Archive for the ‘UK Airshow News’ Category

Fourteen Spitfires will take to the skies at IWM Duxford’s 1940s inspired Battle of Britain Air Show

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow

It’s time to practice your lindy hops and dust off your tweed jackets as IWM Duxford’s Battle of Britain Air Show returns on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September, transporting visitors back to the summer of 1940 as the historic airfield prepares for a weekend of vintage showground entertainment and historic flying displays.

Following a successful return to Air Shows in July, IWM Duxford is thrilled to welcome visitors back for its final Air Show of the season which will see the historic site transformed with living history groups, 1940s music and dancing and plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. The Battle of Britain Air Show will also see a spectacular array of aircraft take to the skies, including The RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial flight. They will open the show’s packed flying programme with a Spitfire, Hurricane, and one of only two airworthy Avro Lancaster bombers remaining in the world. Air displays throughout the day will showcase the best of Second World War aviation with plenty more Spitfires as well as seaplanes, and Thunderbolts. Also featuring are the Great War Display Team who will be performing a choreographed dogfight with authentic First World War aircraft.

The showground will offer no shortage of entertainment including, for the first time, a vintage fairground complete with a carousel and ferris wheel, jazz and big band sounds from The Debonaires and 1940s classic songs from the cover act, Perfect Vintage. There will also be the chance to dance the lindy hop or try your hand at a swing dance and be sure to say hello to living history re-enactment groups, including Spirit of Britain who will portray the life and roles of 19 Squadron, based at RAF Duxford during the Battle of Britain. Explore static aircraft inside and up close and meet both current and former pilots to hear their stories of life in the air.

All IWM Duxford hangars and exhibitions will be open throughout the weekend including the recently opened Ops Block, an audio-visual experience that captures how men and women defended Britain from Luftwaffe attacks in the former nerve centre of RAF Duxford during the Battle of Britain. With the stories of real people who served here alongside their uniforms, keepsakes, and testimonies, the Ops Block links the personal to the extraordinary feats in the sky.

IWM Air Show Event Manager, Phil Hood, said “The Battle of Britain Air Show is always a very special event at IWM Duxford given the important role the site played during this pivotal moment in the Second World War. We also get to pay homage to the iconic Spitfire, an aircraft with a very close association to Duxford as the first station to receive it in 1939 and seeing fourteen of these warbirds close out the Air Show is guaranteed to be a spectacular site. It has been great to welcome visitors back to our Air Shows this year and we are thrilled to be able to increase the capacity to this event, allowing even more people to enjoy our air displays and showground entertainment.”

IWM will be asking that ticket holders over the age of 18 produce evidence (in line with an NHS Covid Pass) of either a negative Covid-19 test result or proof they have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccination. Please refer to the website for full details regarding entry requirements and other measures we will be keeping in place to keep everyone safe at this event.

Tickets to the Battle of Britain Air Show are available to purchase now at: Tickets | Imperial War Museums (iwm.org.uk)

Prices: Adult £42.50 / Children 5-15 £14.25 / Children under 5 and carers free

Air Tattoo to Serve up Aviation Feast – Virtually!

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Virtual Air Tattoo

Whilst the actual Royal International Air Tattoo won’t be taking place as planned at RAF Fairford this weekend, Airshow organisers are ensuring their supporters will still be able to enjoy plenty of aviation-related thrills and excitement – albeit virtually!

The six-hour, free-to-view, live-streamed Virtual Air Tattoo takes place on Saturday, July 17 from 10am to 4pm and will include exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage, virtual flying displays, live interviews, competitions and special features.

Presented by Air Tattoo commentator and aviation expert Ben Dunnell and filmed from a live studio by PlanesTV, the 2021 Virtual Air Tattoo will build on the success of last year’s inaugural event that attracted an audience in excess of one million.

As well as being given exclusive operational access to RAF Coningsby and the Historic Army Aircraft Flight at Middle Wallop, the Virtual Air Tattoo team flew on board a USAF Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker air-to-air refuelling flight from RAF Mildenhall. In the studio, there will be a number of live interviews including talks with Red 10, Squadron Leader Adam Collins, from the Red Arrows and Air Tattoo co-founder Tim Prince.

Air Tattoo Head of Air Operations Peter Reoch said whilst it was disappointing not to be able welcome aircraft to RAF Fairford there had been incredible support from air arms from around the world who were keen to participate in the virtual event. Among those represented at the Virtual Air Tattoo will be Austrian, Danish and French, who all participated in the first Air Tattoo in 1971, plus 20 other countries from across the globe.

