THE BRAY AIR Display next Sunday will see a whole troop of aerobatic pilots take to the sky to put on a show for spectators.
Last year the display attracted 85,000 people and this year they’re promising crossover loops, synchronised hammerheads and ‘split shamrocks’.
If you’re planning on going along, you’ll have to watch with your feet planted firmly on the ground but we were given the chance to sit in the cockpit of a Boeing Stearman for a flight around Dublin to show you what it would be like to pilot one of these things.
The 1942 aircraft was first used in Florida by the US Navy to train cadet pilots throughout the War. In 1946, an airman returning from the World War II purchased it from the Navy and took it to his home in California, using it frequently up until he retired in 1978.
It was bought by the Ryan family of Ryanair in the late 90s when it was painted in its current colour scheme.
Pilot Robbie Redmond, who was previously a captain with Ryanair, said this model of aircraft it “very reliable and as their numbers become fewer they get treated that little bit better and it does require a lot of maintenance to keep them in tip top condition”.
Out of the 8,000 originally built, there are now only a handful of them left throughout the world.
Redmond said the plane is actually very safe, mainly due to the simplicity of its design.
“It can be quite a tricky aeroplane to fly but like anything once you’re used to it it is quite easy”.
He said flying a vintage aircraft is “like nothing else”.
“You’re exposed to the elements, the wind, the noise, the smell of the engine oil – you don’t experience any of that in a commercial jet”.
The Bray Air Display starts at 3.30pm on Sunday 20 July, if you fancy more of this action.