Posts Tagged ‘Royal International Air Tattoo’

RAF puts its full force behind Air Tattoo

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

RIAT Lancaster

Reflecting its close relationship with the Royal Air Force, the Royal International Air Tattoo has confirmed that this summer’s flying display will feature some of the Service’s most iconic aircraft, including the world-famous Red Arrows.

The world’s premier aerobatics display team will once again colour the skies over Fairford with red, white and blue on all three days of the Air Tattoo. The nine BAE Systems Hawk T1/T1A jets, which comprise the renowned Red Arrows, will perform their trademark combination of close formations and precision flying under the leadership of Sqn Ldr David Montenegro.

Also joining the flying display line-up will be the RAF’s leading multi-role combat aircraft, the Typhoon FGR.4. Capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations, from policing and peace support, through to high intensity conflict, the Typhoon shows the enormity of present-day UK air power. Displayed by Flt Lt Ryan Lawton of 29(R) Sqn at RAF Coningsby, the incredible agility and power of the Typhoon is set to thrill spectators.

Taking a step back in time, the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will display two of its most famous and successful WW2 aircraft – the Lancaster and Spitfire – as it celebrates its 60th anniversary. A regular and hugely popular inclusion in recent Air Tattoos, the heavy bomber and fighter aircraft will evoke memories of Britain’s aviation history.
This summer’s Air Tattoo (14-16 July) will pay special tribute to the US Air Force on its 70th anniversary, having a distinct American theme with a special performance from one of the world’s most popular display teams, The Thunderbirds.

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually at RAF Fairford in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. Earlybird admission tickets are available until midnight on May 2, starting at £34. All under-16s go free. To buy tickets, or for more information about aircraft participating at this year’s show, please visit

F-22 joins Air Tattoo’s USAF 70th Salute

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

USAF F22a Raptor

One of the world’s most advanced fighter jets will be making a welcome return to the Royal International Air Tattoo this summer as part of celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force.

Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor is the latest aircraft to be confirmed for this summer’s Air Tattoo, which takes place at RAF Fairford on July 14-16.

Air Tattoo visitors will be able to witness the stealthy, fifth-generation fighter’s incredible agility which is achieved thanks largely to its thrust-vectoring engines. The aircraft will join the hugely popular demonstration team the Thunderbirds as part of a special US tribute marking the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force (USAF).

The Raptor entered service with the USAF in December 2005 but it was not until 2010 that the aircraft performed its first UK flying demo – at the Air Tattoo.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said visitors to the airshow this summer should be prepared for an impressive and powerful display from the state-of-the-art fighter.

He said: “Very few aircraft can match the cutting edge capabilities demonstrated by the F-22 so we’re really pleased to be able to welcome it back this year. We were the first airshow in the UK to showcase the Raptor and were lucky enough to secure it again in 2016. Its display at both airshows proved hugely popular and I’m confident its display will surpass expectations yet again.

“Without the support of the US Air Force, the Air Tattoo would not be the huge success it is and one way we can demonstrate our gratitude is to stage a fitting salute to mark the air arm’s significant anniversary.”

The Royal International Air Tattoo is the world’s biggest military airshow, held annually at RAF Fairford in aid of the RAF Charitable Trust. For more about the Air Tattoo, or to buy tickets for the event, please visit

Air Tattoo’s ‘super’ offer is just the ticket

Friday, January 20th, 2017


People planning to attend one of the UK’s most exciting family days out have until the end of January to take advantage of a ‘super’ offer.

Specially priced Super Earlybird tickets to the world-famous Royal International Air Tattoo are available until January 31, offering savings of up to 25 per cent on the price of a standard admission ticket.

This summer’s airshow, which takes place at RAF Fairford on July 14-16, will feature exciting aircraft from around the world including the hugely popular Thunderbirds demonstration team from the US. The team, whose last appearance in the UK was in 2009, will be returning to mark the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force (USAF).

Prior to February, Super Earlybird Friday tickets are priced £29, offering a saving of £10 off the standard admission price whilst Saturday and Sunday Super Earlybird tickets are priced £42, representing a saving of £13. Entry is free for all children under 16 who are accompanied by an adult ticket holder.

Head of Marketing Helen Webb said: “The airshow provides an exciting day out for the whole family, with attractions suitable for all ages. Aside from the riveting air displays, youngsters can get to grips with the latest engineering technology in the Techno Zone, while parents take a walk down memory lane in the Vintage Village.