He said: “We’ve got lots of surprises planned for the live stream , including virtual flying displays with a special 50th anniversary twist! We’ll also be previewing next summer’s Air Tattoo by announcing the Airshow’s themes for 2022. I’m confident that, like the Airshow itself, everyone will find lots to enjoy during the day.”

As well as celebrating the Air Tattoo’s 50th anniversary, the virtual event will also be launching ticket sales for next summer’s ‘real’ Airshow, which will take place on July 15-17, 2022. For ticket details and prices, visit www.airtattoo.com

During the event, viewers will have the opportunity to donate to the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the Air Tattoo’s parent charity. Text TRUST to 70490 to donate £5 (texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message). Also through Virgin Money Giving: https://bit.ly/rafcharitable

ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE RAF COSFORD AIR SHOW 2021

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Cosford Air Show Red Arrows

The RAF Cosford Air Show team have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 guidance and, after much consideration, we have taken the very difficult decision not to hold an Air Show event over the weekend of the 11th and 12th September 2021.

In light of the Government’s decision to delay the planned lifting of COVID-19 restrictions by four weeks and the rapid spread of the Delta variant, there is too much uncertainty surrounding factors which are outside of our control. Taking this decision now ensures that the future of RAF Cosford Air Shows is secure and we can now focus on our grand return to the skies in 2022.

We are devastated to be in this position once again but, as with many events, the health and safety of the public, as well as our serving personnel, and the financial security of future shows must be our priorities.

Customers who have held onto their tickets will be able to request a refund through our website at www.cosfordairshow.co.uk/tickets , or they can choose to carry their tickets over to the RAF Cosford Air Show 2022. Those who do hold tickets over will not be subject to any price increase.

Exciting plans are already underway for our grand return in 2022, which will tell a 70-year story of aviation and royalty – commemorating the countless achievements in aviation and engineering throughout the 70-year reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

We would like to thank all of our sponsors, traders, suppliers and, of course, our thousands of Air Show visitors for their support and understanding. We look forward to welcoming you back to RAF Cosford in 2022.

Legendary Red Arrows to headline Duxford Summer Air Show this July with tickets on sale from today

Monday, June 28th, 2021

Duxford Red Arrows

IWM Duxford is gearing up for a summer of thrilling entertainment in the air and on the ground at the Duxford Summer Air Show on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 July, with tickets on sale from today. Promising fun for the whole family, Duxford’s first air show since 2019 will feature spectacular sights in the sky from the world-famous Red Arrows, parachuting displays courtesy of the Falcons and wingwalking from Aerosuperbatics. There will also be a host of over aircraft taking flight over the historic airfield, including the last remaining airworthy B-17 ‘Flying Fortress’ in Europe and dynamic displays from The Blades. For the first time, an airside Flightline Walk will be included in the ticket cost giving visitors the chance to see the aircraft up close before they take to the skies.

New for this year, entry to Duxford Summer Air Show will be via three zones (Blue, Green and Red), each of which contain everything you need to enjoy a fantastic day at Duxford. Each zone will include dedicated viewing areas, food and drink stalls, retail traders, ground activities, entrance and exit, toilets and car parking and visitors will be required to stay within their designated zone throughout the day.

Each zone will offer no shortage of entertainment on the ground with the Blue Zone featuring a First World War RAF pilot living history group, the chance to see historic aircraft being restored and a display from the Airborne Assault Museum where a ‘para sniper’ will tell stories of war from the air. Whilst in the Green Zone, the Laguna Spitfire Legacy will bring to life the support given to Britain by Polish pilots during the Second World War and Historic Aircraft Collection will showcase an array of static aircraft. In the Red Zone, see amazing items from the Royal Anglian Museum, including uniforms and rationed food; tank demonstrations from Duxford Aviation Society and more living history groups re-creating home front life during the Second World War.

For more information about each zone, please refer to the website.

IWM Air Show Event Manager, Phil Hood, said “Air shows have been a highly anticipated fixture on the IWM Duxford events calendar for many years so we are thrilled to be able to welcome visitors back to the Duxford Summer Air Show this July. We are delighted to have secured such an amazing array of aircraft and flying acts which will provide hours of entertainment for visitors. Those familiar with our air shows will notice a few changes we have introduced in order to enable this event to go ahead in the safest way possible and we are confident it will be a memorable weekend, allowing us to get back to what we do best!”

