Airshow Returns To RAF Manston, Saturday 22 June

Welcome to the Yourcounty Manston Airshow feature, an iconic Kent event that returns to Thanet after twenty years. If you can remember one of the previous air shows held at Manston or at any other of the venues in Kent we'd like to hear from you. Our contact details are at the foot of the page. If you're looking for more suggestions of places to visit in and around Kent check out our Discover Kent page, an insiders guide to Kent tourism and tourist attractions.

Plans for Manston Airshow 2013 are progressing at great pace. The confirmed aircraft listed published by the event organisers at the time of writing include; the Great War Planes (a BE2, the Sopwith and Fokker Triplanes and a Junkers CL1.), a Staggerwing, Super Decathlon, Swordfish, Kent Spitfire and Hurricane. Sea King and the Apache Helicopter and the very distinctive Vulcan bomber. This is not an exhaustive list and more details can be found on the organisers website (see contact details below).

The Yanks are coming in the form of the B-17 Sally B, B25 Mitchell, P-40 Kitty Hawk, Ferocious Frankie the Mustang and the Boeing Stearman. This will be the first outing for the B25 Mitchellin just under four years.

Friday 21st June has been set aside as an education and media day where young people will be invited to take a look at the exhibits and meet some of the people involved in creating the event. The Schools day is sponsored by the local authority,Thanet District Council, up to 1,000 local children will have free access to the show site and be able to participate in organised activity sessions. The Spit and Hurricane Museum, Battle of Britain Experience and War and Peace Tank. Tim Stokes Artefacts of WW1 and WWII are all part of the Education Zones.

In a different era the RAF Manston Air Show attracted tens of thousands of visitors and it's hoped that this new event can recapture some of the successful elements of previous demonstrations. The 2013 show is also planned to feature static displays for all the family such as:

  • Brad Pittance and the Pirates will be performing at the show on Saturday 22 June, as part of the arena line-up
  • The Military Fitness Academy using the latest keep-fit concepts to provide an alternative to the normal gym programme.
  • A fun fair and steam rally with appropriate rides for younger children.
  • Vintage cars and motorbike
  • Lots of shopping stalls
  • Displays and live entertainment
  • Aircraft Simulators
  • The Ramsgate Rockets (a Thanet-based troupe of children)

The event is being managed by Heritage Events, Chris Yates from the organisation said:

"We are delighted to bring this airshow back to Kent after some years absence. It was always a very popular show, running since the Second World War, with audiences peaking in excess of 80,000. Some of the teams displayed in the past include the Red Arrows the F111's the A10s and even Concord.”

Manston Airport

Manston has been been a military airfield for most of its history. Early in the story of aviation (1915) Manston was being used as a landing and training centre. Its strategic significance increased during WWII, amongst other connections, Barnes Wallis and the Dam Busters trained there. The airport continued to be RAF Manston until it was reinvented as a civilian airbase. The airport is known for the length of it runway which stands at just over 2,700 metres.

Tickets And Pricing

Adults tickets are just £12, concessions (child and senior citizen)£9, the family ticket is family 2 adults and 2 children £35, single parent family 1 adult and up to 3 children £30 online until 18th June. Free parking onsite more details at

Location And Contact

The event is being managed by Heritage Event, they should be the point of contact for all ticketing and commercial issues.

  • Manston Airport -
  • Manston Road, Ramsgate CT12 5BQ
  • 01843 823600

Kent Airshow Feedback & Disclaimer

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Your Comments

"In response to your request for information about previous air shows at Manston.

My grandad, Basil Stockbridge, recalls going to the Empire Day airshow at Manston in around 1938 (he would have been about 12). He has loved flying since he sat on his dad’s knee in a biplane and flew round Lydd in the 30’s. Basil was in the ATC at Simon Langton and joined the Observer Corps in 1944 while still at school.

He learned to fly a glider in the ‘60’s and got his private pilots licence in the ‘70’s only giving up when he retired. He also flew remote controlled model aircraft until very recently.

I adore my grandad and I am very proud to say that, at the age of 87, he intends to cycle to this years’ 'Yourcountry Manston Airshow' with his daughter, Helen, and grandchildren just like he cycled to the last one with his father in the 30's.

Attached are four photos, three were taken at the Empire Day in the '30's and the fourth shows Basil and (my mother) Helen at my sister's wedding in August. Basil currently lives in Bristol but Helen lives in St. Peters, Broadstairs.

Having done a great deal family history research, I appreciate how valuable stories from the past can be.

I hope my grandad's story is of interest.
Katherine Seton"

Manston Airshow

Manston Airshow

Manston Airshow

Basil Stockbridge and Katherine Seton