Posts Tagged ‘Royal’

Huge response anticipated for scholarship scheme

Monday, November 14th, 2016

The RAF Flying Clubs’ Association (RAFFCA) has announced that the application window for its Junior Rank Pilot Scholarship Scheme (JRPSS) 2017 is now open.

The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust (RAFCT)sponsored scheme is open to serving RAF Regular and Reserve Junior Ranks (JR) across the UK who have been invited to submit their applications before 31 January 2017, after which 30 lucky candidates will be selected to receive flying training.

The scheme has received an £80,000 grant from Trustees who recognise the huge benefits it has had on previous scholars. The annual grant, which has increased year on year, will enable the select 30 to each receive 15 hours of flying instruction on a light aircraft, which may count towards a Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL). All necessary equipment to undertake the training at selected RAF flying clubs will also be provided through the scholarship, including flying suits and study packs.

RAF Flying Clubs’ Association Project Officer Flight Lieutenant Chris Hives said: “Since its launch, we have received a tremendous response to the JRPSS. We had more than 360 applications in 2016 and received submissions for 2017 before the application process had even opened!

“This is an extremely generous grant from the Trust, which negates the need for any personal contribution – it couldn’t get any better for our JRs! Some of the lucky JRs may even get to learn to fly in the new Tecnam training aircraft, based in Scampton, which was purchased by the RAFCT last year to enhance the delivery of the scheme.

“This support means that our young personnel can gain the experience and support they need to pursue a career in aviation.”

Once candidates have successfully completed the scholarship there is also the opportunity to apply for the JRPSS Top-Up-Scheme which provides additional funding for those selected to continue their flying training and achieve their LAPL.

RAFCT Director Amanda Butcher added: “The JRPSS presents a fantastic opportunity for aviation minded JRs to achieve a flying licence, which has so many benefits, both personally and professionally. The number of people benefitting from the scheme has increased each year and is on track to reach 100 by the centenary in 2018. We are thrilled to be able to provide this level of support to help secure the future of aviation.”

The 30 successful applicants will be announced on Monday 13 February 2017. Any applications made after the closing date will not be accepted. All training for successful candidates must be completed between 1 April and 30 September 2017.

The JRPSS was launched to improve the airmindedness of Junior Ranks by offering them flying experience and the opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding of the technologies used in aviation.In just two years, the scheme has already benefitted 40 serving personnel.

To apply,or to find out more information, please visit

RAF Delivers Air Tattoo Xmas Gift

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo have described news of the Royal Air Force’s plans for next summer’s airshow as an exciting, early Christmas present.

In a letter to the organisers this week, the RAF outlined an ambitious programme of involvement at the Air Tattoo, which takes place at RAF Fairford, in the heart of the Cotswolds, on July 20 & 21, 2013.

The RAF’s Air Command said it hoped to send a flying VC-10 transport aircraft and TriStar air-to-air tanker plus a C-17, A330 ‘Voyager’ and C-130J/K Hercules for either the flying display or static park.

Other RAF aircraft earmarked for the airshow include a Tornado, Search & Rescue Sea King helicopter, the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

The RAF said it also supported plans by the airshow organisers to bring together all the Typhoon operators of the world in line with its operational theme SkyGuardian.

A number of potential, exciting set pieces for the flying display were also suggested by the Royal Air Force, but airshow organisers said they were keeping these under wraps until next year.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “Though we shall have to wait until spring to receive official confirmation of exactly which RAF aircraft will be attending, it’s great to receive such positive news so early.

“It is important for us to make sure that the Air Tattoo provides the most effective engagement opportunity for the Royal Air Force because of the incredible support they give us each year. Having knowledge of their plans so early on is fantastic and gives us a great head start with our planning. It was like receiving an early Christmas present!”

People planning to visit the Air Tattoo next summer have until Sunday, January 6 to take advantage of a specially-priced Super Earlybird ticket, which offers a saving of 33 per cent on the price of admission. For full details, visit

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Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

People planning to attend next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, who purchase their tickets before January 7, will enjoy a saving of up to £14 on the price of admission.

Special Super Earlybird tickets go on sale tomorrow (November 21) for next summer’s event, which takes place on July 20-21.

In a bid to keep tickets as affordable as possible for its many supporters, organisers have decided to cap the price of the Sunday admission ticket, adding just £1 on to the 2012 admission price. This means that a Super Earlybird Sunday ticket will be available until January 6, priced just £30.

This compares with the £35 cost of a Super Earlybird Saturday ticket.

Between January 7 and April 3, Earlybird tickets will be available priced £40 for the Saturday and £35 for the Sunday.

