Taoiseach Confirmed As Special Guest At The Foynes Air Show

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will make his first official trip to Limerick since taking office on Saturday July 22, 2017 to attend The Foynes Air Show which is supported by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).


The Taoiseach is the confirmed special guest at the West of Ireland’s largest ever air show, which will also be attended by the Minister of State at the Department of Defence Paul Kehoe and the Minister of State at the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Patrick O’Donovan, as well as numerous others dignitaries. The show is part of the Aviation Ireland campaign by the IAA with Foynes being the focus for the Western seaboard and Bray Air Display catering for those on the East coast.
Taoiseach Confirmed As Special Guest At The Foynes Air Show

Foynes Air Show

There was aviation magic in the skies over Foynes and huge throngs on the ground as an estimated 20,000 were on to witness two days of daredevil aerobatics display to mark the 75th anniversary of the first transatlantic commercial flight.
The busiest weekend ever for Foynes was a fitting tribute to the milestone anniversary of the famous flight that saw the Pan American Airways ÔYankee ClipperÕ land at first ÔShannon AirportÕ, the then seaplane port in the West Limerick town – in July 1939.
Crowds attending were double what was initially expected, with tailbacks for up to 10km today in the run-up to the main airshow as 15,000 turned up for the centrepiece of the celebrations involving up 30 different aircraft.
Pic Sean Curtin Fusionshooters.Foynes Air Show

The Naval Ship the LE Niamh will also be docked at the port in Foynes for the duration of the show while military and civilian aircraft from all over Europe entertain the crowds from 1.30pm.


“This year’s show is attracting a lot of attention from across Ireland and beyond, with European TV crews applying to film what promises to be one of the biggest events along the Wild Atlantic Way this year,” said Margaret O’Shaughnessy, Foynes Air Show Festival Director.


“Despite the international enthusiasm for the event, the Foynes Air Show remains a free family focused event, attracting local people and holiday makers from all over Ireland every year.”


“We are delighted to have An Taoiseach coming to the Foynes Air Show as our special guest, and look forward to welcoming him to Limerick for the first time since taking up office. He is of course no stranger to Foynes having visited the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum twice as Minister for Tourism,” she said.


This year spectators can expect to be entertained by up to 30 of the world’s most famous and iconic aircraft including the Catalina which has strong historical links to Foynes and the newly refurbished DC-3, which revolutionised air transport in the 1930s and 1940s.


As many as 17 plus dare devil acts will entertain the crowd in the 3-hour never before seen spectacle over the skies of west Limerick. Among the headline acts are the Spanish Air Force F-18 jet, British Spitfires, and Viggen jet flown by the Swedish Air Force and a pair of Vampires from Norway.


Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive of the Irish Aviation Authority said, “Aviation is a hugely important economic driver for our country and this year under the IAA’s “Aviation Ireland” campaign we are supporting not just one but two spectacular air shows over the same weekend at Foynes and at Bray, making this year an extra special one for fans of aviation across Ireland. We see this as a great avenue to raise the profile of aviation and to generate an interest in our industry.”


“We are delighted to have the IAA supporting us this year as it allows us to put on the largest show ever along the Wild Atlantic Way. We are also grateful to our other sponsors including Shannon Airport, Limerick City & County Council, Shannon Foynes Port Company, Fáilte Ireland and many other aviation companies and local industry,” added Ms O’Shaughnessy.


About Foynes Air Show

The fourth annual Foynes Air Show will take place this year on Saturday July 22, 2017. Foynes Air Show is a thrilling and exciting Air Show of international standard, which celebrates the rich aviation history of Foynes and its location on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Foynes and the region have a strong association with international aviation and Foynes is the home of the only Flying Boat Museum in the world housing the only replica of B314 flying boat. Foynes is also the home of Irish Coffee, which will be celebrated at a second event on Sunday July 23, 2017.

Foynes Air Show 2017 Line Up:

Douglas DC-3: This plane revolutionised air transport in the 1930s and 1940s. Its impact on the aviation industry and its role in World War II make it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made. This particular aircraft was first delivered to the USAAF in September 1943 before transferred to the RAF in 1944. After the war it served the South African Air force until 1981 when it was stationed at Langebaanweg Navigation School.  It was the first DC 3 to be fitted with radar equipment while with the South African Air Force. The plane was sold to Aero Rebuilds in 1995  and then on to Springbok Classic Air in 2002.In 2009 the plane underwent a full restoration to flying condition. This work took place over 10 months  with 4 people working on the plane. In 2015 it was bought by its current owner Mr. Peter Adrian of Trier in Germany where it is stationed at his home base of Zwiebrucken EDRZ.

F-18 jet, Spanish Airforce: This will be the first time that the exciting Spanish display team will perform at Bray represented by Captains Herrera and Agulló, both based at Zaragoza airbase in Spain.

Catalina flying boat: The Catalina flying boat G-PBYA, will make a notable return to the skies over Foynes, as it marks the 80th anniversary of when flying boat G-ADHM Caledonia made the historic crossing from Foynes to Botwood in Newfoundland in 1937.

Patrouille Tranchant: A Celtic jet team from Brittany, France flying Fouga aircraft Patrouille Tranchant pilot Hugues Duval became the first pilot in aviation history to cross the Channel on an electric powered “CriCri” aircraft on July 9th 2015.

Norwegian MIG & Vampires:The Norwegian air force historical squadron will demonstrate their MIG and Vampire aircraft.

British Spitfire: Vintage glamour will be on show with a spitfire in the skies over West Limerick.

Irish Historic Flight Foundation: Commemorates aviation achievements as well as encouraging an interest in Irish aviation. Flying IOLAR and three Chipmunk aircraft.

The Ravens: A UK based formation aerobatic display team formed in May 2014 flying six RV aircraft.

The Viggen: Representing the ‘Swedish Air Force Historic Flight’ flying ‘Viggen’ aircraft.

SUKHOI SU 26: Dave Bruton will take to the skies in this single-seater no-compromise pure aerobatics plane from the former Soviet Union. First flown in 1984, the type has undergone many refinements over the years and has dominated Aerobatic World Championships since.

CAP 232: Five time Irish aerobatic champion, Eddie Goggins, will display his incredibly versatile skills in this French designed AVIONS MUDRY CAP 232 and its 300 horse power, 9 litre, 6 cylinder engine.

Christen Eagle: Andrew Fenton will display his aerobatic sporting biplane Christen Eagle II which is very similar to the Pitts Special, and was designed by the same person – Frank Christensen.

Pitts Special 2S2: The uniquely modified Muscle biplane of ex-RAF Tornado Pilot Rich Goodwin, is set to delight and leave visitors to Foynes Air Show in awe! ‘G-EWIZ’, which has been specially modified to provide the ultimate Biplane for air show entertainment.

Russian MIG-15: Designed in Moscow this particular aircraft was built in Poland in 1952 as a SBLim-2, and served in the Polish Air Force until 1990.

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