AVIATION enthusiasts will have their eyes on the sky at Oxfordshire's biggest air show of the year.

Spectacular flying displays will take place at Abingdon Airfield on Sunday, May 6, with a special nod to the centenary celebrations of the RAF.

The entertainment in the sky and on the ground, where there will be stalls, activities and static displays, will attract thousands of visitors from 10am.

Last year a Twister Aerobatics plane crashed, injuring the pilot, who was expected to make a full recovery.

Organiser Neil Porter said: "We are really looking forward to this year's Air and Country Show at Abingdon.

"Among the flying display highlights will be a Second World War Spitfire and Hispano Buchon formation display.

"The Spitfire is a rare two-seater trainer version of this iconic aircraft that first flew in early 1944.

"The Buchon HA-1112-M4L trainer is essentially based on the Messerschmitt BF109G but with a British Rolls Royce Merlin engine installed.

"This aircraft is the world's only surviving two-seat dual control training version flying today."

Mr Porter added that the three-hour afternoon flying programme would also feature the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight including a Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane, and a Muscle Pitts aerobatic aircraft which will race a classic car down the runway.

On the ground will be numerous attractions including pony rides, live music, falconry and static aircraft.

Exhibitors will include those celebrating the 100th anniversary of the RAF.

This year people paying on the day will be asked to enter using Gate A on Barrow Road.

All advance ticket holders are to use Gate B on Honeybottom Lane.

Instructions are included on the tickets, and Gate B is accessed by the B4017 Wootton Road only, not through Cothill.

Tickets can be bought in advance online, from the Newbury Building Society branch in Abingdon, from the Vale & Downland Museum in Wantage or from the Visitor Information Centre in Witney.

Road closure restrictions will be in place on Blackhorse Lane and in Honeybottom Lane on the day.

The air show started in 2000 as a local fete organised by Mr Porter, then working as a landscape gardener.

The first event barely broke even but has steadily grown into one of the area’s largest annual events. It now costs £80,000 a year to stage.

A statement on the show's website said: "Undeterred, every year we hold the event and pay the bills that go with it - and then make a donation to charity, being mindful that we need to keep some money in reserve, in case we have to cancel a show because of the weather."

The organisers are volunteers and over the past 17 years the show has donated more than £89,000 to charity, including £72,095 to the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, £14,000 to Douglas House Respite Centre, and a further £3,000 to other local charities.

For further information visit abingdonairandcountry.co.uk