After April 3, the standard advance ticket will go on sale, priced £45 (Saturday) and £40 (Sunday). Each order after April 3 will be subject to a £4 admin fee.

The Air Tattoo’s Head of Marketing Helen Webb said: “We’ve introduced the new pricing structure to reflect the growing number of people who are looking for extra-value in these challenging times.

“By introducing specially-priced Sunday tickets and enabling all accompanied under-16s to come in for free, visitors can enjoy one of the UK’s greatest outdoor events next summer at an extremely competitive price.”

The Royal International Air Tattoo 2013 will bring together air arms from around the world in a celebration of aviation excellence.

Helen added: “Last summer’s Air Tattoo was a great success with new aerobatic display teams taking part, stealth aircraft and three new countries participating. We’re planning to match all that excitement with an equally thrilling airshow in July.”

For full admission ticket details and to see the wide range of optional upgrades designed to enhance your enjoyment of the Royal International Air Tattoo 2013, visit

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Atlas takes to the air at Fairford

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

The RAF’s future airlifter, the Airbus A400M Atlas, is making its only UK flying appearance this year, taking to the air at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

The giant aircraft took to the skies over RAF Fairford yesterday as part of the RAF’s Air Mobility flypast, along with the other transport aircraft based at nearby RAF Brize Norton. It will also appear in the flypast today.

Air Tattoo director Tim Prince said: “I am delighted the Air Tattoo was chosen as the venue for the naming ceremony for the A400M Atlas, and that Airbus Military’s chief test pilot, Ed Strongman, was able to fly the Atlas in our weekend’s eight-hour daily flying display programmes.

“Our visitors have been able to enjoy this fantastic aircraft on the ground, and they’ve also had two rare opportunities to see and hear this amazing machine fly in the skies over RAF Fairford.”

The aircraft appearing at Fairford is one of six prototypes being used by Airbus Military for the development of the aircraft. The first aircraft made its maiden flight in December 2009 and the first production aircraft is due to enter service with the French Air Force at the end of this year or in early 2013.

The RAF will receive the first of the 22 A400Ms ordered in 2014. The fleet is due to be based at Brize Norton.

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Japan Acts to Strengthen Military Ties

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Japan said its announcement today that it would be sending an aircraft to participate in its first ever European airshow this week was a step towards developing closer military ties with the UK.

A Japanese KC-767J from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force will arrive at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on Thursday (July 5) for the weekend’s Royal International Air Tattoo (July 7-8).

Other than for State visits, it will represent the first time a Japanese military aircraft has touched down on British soil.

Capt (Navy) Atsushi Minami, Defence Attache at the Japanese Embassy in London said the decision to send an aircraft to the Air Tattoo was taken following visits to Japan by the RAF’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton last year and by David Cameron in April.

Capt Minami said: “When Prime Minister Cameron paid and official visit to Japan, our two prime ministers agreed in a joint statement to upgrade bilateral defence co-operation in various fields. On instruction from the two Prime Ministers, the Japanese Defence Minister and the UK Defence Secretary signed a Defence Cooperation Memorandum earlier this month (June).

“The prodigious economic growth of countries in East Asia amid the delicate strategic balance in the region represents both an opportunity and a challenge for Japan and the UK. Japan and the UK are each other’s most important partners in Asia and Europe, respectively. We hope our participation in the Air Tattoo will enhance defence cooperation between our two countries.”

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force participating in this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo. During my visit to Japan, late last year, I was particularly keen to secure the attendance of the JASDF for the 2012 Air Tattoo and I am very pleased that the Taiko Drummers have also travelled to Fairford to provide some outstanding entertainment and to showcase some Japanese culture; It is my pleasure to welcome them to the United Kingdom.”

European Airshow Council Chairman Gilbert Buekenberghs said: ” Whilst other nations will also be sending aircraft to European air shows for the first time this summer, most notably South Korea and Colombia, it is the backdrop against which Japan is proposing to participate that makes their visit to the Air Tattoo so significant. Whilst other far flung nations may choose not to attend for reasons of distance or cost, Japan’s absence over the years has been self imposed, a restriction borne out of the Second World War. That they now feel the time is right to participate more fully on the international stage is to be applauded – and certainly one welcomed by the European airshow community.”