Alongside designated zones, IWM has also introduced other additional measures to keep visitors, staff and volunteers safe on site and ensure social distancing during the air show. On arrival, ticket holders over the age of 11 will be asked to produce evidence of a negative Covid-19 test result or proof they have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccination. All hangars and indoor exhibition spaces will be closed for the duration of the air show, with all historic ground activity being focused outdoors. Please refer to the website for full details regarding entry requirements and other health and safety measures we have introduced to keep everyone safe at this event.

World’s Greatest Airshow Gets Airborne – Virtually

Thursday, June 17th, 2021

Virtual Air Tattoo

Following the success of last year’s inaugural Virtual Air Tattoo, organisers of the world’s greatest airshow will once again deliver a first-class feast of flying entertainment for aviation fans around the globe next month.

Whilst airshow supporters will have to wait until July 15-17, 2022, to experience an actual Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, they will be able to enjoy the next best thing with a six-hour, free-to-view, live-streamed virtual event on Saturday, July 17, 2021, from 10am to 4pm.

Presented once again by Air Tattoo commentators and aviation experts Ben Dunnell and Mark Manwaring, the exclusive programme will feature contributions from the Royal Air Force and air arms from around the globe.

Making a welcome return will be the virtual flying aces who wowed viewers last year with their aerobatic displays flown, like their real military counterparts, with pinpoint precision. And with no actual Air Tattoo taking place this summer, it will be left to the virtual event to turn the spotlight on the airshow’s 50th anniversary with specially filmed packages celebrating this important aviation milestone.

The programme will be filmed by Planes TV and hosted from a live studio in Fairford. As well as featuring new content, special guests and interviews, the show will invite viewers’ questions via social media, making the Virtual Air Tattoo a truly interactive experience.

Air Tattoo Head of Marketing Helen Webb said: “Last year’s virtual event attracted an audience of over a million. We received so much positive feedback that we were determined to build on its success. Next month’s Virtual Air Tattoo will look to capture some of the thrills and excitement we would have all enjoyed had we been able to stage the real thing. This includes making sure we have the opportunity to celebrate the airshow’s 50th anniversary. It will be an unmissable event for aviation fans.”

During the event, viewers will have the opportunity to donate to the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the Air Tattoo’s parent charity. Text TRUST to 70490 to donate £5 (texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message). Also through Virgin Money Giving: https://bit.ly/rafcharitable

www.airtattoo.com

The most exciting air show of 2021, Midlands Air Festival takes place this weekend

Friday, June 4th, 2021

Red Arrows

The spectacular Midlands Air Festival is set to take to the skies with a line-up that will thrill spectators, delight families, and impress even the keenest aviation enthusiast, when it returns to Ragley Hall estate in Warwickshire on 4 – 6 June 2021.

Topping the bill will be the RAF Red Arrows when they make their UK debut performance for 2021 with a new display across all three days of the event. The RAF Typhoon Display Team, Battle of Britain Spitfire pair and RAF Falcons will also feature at this year’s event.

Not only will this be the public’s first opportunity to see the new displays for the 2021 season, but this will also be the first Red Arrows full display in the UK since the pandemic, due to the inevitable cancellation of events up and down the country in 2020.

The ticketed event will also feature the largest display of special shape hot air balloons in Europe in its twice daily mass ascents, an exhilarating progamme of civilian and military air displays and its signature Nightfire event which promises fun for all the family on the opening night. In addition, organisers have secured the mighty B-17 bomber and Rich Goodwin in his radical high powered Muscle Biplane to feature in the exhilarating programme of air displays.

As well as a jam-packed afternoon of air displays, the event will feature over 120 hot air balloons that will be rising high in the twice-daily hot air balloon mass ascents at dawn and dusk, providing an unrivalled spectacle. Special shapes that have been confirmed for the event include Wes the Wolf, the Cornetto Ice Cream, the giant Saucepan, Buddy the smiling friend, Up, Fox, Queens Guardsman and Ordnance Survey.

During the afternoon of Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June, the flying display programme will keep visitors’ eyes to the skies. The audience will be treated to WW2 Warbirds, WW1 air displays, fast jets, helicopters, gyroplanes, high energy aerobatic displays, aerial ballet and flying circus acts as well as parachute and formation display teams, all contained within beautiful surroundings of the Ragley Estate.