“This year we also have a new adrenaline-fuelled feature coming to the Autodrome called the ‘Wall of Death’, which we’re really excited about. People may recognise it from a Channel 4 programme featuring Guy Martin earlier this year which saw him brake the World Record for the fastest speed travelled around the ‘Wall of Death’ on a motorbike.”

This year the Air Tattoo will have an American theme as it celebrates the 70th anniversary of one of the largest air forces in the world, the US Air Force. The Thunderbirds’ performance will form part of the airshow’s official tribute to the occasion and will be the team’s only UK appearance in 2017.

Helen added: “People expect bigger and more exciting air displays from the show year after year, and 2017 will be no exception. Visitors can experience first-class entertainment, both in the air and on the ground, and we are confident that, yet again, the Air Tattoo will be a sell-out success.”

The Royal International Air Tattoo is the world’s biggest military airshow, held annually at RAF Fairford in aid of the RAF Charitable Trust. The Trust funds a wide range of projects and initiatives that Promote the Royal Air Force, Support its people and Encourage in youngsters an interest in aviation.

Super early-bird tickets are priced at a reduced rate of £29 on Friday and £42 on Saturday and Sunday for a limited time only. All accompanied under-16s are admitted free of charge. To buy your tickets or to find out more about the Air Tattoo, please visit or call 01285 713456.

Thunderbirds are go at the Royal International Air Tattoo 2017

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Thunderbirds at RIAT

PLANS to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force at next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo were given a huge boost this week following the announcement that one of the world’s most popular display teams will make a rare trip across the Atlantic to take part.

The Thunderbirds’ performance at the Air Tattoo, which takes place on July 14-16, will be the team’s only UK appearance next year and will be part of the airshow’s official tribute to mark the US Air Force’s 70th anniversary. As well as seeing a range of operational and historic US Air Force aircraft in the air and on the ground, Air Tattoo visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the key role the air arm plays in a range of international coalitions and partnerships.

Formed in 1953, the team is renowned as much for its choreographed pre-flight ground routine – performed with pinpoint accuracy – as it is for its stunning aerial displays.

Flying six F-16 Fighting Falcons, elite pilots from the US Air Force will perform a mix of formation flying and solo routines that highlight the maximum capabilities of the USAF’s frontline, multi-role fighter jet. The team, which is based at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, has only appeared at the Air Tattoo once before – in 2007.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said the announcement of the Thunderbirds’ participation demonstrated the incredibly strong bond that exists with the US Air Force.

He said: “The history – and success – of the Air Tattoo is inextricably linked to the US Air Force, on whose base the event takes place each year. I am pleased that we’ll have the opportunity next summer to mark their 70th anniversary.”

Special reduced-price Air Tattoo ‘Super Earlybird’ tickets are available until January 31, priced from £29. Under-16s go free. For details, visit or call 01285 713456.

Air Tattoo DVD Ready For Take Off

Thursday, September 15th, 2016


Relive the thrills, buzz and excitement of the 2016 Royal International Air Tattoo with the airshow’s officialsouvenir DVD and special Collector’s Editiondue to hit the shelves soon.

Expertly shot in high definition and ultra-high 4K resolution by aviation film specialistsPlanesTV, the Air Tattoo DVD includes in-cockpit footage, behind-the-scenes features and pilot interviews alongside coverage of the extensive flying display, arrivals and departures.

All the highlights from the world’s biggest military airshow have been captured including the show-stopping international display debut of the F-35B, whose manoeuvrability and hovering capabilities were demonstrated for the first time to a UK audience by RAF test pilot Squadron Leader Hugh Nichols. The aircraft also appears in an iconic joint flypast with the Red Arrows and two RAF Typhoons, which provided a dramatic demonstration of UK airpower to the Air Tattoo’s sell-out crowd.

The final ever display by French Air Force display team Ramex Delta also features as does the Croatian Air Force’s aerobatic display team KrilaOluje (Wings of Storm), who became the first participants from the country to appear at the airshow.

Viewers will be able to experience a pilot’s eye view thanks to extensivecockpit footage captured during thrilling aerial displays by aircraft such as the RAF Typhoon, Strikemaster, Solo Turk, the Polish MiG-29 as well asF-16s from Belgium, Greece and Poland.

In addition to the main programme, there’s a further two hours of special features including an extended look at the F-35, the Air Cadets’ 75th Anniversary celebrations and in-cockpit features with running pilot commentary.

