FLIGHT fanatics are set to descend on Clacton this week for the town's 150th Anniversary Flights.

The usual Clacton Airshow, which attracts more than 100,000 people each year, will not be going ahead for the second year running after the threat of Covid-19 restrictions hit preparations.

But special flights are instead being put on Thursday and Friday, August 26 and 27, to celebrate the resort's 150th anniversary.

It will include the famous Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), which includes a Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane.

Two US Air Force (USAF) F-15E Strike Eagles from the 48th Fighter Wing, operating out of RAF Lakenheath, will grace the skies above Clacton on Thursday – subject to operational commitments.

Instead of people descending on the town's West Greensward, those coming to watch the flights are encouraged to spread right along Clacton’s coastline, including the beaches, promenades and greenswards.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The Red Arrows at a previous Clacton Airshow

Alex Porter, cabinet member for leisure and tourism at Tendring Council, which organises the event, said: “With only a few days to go, I am really excited to be able to watch these spectacular flights above the skies of Clacton, and hope everyone else is too.”

With no central location for festivities, people are being reminded to prepare for the weather – including sun cream and plenty of soft drinks if it is hot.

To boost car park capacity over the two days the Rotary Club of Clacton will run an official car park off of West Road, next to Clacton Airfield.

Open from 8am until 6pm, admission costs £5 for the whole day and is cash only.
There is no bus transfer service to the seafront, and spaces cannot be booked in advance.

Hedingham Buses will also be operating a Park and Ride service from Clacton Shopping Village, while visitors can also use rail and coach services.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

People can download the free LoveTendring app to their smartphones to find out how busy beaches are and where to find local amenities.

Flights start at 2.30pm on Thursday, August 26, with two US Air Force (USAF) F-15E Strike Eagle, followed by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at 2.45pm, and the Red Arrows between 3.15pm and 3.45pm.

On Friday, 27 August, the displays are reversed with the Red Arrows at 12.45pm and the BBMF between 1.30pm and 1.45pm.

The existing first aid provision from the council's Beach Patrol will be boosted on the two days of flights with coverage from St John Ambulance, while council stewards will also be on-hand to provide information and help with issues such as missing children.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:


An extra flight has been announced for the first day of the Clacton 150 anniversary flights.

Two US Air Force (USAF) F-15E Strike Eagles from the 48th Fighter Wing, operating out of RAF Lakenheath, will grace the skies above Clacton on Thursday (26 August) – subject to operational commitments.

Swooping over the seafront at around 2.30pm, the fast jets will kick-start the day’s flying programme.

The F-15E is designed for air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, with low altitude capability, and has a two-man crew of pilot and weapons officer.

Powered by two Pratt & Whitney engines, the plane can accelerate from idle power to maximum speed in less than four seconds, with a total thrust of up to 58,000 pounds depending on the model.

Its top speed is 1,875mph (Mach 2.5) and the jet can climb to 60,000 feet.