The Midlands Air Festival will also be bringing back its spectacular signature Friday evening Nightfire show, when darkness falls aircraft fitted with pyrotechnics, fireworks and lighting systems to their wings will take to the skies, followed by a beautiful nightglow where hot air balloons will light up in a choreographed dance of fire all set to music. The finale of show will be a massive firework display to close a truly unforgettable evening.

Tickets are selling fast and selected tickets available from the Midlands Air Festival website. Children under 14 can attend for free, when accompanied by an adult ticket holder. Tickets for this event must be purchased in advance and will be limited to allow for any government distancing guidelines that may be pertaining.

www.midlandsairfestival.com

Air Tattoo Turns Back Clock to Mark 50th Birthday

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Air Tattoo 50th

A Battle of Britain airfield in Essex provided the setting yesterday (May 31) for a celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the Royal International Air Tattoo.

North Weald airfield was the Air Tattoo’s first home when it was established in 1971 and to mark the occasion an aircraft that took part in the inaugural airshow returned to join the celebration.

The Jodel D140C Mousquetaire, registration G-ATKX, was among 80 aircraft to take part in the first Air Tattoo, which was organised by the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA). Around 12,000 people attended in 1971 and what differentiated it from previous annual air displays held at the airfield was the involvement of aircraft from international air arms.

Tim Prince and fellow Boscombe Down air trafficker Paul Bowen were among the original Air Tattoo organising team, led by Sqn Ldr Jack Currie, and with the support of thousands of volunteers over the years, they went on to establish the event as the world’s largest military airshow.

Tim was at North Weald to welcome back the Jodel and he was joined by the Air Tattoo’s current CEO Paul Atherton; one of the airshow’s first volunteers Peter March; author of ‘Air Tattoo 50’ Ben Dunnell and Alan Smith, Chairman of RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises. During the event, a special 50th anniversary cake was cut and Tim was treated to flight in the Jodel, piloted by owner Phillip Petitt.

Tim said: “Returning to the birthplace of what is now the Royal International Air Tattoo has been very special for me as I am reminded of all of the wonderful people who volunteered their time and energies and came together to stage Air Tattoo 71; whether civilian, RAF, Army, Royal Navy or Air Cadets we all stepped into the unknown and staged an event that was to become world famous as the stage for the air forces of the world to meet annually in a spirit of friendship and cooperation whilst inspiring the next generation of aviators through the magic of flying.”

Paul Atherton said: “The Air Tattoo has an illustrious history and its success over the past 50 years is a result of the incredible support provided by the US Air Force, the Royal Air Force, international air arms and the aerospace industry. That this support continues to this day is testament to the professionalism, passion and hard work of the organising team, many of whom are volunteers, who come together each year to stage this unique event.

“Of course, it’s hugely disappointing for everyone involved that the pandemic has meant we’ve been unable to stage an Air Tattoo in its 50th year but we plan to be back bigger and better in 2022 to open a new and exciting chapter in the event’s history.”

The Royal International Air Tattoo, which is staged in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, will take place at RAF Fairford on July 15-17, 2022.

www.airtattoo.com

Midlands Air Festival to host RAF Red Arrows first display of 2021

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Red Arrows

The RAF Red Arrows will make their UK debut performance for 2021 at the Midlands Air Festival.

The festival which takes place at Ragley Hall on Friday 4 to Sunday 6 June has today announced that the RAF Red Arrows, RAF Typhoon Display Team, Battle of Britain Spitfire pair and RAF Falcons will feature at this year’s event.

Not only will this be the public’s first opportunity to see the new displays for the 2021 season, but this will also be the first Red Arrows full display in the UK since the pandemic, due to the inevitable cancellation of events up and down the country in 2020.

The RAF Red Arrows are one of the finest and most respected jet aerobatic teams in the world and the nation’s favourite wherever they display in the UK. Arriving in the sky over the historic Ragley Estate, they will showcase their new arrival formation for 2021 called ‘The Wall’. The team will then display a series of different formations with their wingtips just a few feet apart, before breaking into two sections for the dynamic part of their show, featuring nail-biting high-speed opposition passes and spectacular breaks.

