aircraft the North American Rockwell OV- 10 Bronco. The Bronco was a light attack and observation aircraft which served in many areas of the world from the 1960s to the mid 1980s. Tony de Bruyn is the main display pilot,  based at Kortrijk-Wevelgen airport in Belgium, with over 5000 hours to his credit. Displaying extensively throughout Europe and the 2 weekends after Portrush it will be in Lens, France and Sczeged, Hungary.

Yak-3

The Yak-3 was developed by the Russians in the middle of World War Two – their equivalent to the later Spitfires. Since 1991 a number of replica Yak-3s have been manufactured in Russia and this aircraft G-OLEK was assembled at Strela in Orenburg (700 miles SE of Moscow) in the early 1990s. The aircraft is painted in the markings of Normandie-Nieman Regiment as flown by the Free French Air Force pilots on the Eastern Front.

RAF Tucano

Displaying on Sunday only this will be the last RAF Tucano display in Northern Ireland as the type goes out of service in October this year. It feels like it’s coming home as the aircraft was built in Northern Ireland at the Shorts factory in Belfast. Pilot Flt Lt Liam Matthews is the pilot and after completing initial training on the aircraft he then became an instructor on the type.

Remembrance Poppy Drop

On Sunday to help close the show we have a poignant reflection to all those who have lost their lives while serving in the forces. Following a short ceremony of thanks on the beach the Huey which is part of a static display at Ramore Head Recreation Grounds all weekend, will take to the skies to drop poppies on the waiting crowd at approx. 4.30pm. A sure sight not to be missed!

Team Raven

Team Raven is a formation aerobatic display team formed in 2014. They have always flown RV4 or RV8 aircraft, currently having 5 x RV8s. Led by Simon Shirley, a former RAF fast jet pilot, who is now a flying instructor on the Grob Tutor. The rest of the team consists of Steve Lloyd, a businessman with a love of flying, Barry Gwynett, who works in the heating engineering field, Gerald Williams, a former professional rugby player, and Mark Southern, another former RAF fast jet pilot now a training captain on the Thomas Cook Airbus A330/A321.

Irish Coastguard S-92

Returning to Portrush will be the popular Irish Coastguard S-92 to conduct a role demo with the Portrush RNLI lifeboat. Demonstrating winching skills in East Bay the helicopter and lifeboat present a great photo opportunity with the Skerries rocks in the background. This helicopter is normally based in Sligo, Ireland.

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