Torbay Airshow 2017
They did it again
The Chinook displayed on Sunday
Following broad acclaim for the show's debut in 2016, the Torbay airshow repeated their success in 2017. The show was again based over the sea at Paignton and provided some spectacular air displays, including the first display of the season by the Chinook on Sunday 4th and the 2017 debut of the Red Arrows, who flew on both days. The noisy Typhoon had already performed this year, but Torbay saw its first seaside displays.
Unfortunately, overrunning winter maintenance meant the Lancaster was not able to display, but the BBMF were represented by their Spitfire and Hurricane.
In an innovation for 2017. visitors could also get tickets to go aboard HMS Somerset on the Sunday and find out all about a Royal Navy Frigate and how it works.
The full flying schedule is in the table
|Flying Schedule (tap / hover over icon for more detail)
||Red Arrows |
||Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF) |
| ||Belgian F-16|
|Chinook (Sunday only)|
||BBMF (Due to overrunning maintenance the Lancaster, which had originally been scheduled, did not fly)|
||Tigers Parachute Display Team|
|Cancelled or Withdrawn|
|Swordfish. Unserviceable for the whole of 2017 season. (Originally scheduled by Fly Navy)|
Strikemaster: a popular display in 2016
This brand new airshow in Torbay was a resounding success, proving that, despite the gloom and cancellations in the post-Shoreham era, airshows can, and do, succeed and prosper.
|Flying (tap / hover over icon for more detail)|
||BBMF Spitfire & Hurricane (The Lanc was originally scheduled but was not be airworthy) (Saturday and Sunday)|
|Red Arrows (Sunday only)|
|Typhoon (Saturday and Sunday)|
| ||King Air Display Team (RAF) CANCELLED|
|Tigers Parachute Display Team (Saturday and Sunday)|
||Twisters with lights and fireworks (Friday evening)|
|The Blades (Saturday and Sunday|
||Sea Vixen (Saturday)|
||AeroSparx with lights and fireworks (Friday evening)|
The RAF supported this new airshow with an impressive lineup including the Red Arrows, the Typhoon and the BBMF's Spitfire and Hurricane although the Lancaster, originally due to appear, was still undergoing repair and was not ready in time for the show. The King Air display team had also been scheduled, but did not fly as they had cancelled all displays in 2016.
The show was not without its controversy. In particular, parking was restricted in a huge number of roads and, although some concessions were made at the last minute, local residents and traders expressed some disquiet over the disruption to normal local services. Nevertheless, the show was a major fillip to local tourism and trade with estimates of crowd numbers varying in the 100,000 - 150,000 range and auguring well for a repeat in 2017.
Getting to the Show
Paignton is off the A380 from the east and the A385 from the west. These in turn connect to the A30, A38 and M5. Journey times would be about 2½ hours from Bournemouth, 3½ hours from Portsmouth or Bristol and 4½ hours from central London, depending, of course on traffic conditions. Use sat nav TQ4 6AG until you get close but ignore the sat nav in favour of show signs when you see them.
National Express have several coach services that visit Paignton, which is now accessible by many towns and cities along the south coast: from Eastbourne, Brighton, Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, Weymouth, Exeter, Plymouth, Newquay, St. Austell, Truro Falmouth, St. Ives and places in between. Another service goes to Paignton on the way between London, Heathrow and Exeter, visiting Reading on the way; and another goes from Yorkshire, visiting Halifax, Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Birmingham, Bristol and Taunton.
It is not quick and you may have to change buses, but if you like coaches the journey is possible. You can book seats online. Click the National Express name to go to their web site.
Accommodation near the show
It is best to book as far as possible in advance. This is not only because nearby hotels and guest houses tend get booked up well before the date of an airshow but also because prices can be better when you book early online.
There are plenty of booking agencies. We find that many of the well known ones are better at finding hotels from international or larger UK chains and may suggest hotels in main towns or cities quite a distance from the show site.
Between them, Expedia and LateRooms list a good selection of smaller, as well as bigger, hotels and will find accommodation in villages and small towns as well as the main centres. Expedia also give, and take, Nectar points.
Click either blue agency name for a list of hotels and guest houses near the show. The venue is already built into both links, so when the list comes up you just have to enter your dates.
Trivago will list competitive prices for a range of hotels, but they might not necessarily find them all, because some chains do not subscribe to their service. You may also get a better rate if you book direct with an hotel, especially if you are a member of a loyalty or rewards scheme.
There is a Premier Inn on Paignton seafront (but not on the flying line) and another two within three miles.
Weather for the show area
The Met office seven-day forecast includes maximum, minimum and "feels like" temperatures, the likelihood of rain, wind direction, gusts and visibility: the latter can have an impact on the viability of displays.
The BBC's five-day forecast has overall conditions including temperatures, UV range and a description that may help to determine how pleasant the day will be for the visitor.
Click the blue-text link to go to the forecast. The location is already built into the links.