The RAF will also bring three front line fighters to the show, the first being the incredible Typhoon FGR4 jet, capable of a maximum speed of 1,300mph. The Typhoon is the RAF’s current front-line fighter, protecting UK airspace 24/7 and on deployment around the globe. The others are the front-line fighters of the 1940’s, the Supermarine Spitfire. Used in all theatres of WW2, the Spitfire played a pivotal role in winning the Battle of Britain. These aircraft are part of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and are two of a number of WW2 aircraft that the RAF preserve in flying condition as a living memorial to the pilots, crews and builders of these iconic aircraft and to inspire future generations. Both aircraft will fly some unforgettable displays, featuring the unique capabilities that have made them so famous in their respective eras.

The final addition to this fantastic line up is the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team. The Falcons are the UK’s premier military parachute display team. Celebrating their 60th anniversary the team will fly their new commemorative display at the Midlands Air Festival. The world’s most accomplished military skydivers will leap from their aircraft, trailing smoke to make them easier to spot. Once they deploy their canopies, they will carry out a series of manoeuvres and set pieces, including their famous non-contact canopy stacking and relative work.

The military additions complete the spectacular air display programme for the 2021 Midlands Air Festival which include formation aerobatics from Team Raven, Rich Goodwin in his high energy Muscle Biplane, the mighty Boeing B-17 4 engine bomber Sally B, acclaimed aerobatics pilot Chris Jesson in his classic Stampe Biplane, the nine tiger moths of the Tiger 9 Display Team, the Westland Wasp helicopter and many more.

There will also be a unique opportunity to see two powered airships and mass ascents of over 120 hot air balloons including Europe’s largest collection of special shape character balloons. In addition to this, breath taking giant kites will take to the skies and some of the UK’s largest historic radio-controlled models will conduct a stunning airfield attack.

The director of aviation for the event, Trevor Graham said, “We are delighted and honoured to have so many of the nation’s top military and civilian aviators to support us and fly for the people of the Midlands. What better way to blow away the lockdown blues than a stunning day out in the wide-open spaces of the historic Ragley Hall with the best of the best!”

Tickets to the Midlands Air Festival must be purchased in advance and are limited to allow for capacity restrictions and government regulations pertaining at the time of the event. Organisers are advising those wishing to attend to book their tickets early to avoid disappointment. Children under 14 can attend for free, when accompanied by an adult ticket holder.

MOD participation is subject to operational confirmations and PDAs.

To keep up to date with the latest news and information visit the Midlands Air Festival website www.midlandsairfestival.com

Midlands Air Festival reveal more exciting aircraft ready for take-off this June

Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Team Raven at Midlands Air Festival

The spectacular Midlands Air Festival has announced a further wave of display aircraft that will be flying high at the festival as it gets set to return to its original location of Ragley Hall in Warwickshire on 4 – 6 June 2021.

Taking to the skies at the festival will be Team Raven, acclaimed aerobatics pilot Chris Jesson in his classic Stampe Bi Plane, the world-famous gyro pilot Peter Davies and the festival’s first ever airship appearance. In addition, organisers have already secured the mighty B-17 bomber and Rich Goodwin in his radical high powered Muscle Biplane to feature in the exhilarating programme of air displays.

The news follows confirmation from the organisers that they plan to soar ahead with the event, following the Government’s announcement on plans for lifting lockdown. As a large outdoor event, the festival will be following relevant government regulations and will be adopting all social distancing guidelines, with plenty of space for families to enjoy the jam-packed programme.

First to join the aircraft line-up will be Team Raven with their five-man formation display team that was first formed in May 2014. Simon, Steve, Barry, Gerald and Mark aka The Ravens have known each other for many years and have flown their signature Vans RV aircraft at countless air shows and displays throughout the country. The big sky display of precision aerobatics features very close formations with their wingtips just a few feet apart. The team name ‘Raven’ comes from a play on the letters ‘RV’ which you can see on the crest on the sides of the aircraft fuselages.

Adding to the aerobatic line up, pilot Chris Jesson will put his classic Stampe Bi Plane through a routine that ranges from aerial ballet to high energy manoeuvres. Chris started his flying career in the long-gone Dan-Air airline before completing his commercial service for easyJet. The Stampe, (pronounced Stomp) was a sophisticated aircraft in its day, featuring brakes, a tail wheel and ailerons on both sets of wings, things that were unusual for a light aircraft of the time.

The world-famous gyro display pilot Peter Davies will be taking to the skies in the futuristic Calidus Gyroplane. Flying for over 32 years, Peter is a highly experienced pilot who has been displaying with the Gyroplane for 22 years. Whilst the Gyroplane looks like a mini helicopter, it works in a more unusual way as the main rotor is not connected to the engine. The display is sure to be a crowd pleaser as Peter swoops the Gyroplane through the skies.

