English Riviera Airshow, Torbay

English Riviera Airshow

June 2nd - 5th 2022

(Flying scheduled for Saturday and Sunday)

Red Arrows

The Red Arrows have always supported the show in Torbay

A show has been held in Torbay since 2016 and has enjoyed huge success. There was concern that the 2019 show may not go ahead (see 2019 summary tab) when the local authority said it was unable to afford all of the promised £90,000 towards the estimated £200,000 cost of the show.

However, in November it was confirmed that the show would be safe, with sponsorship and donations making up the shortfall and the show was as successful as ever, albeit weather-affected.

For 2020 the show gained a new name sponsor, being restyled from the Torbay Airshow to the English Riviera Airshow, but had to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2021 show was also cancelled for the same reason.

The 2022 show was held on June 2nd - 5th. On the first two days there were ground-based events to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. Flying displays were due to be held on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's displays were a big success, with an unscheduled bonus when The Blades accompanied the arrival of the Chinook but the weather prevented any flying displays at all on Sunday.

The displays are listed in the table.

See the show's event outline for more details.


Like several of the other seaside shows, it is possible to watch the aircraft from nearby hills, seeing the display against the background of Torbay and Brixham. A popular viewpoint is Roundham Head, along the child and wheelchair-friendly South West Coast Path, from where there are extensive views across Tor Bay, taking in the display, and over Goodrington Sands towards Brixham.

Aircraft due to fly both days but all flying was cancelled on Sunday because of unsafe weather conditionsPlease check the show's site for the latest information
Red Arrows (closed the show on Saturday and were due to open it at 12.30 on Sunday but the display was cancelled because of the weather)
BBMF Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane
Chinook (RAF)
The Blades
Tigers Parachute Display Team
Richard Goodwin
Strikemaster Mk82A G-SOAF
Yakovlev Yak-50 (pair)
Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIV

Please check the show's site for the latest list.
Appearances are always subject to technical, weather and other constraints.

Torbay Airshow 2019

1st & 2nd June 2019

The Typhoon has displayed at all Torbay Airshows

All originally due to fly both days
Red Arrows
Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)
RAF Tucano
Chinook (RAF)
Black Cat (RN)
Dakota (BBMF)
BBMF Spitfire & Hurricane
The Blades
Fireflies (cancelled)
Tigers Parachute Display Team
Strikemaster Mk82A G-SOAF
TwirlybaticsTwirlybatics, Pitts Special G-TWRL, Corrine Dennis
All appearances are subject to technical, weather and other constraints

The airshow is very well supported by the RAF and also attracts top civilian displays. Once again in 2019 the show enjoyed the very first public display of the season by the Red Arrows, who had only just returned from their training in Greece and came direct to the Torbay sunshine without even going to their home base first. Other RAF teams joining the Red Arrows on day one were the Typhoon, Chinook and Tucano as well as the BBMF's Dakota, Spitfire and Hurricane. The Royal Navy selected Torbay, too, for one of only six UK displays in 2019 by the Black Cats solo Wildcat and the army were represented by The Tigers Parachute Display Team.

Apart from the Fireflies, who cancelled before the show, there was a full programme of displays in sparkling weather on Saturday but the weather did not hold for Sunday's airshow. The flying began with the Red Arrows as scheduled but their display was curtailed because of the low cloud. The Chinook was able to battle the conditions but other displays were first postponed, then cancelled when the weather refused to improve.

 Show had been under threat through lack of funding

The date for the Torbay Airshow 2019 had been set and widely publicised. However, the Council was short of cash and could not afford the contribution on which the show then depended.

In the short time since it started in 2016, the Torbay Airshow had become extremely popular, pulling in crowds of 165,000 over its two days in 2018 and benefitting the local economy to the tune of £7 million.

It was also very well supported by the top teams: not least the RAF who always make a strong contribution, which included the Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Eurofighter Typhoon in 2018. Despite its youth, it had already become an invaluable element of the airshow calendar. It is generally the first free seaside show of the year and often the first display of the season by major teams such as the Red Arrows.

