Posts Tagged ‘Royal International Air Tattoo’

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

Air Tattoo Air Traffickers Honoured

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

GATCO Award for RIAT

The dedication and professionalism of the Royal International Air Tattoo’s volunteer Air Traffic Services (ATS) team during the past 50 years has been recognised with the presentation of a prestigious trophy.

Awarded by the Guild of Air Traffic Control Officers (GATCO), the Hunt Trophy is the organisation’s highest honour and is awarded only occasionally to an individual or group considered to have made an outstanding contribution to air traffic services. The Air Tattoo’s volunteer ATS team was selected for its dedication since the first Air Tattoo was staged at North Weald airfield in 1971.

GATCO President and CEO Luis Barbero announced the award during a virtual meeting (on June 25) attended by past and present members of the Air Traffic Services team. They included current ATS Manager Gary Elson, his immediate predecessor Ian Revell and Nigel Green, GATCO’s current retired members co-ordinator, who led the Air Tattoo’s ATS team for a number of years. Also present were Air Tattoo CEO Paul Atherton, Head of Air Operations Peter Reoch and Chairman of the Air Tattoo’s parent company RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises, Alan Smith.

Luis Barbero said: “I’m incredibly humbled and honoured on behalf of GATCO to present the Hunt Trophy to the Air Traffic Services team at the Royal International Air Tattoo to mark 50 years of commitment and dedication as volunteers helping make the event the biggest military airshow in the world. We wish to thank you for all the work you do and for making the event possible for all the aviation enthusiasts in the UK and around the world.”

Ian Revell said: “It’s a real honour to be recognised by our peers, it really means a lot to the team. Over 20 years that I was manager, I was really lucky to work with some really talented and dedicated people and that’s what makes the team. I am sure the skill, determination and dedication hasn’t changed over the years.

“It would be wrong to receive this without also recognising the team at RAF Brize Norton who, over the years, have helped us by providing our radar service so this award is for them as well.”

www.airtattoo.com

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

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

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

Airshow ‘50th’ Book Set To Fly Off Shelves

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Air Tattoo at 50

Over the past 50 years, millions of people from across the globe have marvelled at the incredible aviation spectacles that have seen the Royal International Air Tattoo grow to become the world’s greatest airshow.

For the first time ever, the complete history of the Air Tattoo, from its birth in 1971 to the present day, has been captured in a beautifully illustrated book written by renowned aviation journalist Ben Dunnell and features hundreds of dramatic photos, many taken by some of the world’s leading aircraft photographers.

Charting the growth of the Air Tattoo from its modest beginnings at North Weald airfield, the book describes how a small band of volunteers with a shared passion for aviation – and encouraged by legendary aviators including Battle of Britain ace Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader and Concorde test pilot Brian Trubshaw – went on to create one of the most loved and respected airshows in the world.

Split into decades, the book describes how special links forged in the 1970s with the Royal Air Force, NATO and the US Air Force (USAF) paid dividends and helped attract a mouth-watering array of international military aircraft to the airshow’s second home, RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire. The fall of the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s further cemented the Air Tattoo’s reputation as it enabled a number of special ‘debuts’ by Eastern Bloc aircraft rarely, if ever, seen in the West.

By then, hundreds of volunteers were helping stage the event, a number which grew to around 1,500 following the switch to a new home at RAF Fairford in 1985. This move, combined with the enduring support of the RAF and USAF, helped open the door to a wealth of exciting aircraft including the stealthy B-2 Spirit and F-117 Nighthawk, F-14 Tomcat carrier-borne fighters, B-52 and B-1 bombers, V-22 Osprey tilt-rotors and the latest Typhoon, F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II combat fast jets – among many others.

Author Ben Dunnell said: “The Air Tattoo has always been the place to be — and that goes right back to its earliest days. As a meeting-place for the world’s air arms, united in friendship, this show is unrivalled. What’s more, it has actively helped foster new alliances . . . as well as being a very exciting event, of course. In writing this book, that side of the Air Tattoo’s history has been as important as all the great personal memories.”

Insightful, fascinating and at times humorous, Air Tattoo 50 – The Story of the World’s Greatest Airshow (RRP £30+p&p), is being published to mark the airshow’s 50th anniversary in 2021 and is available from www.airtattoo50book.com. As well as extensive coverage of the dazzling array of international aircraft that have taken part in the airshow, the book charts some of the challenges it has had to overcome, such as losing its home at RAF Greenham Common in 1983, the death of co-founder and creative driving force Paul Bowen in 2004, establishing a new parent charity, the RAF Charitable Trust in 2005, and the airshow cancellations in 2008 and 2020.

