Posts Tagged ‘Royal International Air Tattoo’

Air Tattoo Celebrates RAF100 in Style

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

RAF100 at Air Tattoo (image by Calyx)

(image by Calyx)

A record crowd of 185,000 people enjoyed a feast of flying as the Royal International Air Tattoo staged international celebrations marking the Royal Air Force’s Centenary at RAF Fairford.

In total, 302 aircraft, from 43 air arms representing 30 nations attended the airshow, of which 121 took part in the flying display.

Among the flying display highlights were a number of unique flypasts. A special tribute to the legendary 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron saw the iconic Lancaster bomber from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fly in formation with the squadron’s current aircraft, the Tornado, and the RAF’s new state-of-the-art F-35B Lightning II. Another flypast featured nine RAF Typhoons in formation, as part of centenary celebrations.

Other flying highlights included displays by the US Air Force Heritage Flight; the Ukrainian Su-27 Flanker; the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornet; the French Aeronavale Rafale M duo; the Italian Frecce Tricolori aerobatic display team and the RAF’s Red Arrows. Visitors on Saturday were treated to a rare flypast by a US Air Force B-2A Spirit stealth bomber that had made the round trip from its base in Missouri, US.

In the static aircraft park there were examples of aircraft from around the world including debut appearances by the Embraer KC-390 from Brazil, the Kawasaki C-2 from Japan and the HH-101A CaeSAR tactical helicopter from the Italian Air Force.

Just days prior to the airshow, history was made as the first transatlantic flight by a civilian-registered Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) touched down, ushering in a new era in unmanned aviation. The SkyGuardian is the latest version of the General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted air system. Capable of flying for up to 40 hours at a time at altitudes of up 40,000ft, when SkyGuardian comes into RAF service it will be known as ‘Protector’.

Among the Royal guests in attendance at the Air Tattoo were HRH the Duke of Kent, Patron of the RAF Charitable Trust; HRH Prince Michael of Kent; HRH The Princess Royal and HRH Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein of the Jordanian Royal Family.

Guests from the world of politics included the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond; the Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson; the Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Defence People and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood and the Minister for Defence Procurement Guto Bebb.

In total, the Air Tattoo hosted 79 military delegations including 64 military chiefs from around the world including Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier; the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones; Chairman of the NATO Committee, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach and Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Gordon Messenger.

Among the industry sponsors in attendance were BAE Systems’ CEO Sir Roger Carr; Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson; Boeing CEO Leanne Caret; Airbus CEO Tom Enders; Babcock CEO Archie Bethel; Senior Vice President Fujitsu Duncan Tait and Leidos CEO Roger Krone. Celebrities included Carol Vorderman, Sir David Jason, Susannah Reid and vocal group Blake.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said he was delighted that so many people had turned up to celebrate the RAF’s centenary at RAF Fairford.

He said: “This year’s airshow has been many years in the planning and I think my team, including our amazing army of 1,500 volunteers, has really delivered something special to the nation.

“We’ve enjoyed some spectacular flying in glorious sunshine and a superb range of entertainment on the showground. Of course, it was disappointing we were unable to feature our planned RAF100 flypast on the Friday due to a localised weather front however, everyone understands that safety has to be our number one priority.

“The rest of our seven-hour flying programme went ahead as planned each day and provided a wonderful spectacle for the large crowds.”

Regular Air Tattoo visitor George Humphries, 55, from London, said: “The Air Tattoo is on my mind from the minute I leave the show, until I get in the car and start to drive to it the next year. It is so exciting. It really is the number one show in the UK.”

Robert Allen, 37, from Barwell, Leicestershire, who was visiting the Air Tattoo for the first time said: “I am here with my brother, dad and four of our children. It is mine and my brother’s birthday treat and what a treat it has been. I’d definitely recommend a visit to next year’s show.”

Next year’s Air Tattoo takes place on July 19-21, 2019.

www.airtattoo.com

Live Stream takes Air Tattoo Global

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

RIAT Red Arrows

Can’t make it to this year’s Air Tattoo or want to watch it again? PlanesTV will be broadcasting live from cameras situated around RAF Fairford on Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July to bring you an amazing live experience, wherever you are in the world.

