ROYAL Navy warship HMS York will be open to crowds at Bournemouth Air Festival this weekend.
The Portsmouth-based destroyer arrived just off the beach yesterday, along with patrol vessel HMS Severn and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Mounts Bay.
Only York will be open to visitors at the festival.
Free tickets will be available from the Royal Navy Village from 10am each day and are subject to a first-come, first-served basis.
This year’s festival will also see the Viking amphibious all-terrain vehicles, plus there will be the Royal Marines amphibious beach assaults.
The Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows display team took to the skies over Bournemouth for the first time yesterday following the tragic death of Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging who crashed after last year’s performance.
The seven-plane team opened the festival with a 20- minute display against the backdrop of blue skies and a huge, appreciative crowd.
The display included a phoenix formation in a touching tribute to Flt Lt Egging and another Red Arrows pilot, Flt Lt Sean Cunningham, who died a few weeks after last year’s show in an incident at RAF Scrampton.
Other air displays planned to appear over the weekend are the Vulcan, Tornado Role Demo, Miss Demeanour, Hawk Jet, Black Cats Helicopter Display Team, Chinook helicopter, and the Breitling Wingwalkers.
An air festival had been planned to take place in Portsmouth for the first time on August 18, but organisers pulled the plug in July citing difficulties with getting the finances in place. It’s hoped it can be held on August 10 and 11 next year instead.