THOUSANDS of people will have their eyes on the skies tomorrow as a series of spectacular aircraft soar above East Lothian.
Scotland’s Airshow returns to the National Museum of Flight in East Fortune for the 16th year, with organisers promising a “fantastic line-up of entertainment”.
A supersonic RAF Typhoon, a Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, a Bell UH1 Huey helicopter, Sea King chopper and a Second World War Swordfish torpedo bomber biplane from the Royal Naval Historical Flight are among the star turns.
One of the highlights, however, will be on the ground where former Concorde pilot Tony Yule and world record-breaking balloonist Brian Jones – who completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth with co-pilot Bertrand Piccard in 1999 – will share their experiences with visitors.
Mr Jones will give a talk as part of celebrations to mark 230 years since the first public demonstration of people travelling in a balloon.
One of Scotland’s leading balloon pilots, Graeme Houston, who also works as a safari pilot in Africa, will showcase his Muller Wiseman balloon at the event.
Other aerial highlights include the Team Breitling Wingwalkers performing manoeuvres and handstands while strapped to the top wings of their Boeing Stearman biplanes, as well as aerobatic displays from the SWIP team and the Trig aerobatic team.
Steve McLean, the museum’s general manager, will this year be overseeing his first airshow, which is expected to attract 10,000 visitors.
He said: “As always, we have a fantastic line-up of entertainment both on the ground and in the air to ensure that the event lives up to its reputation as one of Scotland’s best family days out. The skies will be alive with our action-packed flight programme.”
There will also be entertainment and storytelling for children, including performances from Aviatricks circus and acro-balance shows.
At the Supersonic Science Show, visitors can go behind the scenes of Concorde, while there will be dozens of educational stands, exhibits and displays, plus music, food and drink.
Kate Pearson, trusts manager at the People’s Postcode Lottery, which is sponsoring tomorrow’s extravaganza, said: “National Museums Scotland is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and, as such, we are thrilled to hear funding is being put towards the National Airshow. The event is always an action-packed family day and something we know many our players are hugely supportive of.”
• Tickets for Scotland’s Airshow, which takes place from 10am-5pm tomorrow, can be purchased online at www.nms.ac.uk, at the gate, or by calling 0300 123 6789. Discounts are available until 5pm today.