The Bournemouth Air Festival has attracted over nine million people since it first took place in 2008. As such it has awarded itself the title of the “…the UK’s biggest air festival.” Perhaps more accurately stated as ‘…the biggest crowd attending an air festival’…

Bournemouth Air Festival

Held along the coast at Bournemouth each year, weather permitting, there is no possible way to charge admission to one million+ people spread along the foreshore. Inevitably therefore, admission is completely free of charge.

Spread over four days, there are plenty of opportunities to catch the flying displays, with both military and civilian aircraft airborne, along with the Red Arrows, wing walkers, helicopters, aerobatics, formation flying and much more.

Bournemouth Air Festival - Wikimedia-Commons
Bournemouth Air Festival – Wikimedia-Commons

A variety of charities are supported, including the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Force Association and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

Do you want to know more about the Airshow? They have a very comprehensive FAQ on their website, covering everything you might want to know. You can read it here.


The Bournemouth Air Festival has won numerous awards, including:

  • Visit England Gold Event of the Year
  • South West England Tourism Excellence – Silver Award
  • Green Apple environmental Award
  • BADA Unsung Hero
  • EAC Marketing Awards
  • Primary Times Best Event of the Year 2015 and 2016


The airshow is held along the foreshore at Bournemouth in Dorset, England.


The 2018 dates are 30th August to 2nd September.

Admission Fees

The event is free.

Flying Displays

Taken from the website, I have listed the aircraft and display teams below. For aviation enthusiasts not familiar with terms like ‘Otto’, ‘The Blades’, Xtreme’ and so on, it would be useful if airshow organisers actually gave details of the aircraft type and the display type.

  • Chinook
  • SallyB
  • MiG
  • The Tigers
  • Xtreme
  • Breitling Wingwalke
  • Spitfire
  • The Blades
  • Bristol Blenheim
  • Red Arrow
  • P-51 Mustang
  • Otto
  • Red Devils
  • Twister Duo
  • Strikemaster
  • Great War Display Team
  • Hurricane
  • Yakovlevs
  • Vampire pair
  • Six heritage jet display (MiG15, Vampire Pair, Strikemaster Pair and JP5)
  • Spitfire/Buchon

Static Displays

There are RAF, Navy, and Army Villages and many other attractions (see below).

Other Attractions

  • A Very Vintage Sunday – vintage cars, period costumes and dancing.
  • Royal Air Force Village – an interactive RAF village where you can meet aircrew and learn more about careers in the Royal Air Force
  • Royal Navy Village – like RAF village, but for the Navy
  • Army Village – see Army equipment, meet soldiers and learn about Army careers
  • Royal Marines – present in the Navy village and conducting amphibious displays
  • Food and drink stalls
  • Pleasure cruises from Bournemouth Pier
  • RFA Argus and other ships, boats and demonstrations
  • Night air entertainment – fireworks, live music, unarmed combat demonstrations


More Airshows

Visit the Airshow website here, or check out our Airshows page for more articles like this.

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