Air Tattoo founder member and former airshow director Tim Prince said: “So many people from across the globe have been involved in the building of this remarkable gathering of international aviators and their aircraft into a highly respected and valued annual event. This wonderful book gives an insight into this impressive Royal International Air Tattoo ‘family’ which, over some 50 years, has worked tirelessly to uphold its reputation as the best, whilst at times, with its motto of ‘it can be done’, overcoming some pretty daunting challenges.”

Virtual Air Tattoo Attracts International Support

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

RIAT

Air arms representing more than 20 countries from around the globe will be taking part in a special event this weekend being organised by the team behind the Royal International Air Tattoo and supported by the Royal Air Force.

The Virtual Air Tattoo is a free-to-view, live-streamed event that will take place from 11am to 3pm on Saturday July 18 and Sunday July 19, the same weekend the actual airshow was due to be staged.

Hosted by Air Tattoo commentators and aviation experts Ben Dunnell and Mark Manwaring and featuring special welcome messages from Sir David Jason and Carol Vorderman – the Virtual Air Tattoo will give viewers a flavour of the real event planned for 2020 with dramatic virtual flying displays, pilot interviews, special guests and unique aircraft footage.

Highlights include:
• Displays created by Virtual Airshows, performed by Europe’s top flight simulator pilots including the Virtual Red Arrows and Swiss, French and Italian teams.
• Footage from some of the most exciting Air Tattoo participants, including 2019 displays by the MiG-21 LanceR & EAV-8 Harrier.
• Live interviews with the Red Arrows as well as pilots from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and RAF Typhoon Display Team.
• Unique behind-the-scenes footage of military aviation including a flight on a recent Royal Air Force air-to-air refuelling mission.
• Messages, interviews and special aircraft tours courtesy of participating international aircrew.

And with tickets for next year’s 50th anniversary airshow going on sale at the weekend, the Virtual Air Tattoo will take a look back at some of the event’s aviation highlights since it was first stage in 1971.

Among the nations taking part in the Virtual Air Tattoo are Austria, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, the US and UK – with Sri Lanka and Singapore being represented for the first time ever – albeit virtually! Video support for the Virtual Air Tattoo has also come from aerospace industry, including BAE Systems Leonardo, Airbus Northrop Grumman, MBDA and Rolls-Royce, with additional help from Boeing, Lockheed Martin and other long-term sponsors.

Whilst the Air Tattoo will deliver the main broadcast, the RAF will host two additional channels, one providing extended footage of RAF content featured in the Virtual Air Tattoo and the other, broadcast live on Twitch, hosted by the RAF’s Video Gaming and Esports Association who will be staging a number of socially-distanced esport competitions.

Working with PlanesTV, the programme will be hosted from a live studio and, as well as featuring special guests, the show will invite viewers’ questions via social media, making the Virtual Air Tattoo a truly interactive experience.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Paul Atherton said: “The Royal Air Force has been a great partner for the virtual Air Tattoo as they are for the Royal International Air Tattoo each year. Their support in providing behind-the-scenes access to, and footage of, its aircraft, facilities and people has been pivotal and we now look forward to sharing this content with our online visitors. We are confident that this, coupled with the incredible material created by our international friends and the virtual world of air displays will wow our audiences.”

Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, said: “I am delighted the Royal Air Force has joined forces with RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises to deliver a trailblazing Virtual Air Tattoo. We look forward to exhilarating displays from our allies around the world, getting behind the scenes with the RAF and our industry partners as we showcase our talent, and sharing special moments from previous Air Tattoos as we approach the airshow’s 50th anniversary next year.”

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

Click interested/going on our Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1379812842184720/

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RIAT 2020 Cancelled

Friday, March 20th, 2020

RIAT

It is with enormous regret and disappointment that we have to announce the cancellation of this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo, due to take place from 17 to 19 July, as a result of the challenging and unprecedented environment presented by COVID-19.

This decision has not been taken lightly and a significant amount of work sits behind this course of action. The crisis, which is worsening by the day, and the implications of which are becoming more profound, has led us to conclude that the most prudent course of action is to cease any further planning to deliver this significant event.

The Air Tattoo is reliant on the support of a wide range of stakeholders, not least the participation of international air arms, medical professionals, military security teams and our Emergency Services, many of whom are delivering a fundamental contribution to fighting this crisis. We believe delivery of our event would distract them from this.

At the heart of this difficult decision is our firm belief that staging the Air Tattoo this year would not only run counter to the current Government advice but would also be beyond what we could reasonably ask of our supporters. We recognise that our decision will have a negative financial impact on our valued suppliers and traders, on the local economy that benefits so much from the large influx of people who arrive in the area for one week in July, as well as on our parent charity. For this we apologise.