One of the world’s largest military airshows will be staging a special international celebration of the Royal Air Force’s centenary with a range of exciting flypasts and aerial formations featuring current and historic RAF aircraft. More than 30 air arms from around the globe will be taking part from as far afield as Canada, Australia, Oman, Pakistan and Ukraine. Highlights include displays by the MiG-21, F-35A, Typhoon, CV-22B Osprey, AMD Mirage 2000D, Rafale and Chinook and, of course, the Red Arrows.

You can watch from just £10 by purchasing your live stream access HERE: https://watch.planestv.com/riat2018/

We’ve teamed up with PlanesTV to bring you a new and improved live stream service including:
– Over seven hours of flying displays each day
– Replays of the best of the flying in between displays
– Flying schedule available each morning so you can plan your viewing (subject to weather and serviceability)
– On Friday there will be a parade by service personnel from the Queen’s Colour Squadron and special RAF Flypast of up to 50 aircraft, whilst over the weekend there are plans for other special RAF flying formations
– On Demand replay of the broadcast available for 7 days – so if you miss something you can come back later and enjoy.
Earlybird discount ends midnight 30 June and prices will then increase by £5.

So, Log in, sit back and watch the world’s greatest airshow from the comfort of your own home! This summer’s Air Tattoo will feature a thrilling seven-hour flying display, featuring fast jets, aerobatic display teams, helicopters and giant transports. Tickets give access to live broadcast and also a video on demand replay until midnight on Sunday 22 July, so you can watch it again and again!

www.airtattoo.com

Transatlantic Flight Ushers in New Era in Unmanned Aviation

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Sky Guardian coming to RIAT

A transatlantic flight by a civilian-registered Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) taking part in next month’s Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire is set to usher in a new era in unmanned aviation.

As the first transatlantic RPA flight to land in the UK, it signals the beginning of a new chapter in the history of aviation and brings closer the possibility that one day, airlines may routinely operate aircraft remotely.

The General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ MQ-9B SkyGuardian is due to take off from its base in North Dakota and embark on a 4,000-mile journey to RAF Fairford piloted by an operator located at the aerospace company’s Flight Test and Training Centre in Grand Forks. It has a wingspan of 79ft and can fly non-stop for in excess of 40 hours.

The aircraft, arriving in advance of the Royal International Air Tattoo on July 13-15, is scheduled to touch down in the UK on Wednesday, July 11. The CAA has approved SkyGuardian’s flight in UK airspace and has issued guidance to pilots and aircraft operators to take note of a series of airspace restrictions that will be put in place over certain areas of the UK to ensure its safe journey.

The Royal Air Force is due to bring into service the UK variant of MQ-9B SkyGuardian, known as PROTECTOR RG Mk1 which will increase its long-range surveillance and precision strike capabilities. It will feature in the static park as part of the Air Tattoo’s international celebration of the Royal Air Force’s Centenary.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said: “The CAA supports the safe development of Remotely Piloted Aircraft in the UK as they can bring many benefits. We have worked closely with General Atomics, NATS and the armed forces to safely accommodate the SkyGuardian into UK airspace.”

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said the airshow has a proud history of featuring aviation ‘firsts’ and he was pleased that this would continue in 2018.

He said: “Remotely piloted aircraft, for both civilian and military use, are clearly an important part of aviation’s future landscape. We are already seeing a rapid growth in smaller airframes being used recreationally, for aerial photography and they have been used effectively in local search and rescue operations. We watch with great interest as further commercial applications are explored.

“It’s appropriate that on an occasion when we are celebrating the RAF’s centenary that we should present to the public not only aircraft from the RAF’s illustrious past and present but also offer a rare glimpse of its future.

“Whilst this particular airframe is being flown to very stringent aviation guidelines, I wish to remind everyone that strict rules and regulations exist regarding the use of smaller remotely piloted airframes, commonly known as drones. In the case of the Air Tattoo none are permitted to be airborne at or around the airshow and to do so would constitute a criminal act.”

www.airtattoo.com

Canadians Boost Air Tattoo Participation

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

RIAT Canadian Globemaster

Official RAF Centenary celebrations taking place at the Royal International Air Tattoo this summer have been given an extra boost thanks to one of the UK’s closest Commonwealth and NATO allies.

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), which had already confirmed it was sending its hugely popular CF-18 Demo Team to the airshow at RAF Fairford on July 13-15, has announced that an additional three aircraft would be crossing the Atlantic to take part.

