The Southeast Air Show 2017 Herne Bay
19th August 2017
The show depended on RAF Team allocations
As in 2016, the third running of this free seaside airshow in 2017, was conditional on being awarded displays by the RAF. Displays by the Red Arrows and the Typhoon were awarded and so the airshow did go ahead.
Other displays included the Wildcats, Terry Martin's Westland Wasp, the Kent Spitfire and Hurricane, Strikemaster and the Aerosparx Twilight Display. It was hoped that the Sea Vixen would also display, but 'Foxy Lady' was damaged during a wheels-up landing on return from a display at Duxford and is not expected to return to flight before 2019.
On the ground, attractions included static aircraft, the 'Trench' experience with a converted 40ft container featuring the sights and sounds of a Great War trench, live music and the usual trade stalls on the lawns either side of the bandstand and on the sea side of Central Parade.
|Battle of Britain Memorial Flight|
|de Havilland Vampire|
|Team Raven (up to 6 aircraft)|
|Wildcat Aerobatic Team|
|Aerosparx daylight and twilight displays (half an hour after dusk - with pyrotechnics)|
|Justyn Gorman Extra 300|
|Great War Display Team (up to 10 WW1-era aircraft)|
|Boeing Stearman (TG Aviation, flown by Sue Girdler)|
The Herne Bay Airshow 2016
14th August 2016
Jet Provost Duo
New to the airshow circuit in 2015, a repeat of this free seaside airshow in 2016 was conditional on being awarded a display by the Red Arrows. The Red Arrows did confirm and so the show did go on.
Not only did the RAF confirm The Red Arrows, they also allocated the Eurofighter Typhoon and the BBMF trio including the iconic Lancaster, which had missed so many shows in 2015 and earlier in 2016 because of a series of technical problems.
The show may be remembered by many for the incident in which DRUINE D.31 Turbulent G-ARNZ ditched in the sea, flipped over and was righted by spectators, thankfully, without serious damage or injury.
A less-reported incident was the failure of the parachute of Tigers Parachute Display Team member LCpl Chris Smith who came in on his reserve 'chute just seconds after the landing of the tandem pair of Cpl Frank Millerick and LCpl Jake Manwaring who had dropped as a tandem pair, one upright and one inverted.
||Red Arrows (RAF)
||Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)
||Lancaster, Spitfire & Hurricane (BBMF)|
||Mustang Red Tail (was Jumpin' Jacques)|
||Team Spirit RV Formation Team|
|Westland Wasp |
||Calidus Autogyro |
|Great War Display Team |
|Spitfire MklX 'Spirit of Kent'|
|Tigers Freefall Team|
||Jet Provost pairs display|
||Gnat Display Team|
|Boeing Stearman A75-N25-4 (Sue Girdler)|
||Sea Vixen. Cancelled. Damaged flap|
||Vampires. Cancelled |
The line-up at Herne Bay was very impressive. It may be generally regarded as a smaller, young show, yet it is already able to compete in many respects with the longer-standing and better known seaside shows at Eastbourne and Bournemouth.
The WW2 survivor, Hangar 11's Mustang was an early booking. This Mustang had been flying as Jumpin' Jacques but for 2016 was repainted to represent the role that it actually flew towards the end of the war, when it was part of the American 332nd Fighter Group known as "The Tuskegee Airmen", referred to as "The Red Tails".
Also due to fly were three vintage jets: Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron's Vampire pair and the Sea Vixen. Unfortunately these three had to cancel. The Sea Vixen had developed a problem with one of the flaps just before a display earlier in the day at Eastbourne and had returned to base at Yeovilton.
Nevertheless, vintage jets were still well represented and included the Jet Provost pair of Dan Arlett in T.5A XW324 and Ollie Suckling in Jet Provost T.3 XN637. Dan and Ollie are both members of the JP Display Team but this was the first year they displayed as a duo: their pairs debut was just a few days earlier at Eastbourne's Airbourne.
Mark Petrie's BAC Strikemaster, in its grey Oman livery, the Gnat Display Team and the MiG-15 brought up to six the number of vintage jets - a rare achievement for an airshow in the post-Shoreham era.
The other displays are listed in the table and will not be recited here but it is worth noting that rotaries in the form of the Westland Wasp, vintage and modern jets, light aerobatics, family fun displays such as the Wingwalkers and the Turbulent Team and warbirds were all well represented.
The organisers deserve huge credit for bringing such a variety of displays to a show that may be relatively small in size but is big and becoming even greater in reputation.
Getting to the Show
There is very little parking in Herne Bay. You are recommended to use the good public transport links. You could also drive to a nearby bigger town, such as Margate, and use public transport from there.
If you do drive, use sat nav CT6 5LU until you get close, but ignore the sat nav in favour of local directions signs as soon as you see them. There are links to route planners in the Travel Advice column if you prefer to plan ahead or don't have sat nav.
National Express coach service number 22 links London, Canterbury, Herne Bay, Margate and Ramsgate. The bus depot is very close to the flying line. You can book seats online. Click the National Express name to go to their web site. Local services are provided by StageCoach South East. You can use their web site to plan a local journey.
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.
The International Hotels Group have a Holiday Inn Express in Minster, about ten miles away to the east (near Manston airport). There is a Premier Inn hotel in Herne Bay.