With just 48 hours to go until the world’s eyes are on Southsea for the national D-Day 75 commemorations, Island Echo has all the detail on the much-anticipated fly past of RAF aircraft, as well as vital travel information.
Flight enthusiasts will be hoping for clear skies on Wednesday (5th June) as more than 26 RAF aircraft are set to fly around the Isle of Wight and up the Solent as part of one of the biggest events in the South for decades.
Her Majesty The Queen, US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May will be amongst dignitaries descending on Southsea Common to mark 75 years since D-Day. Thousands of veterans from across the services will also be in attendance, although members of the public are not permitted within the event arena. Big screens will be erected in Southsea for those unable to attend the closed event.
When will the flypast take place?
Eyes should be set on the skies for between 12:30 and 12:45 on Wednesday lunchtime as this is when the main flypast is expected to happen. A naval gun salute will take place at 12:45 (approx.) followed by the flypast of both historic and modern RAF aircraft. This will include the iconic Red Arrows.
Will the Red Arrows be putting on a display?
Following on from the main flypast, the Red Arrows will return to the skies above Portsmouth at 16:15 to put on a breathtaking aerobatic display with all the usual twists, turns and coloured smoke.
Are there any aerial restrictions in place?
Drone and aircraft pilots are warned that there is a no-fly zone imposed on the Isle of Wight (in its entirety) between 12:00-12:45. A separate no-fly zone is in place covering Portsmouth, the Solent, Ryde, Bembridge, Sandown, Wootton and East Cowes (and surrounding villages) between 07:00-19:00 and a similar radius for the Red Arrows display between 16:15-16:45.
How will my travel be affected on Wednesday?
Hovertravel have cancelled a number of crossings between Ryde and Southsea on Wednesday. The 11:45 from Ryde and the 12:00 from Southsea have been cancelled, with the 12:15 from Ryde and the 12:30 from Southsea both departing 10 minutes later than normal.
Customers should note that the HoverBus will be in operation but unable to drop off at Southsea Hover terminal. In addition, no vehicles will be able to access the terminal all day. Taxies and buses will be at Southsea Terrace.
Pedestrian access will also be limited and will be only be via the coastal footpath (through Clarence Pier). Special arrangements are in place for those with reduced mobility, hospital appointments and accredited veteran guests.
Wightlink are advising customers on their Fishbourne car ferry route and the Ryde Pier Head catamaran route allow extra time to check in for booked sailings.
Can I watch the event on TV?
Those unable to get to Southsea or Ryde seafront on Wednesday can follow the commemorations live on BBC One from 09:00. Island Echo understands that the BBC will be conducting a live broadcast from Lane End, Bembridge for The One Show later in the day.
Is anything taking place on the Isle of Wight?
As the D-Day 75 commemorations draw to a close, the MV Boudicca will set sail from Portsmouth International Port with 300 D-Day veterans bound for Normandy. HMS St Albans will escort the MV Boudicca, along with 4 smaller Royal Navy vessels, out into the Solent and around the east coast of the Isle of Wight.
Between 20:45 and 21:15, the Boudicca will stand off the coast of Ventnor – a town that played a vital role in the war with RAF Ventnor situated on top of St Boniface Down. Those in the area will hear the ship’s horn blasting, maroons being fired and church bells ringing out across the town. A service will be held on the seafront, as previously reported by Island Echo.