Illustrating the RCAF’s capabilities will be a CC-130 Hercules, a CC-177 Globemaster and a CP-140 Aurora, all of which will be on display in the airshow’s static park.
Based at Greenwood, Nova Scotia, the CP-140 Aurora from 14 Wing, has been used primarily for maritime patrol/anti-submarine warfare since it entered service with the RCAF in the early 1980s. Its endurance and 7,400km range make it ideal for a variety of missions including search and rescue and disaster relief. It also provides vital support to other government agencies in combating illegal immigration, illegal fishing, pollution and drug trafficking.

Arriving from Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario, the CC-177 Globemaster III transports troops, cargo and oversized combat equipment from coast to coast and around the world. Its ability to fly long distances and land at remote airfields makes it a premier transporter for military, humanitarian and peacekeeping missions.

Since 2015 it has supported disaster relief operations in Nepal, it has transported personnel and equipment to battle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and continues to support the global coalition against terrorism. Also arriving from Trenton will be a Lockheed Martin CC-130 Hercules, which is used for troop transport, tactical airlift and aircrew training.

Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said: “From the Battle of Britain to current missions in the Middle East, the Royal Canadian Air Force has operated side-by-side with the Royal Air Force. Sending four aircraft to the Air Tattoo to mark the RAF’s centenary re-affirms the strong and enduring bond that exists between them.”

The Air Tattoo is staged in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. For ticket details and a wide variety of enclosure options, visit www.airtattoo.com.

USAF anniversary show a spectacle at Royal International Air Tattoo

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Fairford from the air

A series of spectacular flypasts and jaw-dropping displays ensured the USAF’s 70th anniversary was celebrated in style at a sold out Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

The airshow, which took place over three days (July 14-16), attracted a record crowd of 160,000 people who enjoyed thrilling flying demonstrations by some of the world’s leading pilots.

Among the aerial highlights were the USAF Thunderbirds, whose highly-choreographed pre-flight routines were as entertaining as their flying display.

Flying F-16 Fighting Falcons, the team was joined on the Friday by nine Red Arrows’ Hawks for a colourful joint flypast to launch the airshow.

Joining the Thunderbirds to celebrate the USAF anniversary were vintage American warbirds including a B-17 and P-51D Mustang, a state-of-the-art F-22 Raptor and a dramatic flypast by a number of UK and European based USAF aircraft.

On the Sunday, visitors were treated to a surprise flypast by a stealth B-2 Spirit bomber that was taking part in an epic 23-hour transatlantic “Global Power” training flight from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. The aircraft was escorted by two F-15 fighters.

Other flying display highlights included the French Air Force’s Couteau Delta team flying two Mirage 2000D fighter aircraft; the Midnight Hawks, Finland’s aerobatic display team who last performed at the Air Tattoo back in 2004, an RAF Typhoon demo flown by Flt Lt Ryan Lawton and a Russian-built Sukhoi Su-27 ‘Flanker’ from the Ukrainian Air Force, which offered enthusiasts a rare opportunity to view this aircraft in British skies.

In total, 246 aircraft took part in the Air Tattoo from 32 air arms representing 26 nations.

Highlights among the 115 aircraft in the static park included a US U-2 spy plane, a Boeing 737 Airborne Early Warning aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force and a Royal Canadian Air Force Boeing CH-147F Chinook Helicopter which had been airlifted over in the back of a giant Boeing CC-177 Globemaster airlifter.

The show also bought together the five new aircraft types which will eventually go on to form the Royal Air Force’s new training aircraft fleet including the Grob G120TP Prefect, the Embraer 100 Phenom and the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II to be provided by Affinity Flying Training Services, as well as the Airbus H135 Juno and H145 Jupiter helicopters being provided by Airbus Helicopter. It was the first time all five aircraft have appeared together in public.

Special guests included HRH the Duke of Gloucester, the Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and the US Ambassador to the UK Lewis Lukens.

Among a large number of industry guests were BAE Systems’ Chairman and CEO Sir Roger Carr and Charles Woodburn; Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson; Dave Perry, Chief Global Business Development Officer at Northrop Grumman and the CEO of Boeing Defence Leanne Caret. Military guests included Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier and USAF Chief of Staff General David Goldfein. In total, a record 63 military delegations attended the airshow, representing air arms from around the world.

RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises’ Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said the airshow was a great success, with the US Air Force’s 70th anniversary celebrations exceeding everyone’s expectations.

“The Air Tattoo already enjoyed an incredibly strong relationship with the US Air force built up over the past 40 years but following this airshow I think that bond has become even stronger.

