'Superb' Portrush Airshow set for take off

The red arrows in action
Image caption The Red Arrows are to return to Portrush this year after pulling out last year following the death of a pilot

The skies above Portrush will be filled with colour this weekend as the Northern Ireland International Airshow takes off.

The 30 air displays planned for the event will include the Red Arrows.

About 100,000 people are expected to visit the town over the two days.

At its launch on Thursday, Coleraine Borough Council's airshow organiser, Jeff Brownhut, said it will be one of the biggest shows to date with something for all ages.

"Even the stuff we have at the City of Derry Airport for the launch - a preview of what is to come - is superb."

"We have a lovely little red aircraft here, a BD-5, from the James Bond film Octopussy."

As well as the air displays, organisers said the show, which is free, will include the biggest programme of ground attractions in the event's history.

The arena will include trade stalls, a fun fair, aircraft simulators, and entertainment acts for children.

'World's greatest'

Royal Marine Commandos will stage a beach landing and hostage rescue, and the Royal Navy will be giving cookery demonstrations.

Last year, the Red Arrows pulled out of the event after the death of a pilot in a crash in Dorset.

Jeff Brownhut said that while they are the most popular act, there will be a lot of other talent on display.

"We also have the Blades, four aerobatic aircraft that are, in my opinion, the world's greatest aerobatic display team," he said.

The airshow opens at 11.00 BST on Saturday and Sunday with air displays from 12.00 to 17.30 BST.