We would like to thank all our partners, the RAF, USAF, sponsors, the world’s air forces, our amazing volunteers and of course the public who turn up year on year to support our magnificent event. We seek your patience and encouragement over the next few weeks as we plan for the future in order to return in 2021 to celebrate the Air Tattoo’s 50th Anniversary.

www.airtattoo.com

Air Tattoo Savings are Just the Ticket

Friday, September 27th, 2019

Royal International Air Tattoo

Tickets for next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo have gone on sale, with special discounts available for a limited period.

The airshow, which this year attracted 245 aircraft and around 170,000 visitors, will turn the spotlight on the world’s fighter pilots and the vital role they perform in protecting national – and international – security around the clock and at a moment’s notice.

Taking place at RAF Fairford on July 17-19, 2020, the airshow will once again feature two full show days on the Saturday and Sunday, with more than seven hours’ flying on each day, with a preview highlights day on the Friday featuring a four-hour display.

An Air Tattoo spokesman said: “With next year marking the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain it’s an ideal time to focus on the aircraft and pilots whom many consider aviation’s ‘elite’.”

Friday tickets are currently priced at £44, a saving of £10 on the full advance price; a limited number of Saturday tickets are being made available priced £54, a saving of £5 on the full advance price while Sunday tickets are currently priced £49, offering a saving of £10.

The spokesman said: “Tickets for each of the three days of this year’s airshow were priced the same and the feedback we received was that ticket prices for Friday and Sunday should have been cheaper than for the more popular Saturday.

“We are committed to ensuring the flying display programmes on Saturday and Sunday are as similar as possible. Nevertheless, we are keen to encourage people to attend on the Sunday simply because of the overwhelming demand we experience for Saturday which sells out early every year.”

Multi-day discounts will continue to be offered as will free parking and free entry for all under-18s who attend with an adult ticket holder. For full details about the various ticket prices and enclosure options, visit www.airtattoo.com

Air Tattoo Honours Top Displays

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

RAFCTE Award Winners

A memorable three-day Royal International Air Tattoo 2019 concluded with the traditional Sunday night prizegiving, during which trophies were presented to several of the show’s top displays.

The Paul Bowen Trophy for the best solo jet display — named in honour of the late Paul Bowen, co-founder of the Air Tattoo — went to Lt Col Yurii Bulavka, pilot of the Sukhoi Su-27P1M from the 831st Guards Tactical Aviation Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Force. “I will say only one thing”, commented Bulavka. “Thank you for your attention, wonderful Air Tattoo. See you next time!”

The Italian Air Force’s Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team of 10 Aermacchi AT-339A jet trainers, regulars at the Air Tattoo, scooped the RAFCTE Trophy, awarded to the best flying demonstration by an overseas participant. Team leader Maj Stefano Vit said, “It is really a great honour for me and for all the team, because it’s a special trophy. The Air Tattoo is the biggest airshow in Europe, and winning this trophy is a big reward. It’s nice to leave an occasion like this.”

Following a triumphant event, including flypasts with the British Overseas Airways Corporation-schemed Boeing 747-436 of British Airways as part of the BA100 events and the French Air Force’s Patrouille de France team as a salute to the 50th anniversary of Concorde’s first flight, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, won the Steedman Display Sword for best display by a UK participant. Team manager Sqn Ldr Doug Smith commented, “This is absolutely fantastic. We adore coming to RIAT every year — it’s a tremendously well-run airshow — and to come away with the trophy for best display from the UK is stunning. To do the flypasts with the 747 in BOAC livery and the ‘double Concorde’ formation was really, really good.”

The evening’s double winner was Capt Arto Ukskoski, who flew the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet from Fighter Squadron 11 of the Finnish Air Force. He took home the Sir Douglas Bader Trophy for best individual flying demonstration and and the As The Crow Flies Trophy for best display as judged by the enthusiast members of Friends of RIAT. “I am quite surprised”, said Ukskoski, “because there are so many good aircraft and so many good pilots. It’s amazing, especially for the Finnish Air Force because we don’t do so many airshows internationally every year.”

One of the most regular performers at recent Air Tattoos, Swedish Air Force Saab JAS 39C Gripen pilot Maj Peter Fallén from F 7 wing of the Swedish Air Force, received the King Hussein Memorial Sword for best overall flying demonstration. An emotional Fallén said, “This means so much to me. I’m almost in tears now, because RIAT has been a big part of my career as a display pilot. I’ve been flying here for six years, and it’s been the main event every year. I’m so grateful.”

The RIAT Chief Executive Trophy, presented by outgoing Air Tattoo CEO Andy Armstrong, went to the Spanish Navy’s EAV-8B Harrier II+ duo. Mr Armstrong referred particularly to the initiative shown by the squadron’s commanding officer following a brake fire suffered by one of the two aircraft on arrival, which led to repairs being affected and participation in the weekend displays.

Finally, the trophy for best livery was presented to the Eurofighter EF2000 operated by Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 71 ‘Richthofen’ of the German Air Force, stationed at Wittmund.

www.airtattoo.com