Air Show Report : Bray Air Display 2019 - Bray, Ireland
Bray Air Display 2019 - Bray, Ireland
Jason Phelan reports back from the 2019 Bray International Air Display in Ireland. All photos by the author.
The 14th Annual Bray Air Display took place over the weekend of 27th & 28th July 2019 in the spectacular setting of Bray seafront, Co Wicklow, Republic of Ireland. A short hop from Dublin City centre, Bray is easily accessible by the DART service. Bray 2019 had a mix of solo aerobatics, Formation Teams and unique flypasts and the weather attracted a record-breaking crowd.
The highlight of the weekends activities was the very special opening formation flypast of an Aer Lingus A320 in the new corporate livery and no less than 5 PC-9M’s from the Irish Air Corps. Sunday’s display was opened with a rear crowd arrival to a cheering and enthusiastic crowd. Several flypasts followed with the Air Corp in forming onto the A320 in various formations.
The Irish Air Corps have always been a big supporter of Bray and 2019 was no exception. Following the magnificent opening flypast, the traditional 4-ship PC-9M “Silver” flight delighted the crowd with a tight 4-ship display and a solo routine. With a CASA CN235 demonstration, the Irish Air Corps Black Knights Parachute Team jumping from a height of 5000ft from a Eurocopter EC-135, and the later then giving an extremely tight solo display and completing the services contribution.
Throughout the weekend a variety of solo aerobatic aircraft showed off some high energy manoeuvres. With Richard Goodwin in the Pitts S2S, Eddie Goggins in the Mudry CAP232 and Dave Bruton’s Sukhoi 31. Team Raven also wowed the crowds with their 5-ship display in their home built RV4/RV8 aircraft of aerial ballet and formation flying. The Irish Parachute Club contributed six jumpers on the Sunday in gusty winds having dropped from a height of 5000ft from their aircraft a Pacific Aerospace 750XL (5B-CLY).
The Royal Air Force have been regular supporters of the show over the years and in 2019 Flt. Lt. Liam Matthews of RAF 72 Squadron, Linton-on-Ouse represented the RAF in the very last display season of the Shorts Tucano T1. The Tucano is to be retired at the end of 2019 after 30 years and replaced by the Texan T1.
John Dodd flew a very impressive display in the Duxford based, 1944 manufactured P-51 Mustang “Miss Helen”, bringing a very vintage and classic sight and sound to the display. Not to be out done the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF) executed a beautiful display with two Chipmunks and a Boeing Stearman.
For many, the highlight of the show and been afforded the show closer for both days was the Royal Jordanian Falcons. This is the teams third consecutive year to attend Bray and the crowds were not disappointed with a very impressive and spell binding routine for 2019. The combination of the commentary, music, display, setting and enthusiastic crowd made for a real showstopper.
It was unfortunate that the Strikemaster Pair and the Blades for the Sunday show got stuck in the UK, the later due to the poor weather conditions. This is now the fourth year that The Blades team have been unable to make it to Bray and it is hoped that the team will be fifth time lucky in 2020 in enthralling the Bray spectators.
Sé Pardy, Director, Bray Air Display said: “The weather certainly didn’t let us down and was the perfect backdrop to another spectacular aerobatics display. Pilots and aerobatic teams love performing in Bray thanks to the carnival atmosphere and spectacular backdrop of sand, sea and Bray Head. Thanks to everyone who came to Bray to support the event and cheer on the participants.”
“Sincere thanks to our supporters, Bray.ie, the Irish Aviation Authority and Wicklow County Council whose support makes this event possible,” continued Sé. “We also could not run the Bray Air Display without the wonderful volunteers who give their time and expertise so willingly. We’re looking forward to doing it all again next year which will be a very special 15th year of the Bray Air Display.”
Bray Air Display was recognised as ‘Best Festival / Event Experience over 50,000 people’ at the prestigious, national Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2017 and in 2018 and 2019 it won silver in the ‘Best Tourism Initiative’ category at the All-Ireland Community and Council Awards.
Visit www.brayairdisplay.com to keep up with news, dates and participants for the 2020 Bray Air Display.
Report and photos by Jason Phelan ( view portfolio )
Last Modified: 23 August 2019