GREAT War commemorations will play a central role in this year’s Bournemouth Air Festival.

With only a few months to go, air festival organisers are busy finalising details of what is set to be four fantastic days of flying and great family entertainment.

A key event for 2018 will be a special vintage weekend, including a number of heritage aircraft and a poignant poppy drop.

Weather permitting crowds will get the chance to watch the spectacle of First World War dogfighting in the skies over Bournemouth Beach.

Replica flying machines from the Great War Display Team will transport onlookers back one hundred years.

The team is set to perform a routine with numerous aircraft, including a replica Fokker Dr1 Triplane, a favourite of legendary German ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron.

From the military the RAF Chinook is back, this time for three days, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire, Hurricane and Dakota take to the skies for four performances and everyone’s favourite the incredible, world-famous RAF Red Arrows will be displaying Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Night Air displays will feature, for the first time, displays with four aircraft.

Air festival director Jon Weaver said: “We’re so pleased to be welcoming back the Red Arrows, Chinook and BBMF and a great night air line-up.

“Along with civilian aircraft the programme for this year is possibly the best we have ever had, we’ve really got a big announcement to make next month which will be a first for Bournemouth.”

Saturday and Sunday celebrates a Very Vintage Weekend, a stunning heritage aircraft flypast and the poppy drop.

An event spokesman said: “Regarded as the UK’s most successful civilian air show with brilliant day and night time entertainment in the skies, on land and in the evening, the 11th Air Festival is certainly set to be the event of the summer.”

This year’s Bournemouth Air Festival, which includes a host of activities on land as well as in the air, is scheduled for August 30-September 2.

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