IT couldn't have gone better. As finales go, the fourth day of the seventh Bournemouth Air Festival had everything.

After slightly iffy, albeit improving, weather on the preceding three days, summer came back to town with a boom - literally.

The openers were none other than the Red Arrows, performing their final display at an event that they were visiting on every day for the first time.

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Against stunning skies and hot sun, the crowd was treated to the full show, with red, white and blue smoke aplenty.

They were still an eight-man crew, but the 400,000 people on the beach loved every second of it.

The Royal Marines showed their stuff again, battling pirates on the sea and on the beach, before The Blades made their first daytime appearance after performing as part of Night Air.

The forecast was for greying skies, but nothing of the sort ever happened and The Blades looped, rolled and hung in mid-air as they defied gravity once more.

History came back to town again with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, today a Lancaster and just one Spitfire, but no less enthralling in the late summer sun, with the Dakota transport aircraft following in behind.

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The Black Cats, Merlin and Army Lynx helicopters brought things back up to date, while B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B paid her last tribute of the weekend to the fallen American airmen of World War Two.

The Tigers parachute team dropped from 5,500ft with flags flying and smoke streaming and the RAF's Tucano and Tutor training aircraft showed what every pilot goes through to gain their wings.

Then the power rolled back into town with a second visit from the mighty Vulcan, which was confirmed straight after Saturday's flight thanks to sponsorship by Merley House and the Bournemouth branch of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust.


The Chinook made its final display of the season - and the last ever for this particular helicopter - before something truly special as the finale approached.

It was local hero the Sea Vixen first, screaming across the seafront, before Hunter jet Miss Demeanour howled in straight after.

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Then the crowd was in for a real treat, as the pair was joined by a newcomer to the festival, the Canberra, to complete a unique display, culminating in a spectacular bomb-burst as the three jets split off right in front of the crowd.

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The Canberra got the arena to herself for a while, before it was time for the big finish.

With so much history on display, it was left to the state-of-the-art Eurofighter Typhoon - with the crowd encouraged to do a Mexican wave - to close the show.

With barely a cloud in the sky by this point, it was a dramatic, noisy, earth-shattering finish as the Bournemouth Air Festival went out with a roar.