AROUND two thousand people queued around the block in Bournemouth for the chance to meet their air show heroes.

The RAF’s Red Arrows proved the biggest draw, but fans also got the chance to meet members of the Red Devil’s parachute display team, The Blades, O’Brien’s Flying Circus, the P-51 Mustang team and the Tigers Army Freefall Parachute team.

Red Arrows spokesman Andy Morton said: “One of the great parts of being a Red Arrow is that they get to meet so many people.

Bournemouth Air Festival is probably the largest air festival we do in terms of the number of people who get to see us across a series of days.

“So to have this opportunity to meet people on the ground, face-to-face, is tremendous. It also allows us to hear people’s thoughts on the display.

“I know many of the pilots get a real thrill from meeting the fans.”

Peter Stuart, and his son Toby, were just two of the fans who queued for over an hour to meet the display teams at the Best Western Hotel Royale yesterday morning.

“I’ve been doing this for the past fourteen years, so I have to keep coming back,” said Bournemouth-based Peter.

He’s been getting the same Red Arrows flight suit signed by team members every year.

“I thought the display last night was really good, he added. “Great lighting, when they banked from the east side you saw the red glint it was great

Meanwhile, Nick Harris, who attended with his one-year-old son, said: “We are big aviation fans who live locally, so it would be rude not to come.”

Nick also gave Red Ten Mike Ling, who is taking part in his last Bournemouth Air Festival this year, a present - a bottle of beer and a glass.

“It was just a thank you,” said Nick.

“We always try to give a little thank you to the pilots because they give a lot of their time.

“It is always nice to let them know they are appreciated.”

Claire Rickman, visiting with her six-year-old daughter Aimee from West Moors, said: “We are huge fans, and it will be the last time we see Monty and Mike who are leaving this year.

“Basically we think they are simply fantastic.”