“Though a few of the flying displays were affected by the weather on the Saturday, most of the flying over the three days took place in dry, warm conditions. Thanks to my team which includes an incredible army of over 2,000 volunteers, we’ve staged a safe and thoroughly entertaining event that UK plc, and the world of aviation, can be proud of.”

Airshow visitors were keen to express their enthusiasm and enjoyment of the event. Pam Alexander, from Kemble in Gloucestershire, said: “I regularly attend the Air Tattoo because I love aircraft and the atmosphere at the airshow is incredible. It’s really well organised.”

Samantha Rowles, from Taunton, said: “This is my first time ever at the Air Tattoo. It’s amazing – loud and full of aeroplanes. It’s been a great show.”
Jeffery Toomey, from Evesham, said: “I have been coming here for years and it simply gets better and better. I can’t wait for next year when it’s the RAF’s 100 anniversary – what a show it will be then.”

www.airtattoo.com

B2 stealth bomber wows crowds at Royal International Air Tattoo

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

B2A Spirit and F15 at RIAT

The United States Air Force’s bat-like Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and UK-based F-15 Eagle fighters wowed the crowds at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire with a flypast during an epic transatlantic “Global Power” training flight on Sunday 16 July, flying in from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.

The show is marking the 70th anniversary of the formation of the U.S. Air Force with flying displays by the Thunderbirds air demonstration team and the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.

www.airtattoo.com

Israel Air Force returns to RIAT after 15 years absence

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Israel Air Force at RIAT

After a 15 year absence, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has returned to the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford.

The 40-strong crew arrived in a Shimson C130J Hercules after an eight and a half hour flight before appearing on the static display.

The team, which includes aircrew, technicians, media, foreign affairs, security and specialist paramedics, is at the airshow demonstrating the 669 Squadron’s specialist operations capabilities.

Providing humanitarian assistance across the world, the aircraft carries specialist equipment for medical support, turning the aircraft into a flying hospital with staff who have been through extensive training, from scuba diving to taking blood and carrying out CPR.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht, Head of Israel Air Force Foreign Affairs, said: “It is our 70th birthday and we are discovering common interest and values with the British military. We are pleased to be part of such a big air show and are enjoying every minute of it. We are definitely enjoying the cooler British weather as it is 40C in Israel at the moment!”

Lt Col Hecht is no stranger to Great Britain as he was born in Glasgow. His family moved to Israel when he was eight years old and he still has a strong Scottish accent. “It is great to be back here and just be part of a world famous air show,” said Lt Col Hecht.

Throughout the years, the IAF has deployed to many countries around the world providing humanitarian aid. Aid delegations that include search and rescue teams, equipment and food are sent rapidly to disaster areas in order to assist local teams.

www.airtattoo.com

Skyhawk makes long awaited return to Air Tattoo

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

Skyhawk

AN aircraft that last made an appearance at the Royal International Air Tattoo 40 years ago is set to make a welcome return later this month.

The rare A-4N Skyhawk will arrive from Germany and go on static display at the airshow on Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16. The Skyhawk is a single engine attack aircraft that was developed for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. It is a carrier-capable aircraft that has seen extensive wartime use, from Vietnam to the Falklands conflict.
Owned by Discovery Air Defence, the Canadian company began operating a fleet of seven Skyhawks from Wittmund in 2015 after winning a contract to provide an adversarial air support to help train Luftwaffe crews. The A-4s are contracted to provide services ranging from threat simulation, target towing to flight test support.

The aircraft taking part in the Air Tattoo originally flew with the Israeli Air Force and has since been modified with modern navigation equipment and glass cockpits, whilst retaining some of the key military capabilities like the A-4’s air-to-air refuelling systems.

The last time an A-4 visited the Air Tattoo was in 1977, when a small number of A-4Gs visited Greenham Common from 805 Squadron, Royal Australian Navy. The aircraft launched from HMAS Melbourne, which itself was attending the Silver Jubilee Fleet Review in Portsmouth.

Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said: “Confirmation that an A-4 Skyhawk is participating in the Air Tattoo is great news and will be welcomed, in particular, by all our enthusiasts. The type last appeared at an Air Tattoo 40 years ago when the event was staged at RAF Greenham Common and since then we’ve been trying hard to get one back.

“It’s a compact little fighter that in its heyday punched above its weight and played important roles in significant conflicts during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Its rarity alone makes it one of the stand-out aircraft taking part in this summer’s airshow.”