Finally, for something completely different, the festival has also confirmed its first appearance of an airship. Chris Sanger-Davies will pilot his 110,000cuft Lindstrand Airship at speeds of up to 15 knots. Whilst not the fastest aircraft attending the festival, it is certainly one of the most rare and interesting.

Trevor Graham, director of aviation for the festival commented: “These first displays are just an early taste of the aircraft we are planning to have in our daily flying programmes, many more exciting and unusual aircraft will be added to our growing list in the coming weeks. The display programme is being designed to appeal to aviation enthusiasts, families looking for a well-earned day out of excitement or those who just want to sit, relax and watch the show in the wide-open spaces of the historic Ragley Hall Estate.”

As well as a spectacular afternoon of air displays, the event will feature over 120 hot air balloons that will be rising high in the twice-daily hot air balloon mass ascents at dawn and late afternoon, along with exciting radio-controlled aircraft displays, large character kites and parachute teams.

The ticketed event will also feature the largest display of special shape character hot air balloons in Europe, with up to 40 of these amazing giants registered to attend. New special shapes that have been confirmed for the event include Wes the Wolf, the Cornetto Ice Cream, the giant Saucepan, and Buddy the smiling friend.

Mark Lockwood, spokesperson for the Midlands Air Festival, commented: “The programme for this year’s event is shaping up to be our best yet. It is set to be a brilliant family day out and we are really hoping to be a light at the end of a very long tunnel and give everyone something to really look forward to. Since the inaugural event in 2018, our Festival has proved to be hugely popular with both the Midlands audience and visitors from all over the UK.”

Local businesses are being encouraged to get in touch with the festival for bespoke sponsorship partnerships.

Tickets are now available from the Midlands Air Festival website with a special offer that ends on 31 March. Children under 14 can attend for free, when accompanied by an adult ticket holder. Tickets for this event must be purchased in advance and will be limited to allow for capacity restrictions and government regulations pertaining at the time of the event. Organisers are advising those wishing to attend to book their tickets early, in the event that the festival sells out.

There will be many more exciting additions and announcements about the events programme in the coming months, so to keep up to date with the latest news and information visit the Midlands Air Festival website www.midlandsairfestival.com

COVID UNCERTAINTY GROUNDS AIR TATTOO

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

RIAT 2021 Cancelled

This summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo, which was due to take place at RAF Fairford, in Gloucestershire on July 16-18, has been cancelled by organisers, the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises (RAFCTE).

RAFCTE Directors concluded that the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 meant there were too many risks associated with pressing ahead with the airshow. It is the second year running the event has been unable to take place.

Air Tattoo CEO Paul Atherton said he and his team had been working hard during the past six months to explore ways in which the Air Tattoo could take place against the backdrop of the pandemic but, with five months to the event, there still remained too many unknowns.

“If we knew, with some degree of certainty what the situation would be in the summer,” he said, “we’d be able to plan ahead but, the truth is, we simply don’t know. We have reached a point where, to plan further, would involve us committing large sums of money to secure the event infrastructure. Without any insurance being available this year, this money would be lost if the airshow had to cancel nearer the time. It was simply too big a risk to take.

“I know how disappointed all those who are involved in the airshow will be, from our incredible army of volunteers and loyal ticketholders to our valued corporate guests, suppliers, traders and sponsors, as well as the many military air arms from around the globe, but I also know they will understand and support our decision. Public safety is paramount, and we also have a duty to protect the future of RIAT. By making this decision in a timely and controlled manner, we will be in a far stronger position to bounce back in 2022.”

Mr Atherton added that it was particularly disappointing to have to announce the cancellation of the airshow this year, the Air Tattoo’s 50th anniversary.

He said: “Everyone was looking forward to marking the Air Tattoo’s 50th at RAF Fairford in July and we had some great ideas as to how best to celebrate the incredible achievements of this much-loved event since it was first staged in 1971. We remain determined to identify new opportunities to mark this important milestone this year, both by building on the success of last year’s inaugural Virtual Air Tattoo as well as other exciting activities, where possible.”

All ticketholders for this summer’s Air Tattoo will be contacted by the end of February and offered either a refund or the opportunity to roll over their tickets to the 2022 Air Tattoo, which will take place on July 15-17.

www.airtattoo.com