NEWS

The Air Show Returns to Prestwick


Prestwick World Festival of Flight welcomes the return of the air show, last held in 1992. Prestwick has a long history of air shows, and it is interesting to look back.

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Empire Day Flying Display, 1938

The first air show held at Prestwick was an Empire Day Flying Display on 21 May 1938, laid on by Scottish Aviation Limited. This was the first time that pilots of the newly-formed Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve had appeared in public, flying Hawker Harts.

They were backed up by RAF pilots and the City of Glasgow Auxiliary Bomber Squadron. Highlights of the display were aerobatics by the pilots of two Gloster Gauntlets, dive bombing, balloon bursting, and the destruction of a mock fortress and tank. The additional aircraft on show were Avro Ansons, Hawker Hinds, Tiger Moths and a Spartan Cruiser.

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Empire Day Flying Display

Prestwick International Air Show, 1967-92

It was not until 30 September 1967 that the next show was organised, and renamed the Prestwick International Air Show. From then on it took place biennially, attracting up to 100,000 visitors to a mix of historic, passenger and military aircraft. A prototype Concorde made its first appearance there in 1972, four years before it went into regular service, and in 1989 there were dramatic scenes when the pilot of a 1940s Hawker Sea Fury fighter was forced to ditch the aircraft in the sea after its undercarriage failed to open fully. He baled out and was rescued.

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Tiger Moth at 1972 Air Show

Prestwick Airport proved to be an ideal venue for an air show, its main runway accommodating the very largest aircraft and its huge apron perfect for the static aircraft display. Sadly, the show was eventually abandoned in 1992 because of prohibitive overheads and insurance, and the difficulty of finding sufficient numbers of volunteers.

Scottish Air Show, 2014

Following on from the success of Prestwick World Festival of Flight in 2013, the new Scottish Air Show will take place on the weekend of 6/7 September 2014.

The main air display will take place over the Low Green, Ayr, on Saturday 6 September; the static aircraft display on Sunday 7 September at Prestwick International Airport.

Prestwick Airshow

Twin Pioneer

Our Flight Plan

•To celebrate a century of aviation at Prestwick, in word, music, performance and film.

•To commemorate the seminal role played by Prestwick in creating transatlantic civil aviation.

•To honour all those men and women from Scotland and beyond who built, maintained and flew aircraft at Prestwick, in peacetime and in war.

•To explore Scotland’s heritage and future in aerospace and civil aviation.

•To promote Scotland’s aerospace engineering creativity to the world, and Prestwick as Scotland’s aviation capital.

•To encourage young people, girls and boys, to take up a career in aerospace engineering.

•And to celebrate the ongoing adventure of flight and its role in bringing together the peoples of the world.


Ayr College


Scottish Parliament Exhibition


John Scott MSP kindly arranged an exhibition at the Scottish Parliament for the week of 27 – 30 May inclusive. There were three panels of text, encompassing a brief history of Prestwick Airport, an outline of the 2013 World Festival of Flight, and the background to the forthcoming Scottish Air Show, supplemented by archive photographs.

The exhibition occupied the prime space outside the MSP entrance to the Debating Chamber, and opposite the restaurant, which meant that a large number of MSPs passed by. It was curated by Angela Wrapson, who was on duty on the days that the Chamber was sitting to answer questions and offer further information, and attracted a great deal of interest.

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During the exhibition week John Scott hosted a visit from the Alloway and Doonfoot Community Council.

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