Also featured on the DVD is the first official engagement for two-year-old Prince George, who attended the airshow with his parents, Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The visit saw the Royal trio meet the Red Arrows and sit in a Squirrel helicopter, the same aircraft the Duke trained on whilst based at RAF Shawbury.

Sold in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the official Royal International Air Tattoo 2016Official Souvenir DVD is priced £20 (Blu-ray, £25). The two-disc Collector’s Edition DVD, featuring anadditional two hours of special features including extended in-cockpit action, and full coverage of arrivals and departures, is priced £30 (Blu-ray, £35).

A must-buy for aviation fans of all ages, the official Air Tattoo 2016 official souvenir discscan be pre-ordered from

Air Tattoo to Salute US Air Force

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

F-35A and P51

THERE will be a distinct American flavour at next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford as it pays a special tribute to one of the world’s largest air forces on its 70th anniversary.

The airshow, which takes place on July 14-16, will showcase the wide range of operational roles performed by the US Air Force (USAF) as well as the strong relationship it enjoys with the Royal Air Force and its other NATO allies.

Over the years the Air Tattoo has staged memorable celebrations marking significant USAF anniversaries, most notably in 1997 when the stealthy B-2 bomber made its first ever landing in the UK and in 2007, with the hugely popular appearance of the USAF Thunderbirds aerobatic display team.

Super Earlybird admission tickets for next summer’s airshow go on sale this week for a limited period.

The £29 cost of a Friday ticket has been frozen at this year’s price whilst the Saturday and Sunday Super Earlybird ticket, priced at £42,represents a saving of almost 25 per cent on the cost of a standard admission ticket. They will be available until January 31, 2017.

The Air Tattoo’s close relationship with the US Air Force stretches back to 1973 when the Americans provided the airshow with a home, first at RAF Greenham Common, and then, in 1985, at RAF Fairford.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “Where better to stage an international celebration of the US Air Force on its 70th anniversary than at a USAF base that happens to be the home of the world’s biggest and most exciting military airshow. I’m confident that once again the airshow will be a sell-out success so I urge people to buy before February and avoid paying top dollar!”

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually at RAF Fairford in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. To purchase Super Earlybird admission tickets and to view enclosure options, visit All accompanied under-16s are admitted free of charge. Free parking.

Air Tattoo Honours Top Guns

Monday, July 11th, 2016

RIAT Chief Executive Award

A highly successful Royal International Air Tattoo 2016 at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire ended with the crowning of the airshow’s ‘Top Guns’ at the traditional Sunday night hangar party.

The ceremony was introduced by Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, chairman of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. HRHPrince Feisal of Jordan presented the first of the evening’s trophies, the King Hussein Memorial Sword, in memory of the late HM King Hussein, patron of the International Air Tattoo from 1983-89. Awarded for the best overall flying demonstration, it was presented to the Croatian Air Force aerobatic team, the KrilaOluje (Wings of Storm). This was the first appearance of the KrilaOluje, flying six Pilatus PC-9M turboprop trainers, and of the Croatian Air Force at a British display. The award was bestowed for, in the words of the citation, “Precision aerobatics in challenging conditions incorporating novel manoeuvres”. Team leader Lt Col DamirBariši? said: “We are very happy to be among all these friends, all these people who share the same passion for ‘old-school’ flying in these days when everything is becoming unmanned and automatic. Of course it’s a big honour to receive such an award, especially on the first occasion we’ve been here.”

The Paul Bowen Trophy, presented in memory of the Royal International Air Tattoo co-founder Paul Bowen for the best jet demonstration, went to Capitaine Jean-Guillaume Martinez for his French Air Force Rafale C display. The judges said that ‘Marty’, in his first season as the Rafale display pilot, had put on “consistently accurate, powerful and superbly executed solo jet demonstrations”. Handing over the award was Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chief of the Defence Staff designate. “I’m really happy”, said ‘Marty’. “I really thank my team for the job they’ve done — it’s wonderful.”

The best individual flying display was adjudged to be that given by Capt Peter Fallén of the Swedish Air Force in the JAS 39C Gripen. He was presented with the Sir Douglas Bader Trophy by RAFCTE chairman and RAFCT Trustee Alan Smith for “a faultless, flowing and dynamic flying display”. “I’m so happy”, said Peter. “I didn’t expect it, because you try to do your best all the time.”