Torbay Council had agreed to support the airshow for five years with funding of £100,000 in 2018; £90,000 in 2019 and continuing to reduce by 10% each year for the rest of the commitment. However, the Council had a forecast overspend of £2.8m and could no longer afford to honour the undertaking. Unless the shortfall created by the Council's missing £90,000 was made good by the public, the voluntary sector or business, the 2019 airshow looked as if it would be cancelled. Councillors were also advised that, if the show was cancelled, it would be unlikely to return in the short term.

Officers reported to the 'Policy Development and Decision' Councillors at a meeting on 3rd September outlining the position.

About a month was allowed for discussion with others about making good the shortfall, before the outcome was reported back to the same Policy Development and Decision Group at a meeting on 1st October.

In practice, sponsors made up the shortfall and the show did go ahead.

There is also a report on the web site of Radio Exe.

Torbay Airshow 2018

2nd & 3rd June 2018


The Typhoon has displayed at all three Torbay Airshows

The Torbay Airshow enjoyed huge success in its first two years and made it a hattrick in 2018. It is very well supported by the RAF and also attracts top civilian displays.

At the launch of the show in February, the organisers said they would be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAF. This they did in style, supported by no fewer than five RAF teams including the BBMF, the noisy Typhoon, the Red Arrows, a relatively rare display by the Chinook and the return of the Grob Tutor, all in the glorious sunshine.

The teams adding to this annual spectacle are listed in the table.

Due to fly (tap / hover over icon for more detail)
Red Arrows (both days)
Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF) (both days)
Lancaster (BBMF) (both days)
Spitfire & Hurricane (BBMF) CANCELLED unserviceable
Spitfire Mk 1X
Chinook (Sunday only)
Dakota (BBMF) (both days)
Blades (both days)
Grob Tutor (RAF) (both days)
Bristol Blenheim (both days)
Vampire pair (NAFHS) CANCELLED
Richard Goodwin (both days)
Strikemaster (both days)
Bronco (both days)
Team Raven (both days)
Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers (Saturday)
Autogyro (both days)
Tigers Parachute Display Team (both days)
All appearances are subject to technical, weather and other constraints

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
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)
Team Raven
Lauren Richardson
Gerald Cooper
Piston Provost
Tigers Parachute Display Team
Cancelled or Withdrawn
Swordfish. Unserviceable for the whole of 2017 season. (Originally scheduled by Fly Navy)

Torbay Airshow 2016

Impressive Debut


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.

BBMF Spitfire & Hurricane (The Lanc was originally scheduled but was not 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)
Calidus Autogyro
The Blades (Saturday and Sunday
Breitling Wingwalkers
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 English Riviera Airshow

By car

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.


There are links to other route planners in the Travel Advice section.

By Train

Paignton is easily accessible from main railway hubs such as Exeter, Bristol, Birmingham and Reading, with connections to the rest of the UK. Paignton station is about 5 minutes walk from the flying line.

Click here to create a pocket timetable for your journey between any stations on the National Rail network.

Travel Advice

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Highways Agency
Incidents and enquiries
National Railway Map
DIY pocket timetable
Journey planning by public transport
Route planners (Road)
Bing (Microsoft)

Hotels near the Torbay Air 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.

Some Options

There is a Premier Inn on Paignton seafront (but not on the flying line) and another two within three miles.

There is a Premier Inn on Paignton seafront (but not on the flying line) and another two within three miles.

Click any of the blue names to go to the corresponding web site. The links already have the location built in, but please check, and change as necessary, the dates, number of rooms and number of guests.

Weather for the show area

UK Met Office Forecast

A full 7 day Paignton weather forecast from the UK Met Office

BBC Forecast

A 14-day forecast from the BBC

What the forecasts tell you

The Met Office 7-day forecast includes actual and "feels like" temperatures, the likelihood of rain, wind speed, wind direction, wind gusts and visibility: the latter can have an impact on the viability of displays.

The BBC's 14-day forecast has overall conditions including and hourly estimate of temperature, wind direction, wind speed and UV range.

Click the blue-text link to go to the forecast. The location is already built into the links.

2022 Show Basics


June 2nd - 5th
Flying on 4th & 5th

Airshow links


Not required. This is a free show.


Sat Nav TQ4 6AG


For links to other travel and route planning web sites, click the 'Getting There' tab


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