Saturday tickets for the Air Tattoo have sold out but there are a limited number available for Friday, July 14 and Sunday, July 16. To view prices and enclosure options, visit www.airtattoo.com. All accompanied under-16s are admitted free of charge. Free parking.

Old Meets New at Air Tattoo

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Frenesi

The Royal International Air Tattoo’s celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force at RAF Fairford on July 14-16 will feature a special ‘then and now’ formation of American fighter aircraft, as a North American P-51D Mustang from the Second World War teams up with a present-day Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor.

This USAF Heritage Flight display will involve a P-51D visiting from the United States and flown by leading US warbird pilot Dan Friedkin. Provided by Comanche Fighters of Houston, Texas, the Mustang in question is named Frenesi and only emerged from a 12-year restoration earlier this year.

Built in 1944 as an F-6K reconnaissance variant, the aircraft was only on US Army Air Force strength for a short time before being deemed surplus to requirements during 1946. It spent a period in civilian hands prior to 30 years’ service, from 1954-84, with the Dominican Air Force.

Back in the US as a preserved warbird, the Mustang was active again by 1990, and painted as 357th Fighter Group aircraft Frenesi (named after a wartime song of that title, popularised by legendary US band leader and clarinettist Artie Shaw). It has been returned to those markings following its recent restoration for Comanche Fighters by Midwest Aero Restorations of Danville, Illinois.

The original Frenesi was the mount of Lt Col Thomas Hayes, who flew Curtiss P-40s and Bell P-400s in the Pacific theatre before being deployed to Britain with the 357th Fighter Group and stationed at Leiston, Suffolk. Hayes scored eight-and-a-half aerial victories in combat, two in the Pacific and the remainder over Europe. He chose the name Frenesi for his P-51D as the song was a favourite of his and his wife’s.

Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati welcomed news of the Heritage Flight’s participation, saying it was a great addition to the airshow’s USAF 70th celebrations. “To see two iconic military fighters, which operated 70 years apart, fly side by side will be a fitting anniversary tribute and will be a sight not to be missed.”

The USAF Heritage Flight programme was established 20 years ago to mark the air force’s 50th anniversary. Its displays bring together civilian-owned warbirds and modern military aircraft. RIAT 2017 will feature the sole Heritage Flight performance in Britain this year. The F-22 accompanying the Mustang will be flown by Maj Dan ‘Rock’ Dickinson of the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, following on from his spectacular solo demonstration of the state-of-the-art air dominance fighter.

www.airtattoo.com

More US aircraft join Air Tattoo salute

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Osprey

Visitors to this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds will be able to view one of the biggest gatherings of US military aircraft at a UK airshow in recent years.

In addition to the USAF display team the Thunderbirds, a B-1 and B-52 bomber and a stateof-the-art F-22 fighter jet already revealed, the Americans have announced that many more exciting aircraft will be arriving at the air base as the airshow prepares to stage the biggest celebration of the US Air Force’s 70th anniversary anywhere in Europe.

The airshow, which takes place on July 14-16, will also feature two CV-22B Ospreys, whose unique tiltrotors enable them to fly like a helicopter or like a fixed-wing aircraft. The aircraft, one of which will be in the flying programme and the other on display in the static park, has been used as a Special Forces transport aircraft thanks to its impressive speed and manoeuvrability.

Also confirmed for the static park will be two F-16C fighter jets from Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany; an MC-130J Commando II tactical transport and tanker aircraft, based at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, used to support Special Operations; and a massive C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft which will travel all the way from Charleston, South Carolina.

Finally, the United States Navy will be showcasing the world’s most capable maritime patrol aircraft, the Boeing P-8A Poseidon, on the ground at RAF Fairford. The aircraft is on order for the Royal Air Force, who will take delivery of their first example from 2019, based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said: “The Air Tattoo enjoys a great relationship with the US military which stretches back almost four decades and over the years this has resulted in some very memorable tributes marking key milestones in the USAF’s history.

“Earlier this year the US military promised us their full support in marking their 70th anniversary and now we’re seeing them deliver. It’s fantastic. The range of American military aircraft on display at the Air Tattoo is going to be awesome – and there’s still time for more to be added!”

The Air Tattoo is staged annually at RAF Fairford in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. To view prices and enclosure options, visit www.airtattoo.com. All accompanied under-16s are admitted free of charge. Free parking.