The Patrulla Águila and the Red Arrows provided show-stopping performances at the weekend as they soared through the clear blue skies above the hundreds of thousands of spectators below.
On Saturday the San Javier air base opened it's gates to the public for it's static display, where the crowds inspected a remarkable display of aircraft on the new runway recently completed at the San Javier airport. Amongst the aircraft on view were a huge AWAC's airborne surveillance plane, one of two belonging to NATO, various types of fighter aircraft from many different countries, the HIND helicopter gunship and vintage aircraft from decades ago.
On the Sunday, hundreds of thousands of spectators flocked to the beaches between Santiago La Ribera and Lo Pagan for a front-seat view of what must have been one of Europe's best ever aerobatic shows. Everyone who viewed the displays on the ground and in the air, and all those who took part as pilots, ground crew, organisers, administrators and the hundreds of other people who gave their time, agreed that Aire06 was an outstanding success.
400,000 watch Spain's biggest ever air display
Prince Felipe of Asturias, accompanied by the Defence minister, José Antonio Alonso, were the guests of honour at the biggest ever air display held in Spain that involved nearly 400 pilots from 14 different countries.
More than 400,000 people attended the 2006 Murcia Air Festival on the Santiago de la Ribera and Lo Pagán beaches on the Mar Menor that started at 10am and finished at 7pm.
Prince Felipe stayed around for three hours to watch acrobatic displays by the Swiss, Italian, Dutch, British, Portuguese, Jordanian, Czech and French Air Forces as well as the Aguila and Aspa Spanish squadrons.
Also taking part in yesterday's event were German, Austrian, Belgian, and US aerial display teams as well as a NATO AWACS plane.
Related article: Red Arrows at the Mar Menor - Air Show from May 22nd to June 4th (Originally posted May 4th)
The sky over the Mar Menor will play host to the largest air show in Europe this Summer, and as the date draws nearer there has been confirmation of the 10 units that will be taking part in the flying displays.
These are the host Patrulla Águilas (pictured right), the Red Arrows, the Patrouille de France, the Patrouille Suisse, Asas de Portugal, the Royal Jordanian Falcons, the USAF F15 Demo Team, the Flying Bulls, PAPEA and the Patrulla Aspa. The air force has organised this event, which will run from May 22nd to June 4th.
The Spanish Pratulla Aguila regularly delight the residents who live around the Mar Menor, who say how fantastic it is to lay on the beach whilst watching the acrobatic displays in the skies above. This year the Pratulla Aguila will be working together with top pilots from all over the globe. This year's Aire 06 air show is expected to draw crowds of around 300,000 people.
There will also be solo displays by the F16 Solo Display Team, Mirage 2000, Eurofighter, F18, Mirage F1, and the AV-8B of the Spanish Navy. There will also be a number of historic aircraft in the air such as a Bücker, a Saeta and a T6.
The base for the event will be the military base in San Javier. In conjunction with the air show, the air force has organised a programme of events beginning on May 22nd. The first photographic exhibition of aircraft will take place at Placio AlMudi and this will run from May 22nd to June 4th. Also, any members of the public wishing to take a tour of the aircrafts will be able to do so on June 3rd at the military base in San Javier where a number of planes will be on display. Visitors will be able to take photographs, inspect the aircraft, and chat with crew.
Souvenirs will also be available. Parking areas are to be established from which buses will transfer visitors to the static displays. The zones from which the air displays can be watched on Sunday June 4th have been identified and these are the beaches to the north of the air base and from Santiago de la Ribera up to Lo Pagán. Again, parking areas will be established with bus transfers to the beaches. With up to a quarter of a million spectators expected at Aire 06, the logistics are very important.
On Sunday, June 4 the flying displays will take place from 10am onwards and they are expected to last for seven or eight hours. Air traffic management may mean that certain civil flights may be affected over the weekend and anyone traveling, particularly on the Sunday, would be well advised to check arrangements with their airline.
Anyone thinking of taking a boat to view the display should note that no vessels will be allowed beneath the flying area. For more information on Aire 06, see www.aire06.com