Flypasts by the Red Arrows and historic aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight were cancelled after poor weather at their bases in England prevented the planes from taking off.
Other displays, such as by an RAF Typhoon, were curtailed because of cloud cover at the show, at the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune in East Lothian.
Some 10,000 visitors braved the rain in the hope of seeing some flying, with the turnout down by one third on last year’s record 15,000.
A Second World War Bristol Blenheim and a B17 Flying Fortress bomber, and a 1945 Mustang fighter, were also unable to fly.
A spokeswoman for the airshow said: “Unfortunately, due to unexpectedly severe weather conditions across the UK, many of the aircraft which were due to display at the airshow had to cancel their appearances.
“We have never had anything like this before.
“We apologise for the disappointment caused to our visitors as a result of these changes, which have been caused by poor weather and were outwith our control.”
Spectators, who paid up to £22 for tickets, have been advised to check the show’s website - nms.ac.uk/airshow - on Monday for information about refunds.
The Red Arrows, the RAF aerobatic team, were not able to leave Newcastle. Their supervisor tweeted from the airshow: “The weather is awful. I’m afraid our display here has been cancelled.”
The Spitfire and Hurricane fighter and Lancaster bomber comprising the Battle of Britain display were held at their base at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
The Typhoon, one of the few of the 18 aerial “acts” to go ahead, made only a brief appearance. “The weather got the better of the display unfortunately,” said a spokesman.
Disappointed air fans took to Twitter to vent their frustration.
Civil engineer Ryan Main tweeted: “Such a pity the weather was horrendous for the East Fortune airshow. One brief flying display and many others scrubbed.”
Laura_HMFC wrote: “Up at East Fortune airfield for the airshow, the weather is miserable and loads of things cancelled.”
Elsewhere, flood alerts were issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency for the Borders, Ayrshire and Arran, Dumfries and Galloway.
It warned of heavy showers that could flood low-lying roads and isolated homes, particularly in the western Borders and South Ayrshire.
The Met Office issued a yellow severe weather warning for up to 20mm of rain falling in an hour in parts of south-west Scotland.