The recipient of the RAFCTE Trophy, presented for the best flying demonstration by an overseas participant, was the French Air Force Ramex Delta team comprising two Mirage 2000N nuclear strike aircraft. The citation said that they put on “a superbly co-ordinated and choreographed pairs tactical demonstration”. This was an emotional occasion for Ramex Delta, as RIAT was their final ever display — the team is being disbanded. One of the pilots, ‘Pierrot’, said afterwards: “We are very proud, because it was very special to attend this year’s RIAT. This was our last airshow ever, and it was a great deal of pleasure for us to fly today. For us — the pilots, the team, the squadron — it’s a special honour because this year is the 100th anniversary of our squadron, the ‘La Fayette’ squadron. It’s a good ending to the incredible experience that was Ramex Delta.”

The night was a double success for Ramex Delta, as the Mirage 2000N they displayed in, whichfeatured a special colour scheme to mark the ‘La Fayette’ squadron centenary, won the award for best livery as voted for by the Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo (FRIAT). It was presented by Tim Griffiths, Key Account Manager for Jeppesen.

Turning to the ‘home team’, the Steedman Display Sword is presented by the Royal International Air Tattoo in memory of the late Air Chief Marshal Sir Alasdair Steedman, chairman of the International Air Tattoo (1981-1988) for the best flying demonstration by a UK participant. The winner was BAE Systems test pilot Nat Makepeace for his routine in a Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4, displayed with a full underwing weapons load to represent the upcoming Phase 3 Enhancement configuration for the type. In the judges’ view, this was “a powerful demonstration of the capabilities of the Eurofighter Typhoon in representative operational swing-role fit.” In Nat’s absence, the trophy was collected by Sir Kevin.

The As The Crow Flies trophy for the best overall flying demonstration as judged by members of FRIATwas presented by RAFCTE Non Exec Director Jim Glover and presented to Major Dan ‘Rock’ Dickinson from the US Air Force Air Combat Command F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team. 2016 was the first time for six years that the F-22A had displayed at the Air Tattoo, and once again the thrust-vectoring air superiority fighter proved a stunning performer. In ‘Rock’s’ words, “First of all, we’re honoured to be here. There are so many professionals here, and to share the stage amongst all the great pilots and crews, not to mention all the people who put on this awesome airshow. It’s humbling, but at the same time we’re super-excited.”

A special presentation by Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong, his own RIAT CEO Award for an outstanding contribution to the show, went to all involved in the debut Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II deployment to Britain. This star attraction at RIAT 2016 involved F-35A models from the US Air Force and F-35Bs from the US Marine Corps and the United Kingdom, and was the subject of a great deal of planning by a host of individuals and organisations on both sides of the Atlantic. Andy Armstrong said: “It was an amazing display. They brought six jets, and it was an extraordinary amount of effort to bring them. We were so pleased to have them here.”

History Made at Memorable Air Tattoo

Monday, July 11th, 2016


History was made both in the air and on the ground at this weekend’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

The airshow, which took .

A post on the Royal Family’sofficial Facebook page, said: “The Air Tattoo is a fantastic family-orientatedplace over three days (July 8-10), attracted a sell-out crowd of 153,000 people who enjoyed demonstrations by some of the world’s leading pilots.

Friday’s flying programme featured the first ever international display by Lockheed Martin’s F-35B Lightning II, the world’s most advanced fighter jet and on the same day, the airshow hosted a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who attended with Prince George on his first ever public engagement event, and The Duke and Duchess knew that George would enjoy seeing the aircraft up close. Their Royal Highnesses took a closer look at an RAF Squirrel helicopter, which The Duke trained upon at RAF Shawbury in 2009, met Air Cadets and teams involved in the spectacular displays at the show, and even tried out an RAF Red Arrows Hawk for size.”

Other Royals attending the airshow were HRH Prince Michael of Kent and HRH Prince Feisal of Jordan.

More than 230 aircraft, from 37 air arms in 24 countries participated in the Air Tattoo which took place in warm, largely sunny weather. Among the manyhighlights were displays by the F-22 ‘Raptor’, a Polish MiG-29, an RAF Typhoon and Chinook, a French Rafale and the Turkish Air Force F-16 ‘Solo Turk’.

Flypasts included a unique formation of the Red Arrows, an F-35B and two RAF Typhoons giving a glimpse of the future of the UK’s defence capability. There were also some notable firsts and lasts, with the Croatian Air Force displaying for the first time in the UK with their display team Wings of Storm and the last ever display by the French Air Force ‘Ramex Delta’ Mirage 2000D duo.

Croatia became the 56th nation to take part in the Air Tattoo since it was first staged in 1971.

