THE Red Arrows rounded off an action-packed opening day of the Bournemouth Air Festival, which attracted bumper crowds to the beachfront and clifftops.

A host of new attractions are set to display over the next three days, and yesterday the air festival fans got their first glimpse of a couple of new boys.

Team Raven and the Super Pitts Muscle Plane took to the Bournemouth skies for the first time.

Five pilots completed team Raven, showing off their skills in Van’s RV aircraft.

Meanwhile, stunt pilot Rich Goodwin performed manoeuvres in his Super Pitts biplane which appeared gravity-defying at times.

At one point the ex-Tornado GR1 pilot, who learned to fly before he knew how to drive, appeared to hover in the air using his aircraft’s engine as a rotor blade.

Air Festival director Jon Weaver told the Echo: “We’ve been planning this over the last 12 months and we have a very strong programme. We have brought in some new acts alongside old favourites as well, and that has been very important for us.

“We have worked to ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy this year. It looks like good air festival weather for us, so we are keeping our fingers crossed on that one.”

Today's flying was rounded off by the Red Arrows, but also boasted the Spitfire and Dakota, from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the Tigers Freefall Parachute Team.

The crowds really showed their appreciation for the Aero SuperBatics Wingwalkers, who faced down wind speeds approaching 150mph from outside their aircraft.

Tina Jameson, who had travelled with her family from Birmingham for the show, told the Echo: “You have to take your hat off to those wingwalking girls, at one point they were actually holding on with one hand.”

Visitor Paulinho Cortana said: “It is always the Red Arrows that do it for me, but the pilot Rich Goodwin gave them a good run for their money. He showed some real skill up there.”

A flypast from an RAF Tornado, an appearance by the Twister Pair, and the B-17 Flying Fortress ‘Sally B’ also wowed the crowds.