Static Aircraft Display

Prestwick Airport
7/8 September, 2013

In spite of the enthusiastic co-operation of Prestwick Airport staff, their offer of Apron Bravo free of charge, and their waiving of landing fees, this was the single most difficult event to organise. The main problem was that there was no air show happening at the same time at Prestwick to provide the core of the exhibits, and the Festival had only a tiny budget to bring them in. Furthermore, RAF Leuchars set the date of its 2013 air show later than usual, so it looked as if 2012 had been the final one, and the Festival had chosen the same weekend some months before.

Having said that, the popularity of the event led South Ayrshire Council, Event Scotland and some of Prestwick World Festival of Flight’s sponsors to provide substantial funding for the revival of Prestwick’s Air show over the weekend of 6/7 September 2014.

Catalina Flying Boat 

For 2013, David Lacey and the Festival’s Events Manager Danny Anderson worked tirelessly on the event. We had hoped to show examples of the four planes built at Prestwick, but the Museum of Scotland’s Pioneer is very difficult to move, and Air Atlantique’s Twin Pioneer was grounded for repairs. But we did obtain a Bulldog through the owner and a Jetstream, courtesy of Eastern Airways, with help from BAE Systems.

There was also a programme of pleasure flights in an 8-seater Islander which proved so popular that Hebridean Air Services had to withdraw their second aircraft from the display to cope with the demand.

The event was enhanced on the Sunday by the addition of a Catalina Flying Boat, which drew huge crowds all day.

The staff of Plane Sailing, who operate the Catalina, were amazed by the excitement they generated, and immediately asked to be invited back. They had not known that Prestwick Airport would have such fine facilities, that the wartime Flying Boat base had been in Largs, or that there were people still alive, such as Sam Milliken, who had worked there. Sam is now in regular contact with them.