Among the highlights on the ground was a march past by 750 air cadets to mark the Air Cadet Organisation’s 75th anniversary. Taking the salute were the RAF’s Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, Commandant Air Cadets Air Cdre Dawn McCafferty and Honorary Air Cadet Gp Capt Carol Vorderman.

There were 36 international military chiefs in attendance includingAir Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chief of the Defence Staff;Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, the RAF Chief of the Air Staff (Designate); and new Chief of the US Air Force, General David Goldfein. Senior industry guests included the Chairman of BAE Systems, Sir Roger Carr; Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson and Airbus CEO Mr Allan McArtor.The UK’s Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt and the Minister for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne were also attended.

RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises’ Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “This year will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the greatest ever Air Tattoos. That such a significant aircraft as the Lockheed Martin F-35B should make its international display debut at the Air Tattoo is testament to the incredible faith the military and the world’s leading aerospace companies have in our event.

“Our 2,000-plus volunteers and small team of permanent staff deserve a huge pat on the back for delivering such an outstanding event. The icing on the cake was the visit on Friday by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son Prince George.

“My thanks go to all our sponsors, in particular BAE Systems and all the participating air arms including the US Air Force, who allow us to stage the event at RAF Fairford and the Royal Air Force for all its support.

Once again, the Air Tattoo has performed an important defence diplomacy role not only in showcasing some of the world’s most exciting aircraft but also by offering the RAF a platform on which to demonstrate its current – and future – capabilities.

“I am particularly pleased that over the three-day airshow our parent charity, the RAF Charitable Trust was able to demonstrate the many ways it has touched people’s lives by providing support for RAF personnel and encouraging and inspiring young people.”

The show received a big thumbs’ up from the many visitors who attended.

Hannah Booth, from Birmingham said: “We’re having a great day! There’s a brilliant atmosphere here and so many amazing aircraft to see. I couldn’t believe how much is here and how big it is,” whilst Tom Newdock, from Cardiff said: “It was phenomenal to see the F-35 and, as always, a fantastic job by the Air Tattoo organisers. I can’t wait for next year!”

Air Tattoo Reveals Trademark Showstopper!

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Red Arrows Flypast with A380 RIAT 2013

Visitors to RAF Fairford next month will be treated to one of the Royal International Air Tattoo’s show-stopping joint flypasts that over the years have become the trademark of the world’s greatest military airshow.

Featuring the F-35B ‘Lightning’, two RAF Typhoons and the legendary aerobatics display team the Red Arrows, this uniquecombination, flying together, will provide one of the many highlights planned over the three-day event.

The pairing of the F-35B and Typhoon, which together represent the fast jet component of the UK’sfuture air defence capability, comes as the F-35B performs its first ever display outside of the US.

Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said: “Over the years the Air Tattoo has staged a number of memorable joint flypasts, many featuring the Red Arrows,most notablywith the US Air Force F-117A stealth fighter in 2003, the A380 in 2013 and with the iconic Vulcan XH558, on its final Air Tattoo appearance,in 2015.

“The forthcoming airshow will see us continue the tradition of presenting aerial spectacles that have rarely – or never – been seen before. I am sure everybody will be reaching for their cameras!”

Other Air Tattoo highlights next month include displays by the USAF F-22 Raptor, a Dutch Apache helicopter and the historic Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

The Royal International Air Tattoo, which is staged in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, takes place at RAF Fairford on July 8-10.

Air Tattoo Tickets Flying Out The Door

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Royal International Air Tattoo

Saturday tickets for this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo are set to sell out by the end of April, predict airshow organisers.

Tickets for all the enclosures have already sold out for Saturday, July 8, and admission tickets are set to follow as the Air Tattoo’s Earlybird offer comes to an end on Bank Holiday Monday (May 2).

Highlights such as the first ever international display by the world’s most advanced jet – the F-35B Lightning II – and the Red Arrows are fuelling an unprecedented demand for tickets for the airshow, which takes place on July 8-10 at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds.

Air Tattoo Head of Marketing Helen Webb said: “After last summer’s 150,000 sell-out, people don’t want to miss out this year. By securing Earlybird tickets by our May 2 deadline, they’ll not only be guaranteed a great day out, but they will be making a saving of £5 off the cost of a standard advance ticket.”

In addition to an eight-hour flying display, visitors will be able to view a wide range of aircraft in the Showground and enjoy a feast of fun-packed interactive activities for the whole family including the Techno Zone, Adrenalin Zone, Vintage Village and Autodrome.

The Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. Tickets for the event are only available in advance. Specially-priced Earlybird tickets are available until May 2 from or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.