Festival of flight

Excitement is building as the International Ayr Show – Festival of Flight draws ever closer.

This highly anticipated FREE event takes place from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th September and is guaranteed to be a weekend to remember for the whole family.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the South Ayrshire coast, breath-taking aerial displays and iconic aircraft will delight crowds as they soar over Ayr’s scenic shoreline.

One of the key attractions is the Battle of Britain Memorial Fight (BBMF). Two iconic Spitfires will take to the skies for what promises to be a poignant display. Widely regarded as the aviation hero of World War II, these fighter aircraft have been lovingly cared for and meticulously maintained and festival-goers will be able to appreciate their unique sound and shape first-hand.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, better known as The Red Arrows, will also be appearing at the festival. The iconic display team will perform a breathtaking aerial sequence at speeds in excess of 400 miles per hour!

Another crowd-pleaser is the RAF’s Typhoon. This multi-role fighter is capable of flying at supersonic speed and sustaining high ‘G’ turns in combat. The Typhoon remains a most potent airborne platform and will perform on both Friday 8th and Saturday 9th September.

And there’s more! The Starlings Aerobatic Display Team will also be gracing the skies with its dynamic, two-aircraft aerobatic display. Expect formation rolls, loops and stall turns as pilots, Tom Cassells and Michael Pickin (former National Aerobatic champions), fly two different aircraft – the Extra NG and the Cap 232 – to dazzle onlookers with their combined 50 years of experience.

The International Ayr Show – Festival of Flight is the festival that keeps on giving! Yet another highlight is Airborne Pyrotechnics. Equipped with LED lights and with pyrotechnics on the tips of the aircraft wings, the team will light up the skies on the evening of Friday 8th September with a graceful, two-aircraft formation display, showcasing the skills of father and son team, Tim and Tom Dews.

But that’s not all! Airborne Pyrotechnics will return to the skies on Saturday 9th September, swapping pyrotechnics for smoke, thus granting the audience an ever better view of the impressive Grob 109b motor gliders.

In addition to this already extensive list of highlights, South Ayrshire Council is thrilled to announce that Peter Davies will also appear at the festival in his Calidus Autogyro. Part aeroplane and part helicopter, the rotor blades are not powered by an engine but spun by the wind as the autogyro moves through the air, assisted by the propeller at the rear. Not much bigger than a family car, the Calidus Autogyro is sure to attract lots of attention. With a top speed of 120mph, it is also capable of flying at a mere 25mph – a curious aircraft indeed! Peter will no doubt thrill the crowd as he pirouettes, pitches and yawns across the sky.

And still there’s more! Team RaVen – consisting of six pilots and the world’s best-selling self-build aircraft – has been performing since 2014. This formation aerobatic display team will carry out precision formation flying and dynamic rolls as well as close opposition passes.

Flying the all-aluminium tandem two-seater Vans RV-8, the team has delighted crowds all over Europe. Modified with smoke systems, festival-goers are assured of an extraordinary aerial display.

Further entertainment will be provided by Prestwick-based Hamish Mitchell in his Cessna 172 seaplane. With the registration ‘G-DRAM’, the aircraft is affectionately known as ‘Wee DRAM’ and is easily identified by its tartan tail. It’s a quirky wee plane fitted with both wheels and floats. Weather permitting, Hamish will perform a ‘Splash and Go’ on the sea, briefly landing on the water before taking off again.

As well as looking forward to the festival from a spectator point of view, there are also opportunities to support the International Ayr Show. The festival promises to boost the local economy and promote growth and development across South Ayrshire. In doing so, it enables individuals and organisations to give back to the local community, reach a wide audience, and support engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

One of the important aspects of the air show is enabling the public to understand what an aerospace STEM career looks like at Prestwick. Created and facilitated by the air show’s strategic partner, theSKYLAB, this will be possible within a huge marquee at Low Green. The STEM area at Low Green will provide a great opportunity for young people, as well as adults, to interact with the highly skilled people that use STEM in their careers.

Thanks go to Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd, the festival’s headline sponsor, as well as charity partner, the RAF Benevolent Fund. Representatives from both organisations will be present throughout the weekend along with other International Ayr Show supporters.

To find out more and to keep up to date with other festival news, visit