Aviation author Lindsay Peacock said: “Since the end of World War Two, the Japanese have adhered to a pacifist clause in its constitution that prohibits it from settling international disputes with the use of military force. However, in recent times, the once strict interpretation of this clause has been relaxed somewhat, resulting in participation in training exercises such as ‘Red Flag Alaska’ as well as involvement in humanitarian efforts. In addition, Japan is now beginning to play an increasing role in global security. Sending its first ever military aircraft – a Boeing KC-767J – to an airshow in Europe is an indication of Japan’s growing confidence.”

In addition to its 14 crew, on board the KC-767J will be a troupe of 26 Taiko drummers from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. They plan a series of performances during the airshow.

The aircraft, one of four JASDF tankers, will arrive via Elmendorf US Air Force Base, Alaska, on July 5.

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Stealth set to steal show at Air Tattoo

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Organisers of next week’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford have announced that one of the most popular and distinctive aircraft ever to appear at the airshow will be among almost 300 others taking part from around the world.

The US Air Force B-2 ‘Spirit’ stealth bomber, which last touched down at RAF Fairford for the airshow in 1999, will make a 10,000-mile round trip from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to take pride of place within the Air Tattoo’s static aircraft park.

The B-2 ‘Spirit’ has the ability to deliver massive firepower in a short time anywhere in the world and through previously impenetrable defences. It has both a conventional weapons and nuclear capability. First flown in 1989, the stealth bomber has since taken part in a number of military operations including Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said that securing the B-2’s participation in the Air Tattoo was a great coup for the event.

He said: “The B-2 is high on the list of people’s must-see aircraft because of its distinctive and mysterious, sleek shape and the fact it rarely appears at airshows outside of the USA. Anyone who has seen it will tell you what an incredible looking aircraft it is. It’s simply unique.

“With seven aerobatic display teams, special flypasts and aircraft such as the B-2, Vulcan, Osprey and Rafale, I can confidently say that no other airshow in the world this year will be as exciting as the one we have planned at Fairford next week.”

The last time a B-2 ‘Spirit’ appeared at the Air Tattoo was in 2004 when it performed a flypast without landing. Since then, the B-2 has never been seen at any other European airshow.

More than 250 aircraft are due to land at the Gloucestershire air base for the event, starting with the arrival from Colombia of a C-130 Hercules. It will be the first time Colombia has ever taken part in an airshow in the United Kingdom.

Tickets for the Air Tattoo, priced from £39, are available from Under-16s go free. No tickets will be available on the gates.

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Air Tattoo to serve up Triple Treat

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Organisers of Europe’s largest airshow are preparing to serve up a triple helping of historic aircraft as three new nations prepare to touch down at RAF Fairford for the Air Tattoo next month.

Colombia has confirmed it will be sending a C-130H Hercules plus a rare training aircraft whilst the Republic of Korea will be represented by its aerobatic display team, the Black Eagles.

In May, the Koreans began shuttling 10 of its T-50 Golden Eagle aircraft to Manchester airport on board a 747 jumbo jet. The aircraft arrived in pieces and have since been reassembled at RAF Leeming.

Details of the third new participating nation are due to be announced by the Air Tattoo next week.

As well as almost 300 aircraft taking part in the airshow on July 7-8, the Air Tattoo will host one of the largest gatherings of international air chiefs ever assembled in the UK.

More than 44 military chiefs, representing air forces from countries including Brunei, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uruguay, New Zealand, the US and Singapore, will be joining more than 130,000 people over the weekend.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said the Air Tattoo’s international reputation as one of the world’s biggest and best airshows helped secure the 250-plus aircraft from more than 22 countries.

He said: “I’m delighted that 41 years after the first Air Tattoo, the world’s air arms still see the Air Tattoo as the place to demonstrate the capabilities of their aircraft and aircrew. Everyone involved in next month’s Air Tattoo is very excited because we believe we shall be staging one of the greatest aviation events anywhere in the world this year. It’s really not to be missed.”

Among the highlights of the Air Tattoo’s eight-hour flying programme will be displays by seven international aerobatic teams, the only flying Vulcan bomber and a special flypast by the RAF’s heavyweight airlift fleet featuring the VC-10, TriStar, C-17, C130, A330 and A400M. There will also be a recreation of the mass flypast by 27 Hawk jets in ‘EIIR’ formation that took place over Windsor Castle in May as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Tickets for the Air Tattoo are only available in advance and are priced from £39. Visit or call 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.

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Flying Icon Joins Jet Set at Air Tattoo

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

An aircraft considered by many to be one of the finest symbols of man’s conquest of the skies will receive a modern ‘guard of honour’ when it makes a rare appearance in the UK this summer.

The only flying Super Constellation in Europe, and one of only three flying ‘Connies’ in the world, will make its first appearance in the UK for eight years when it performs a special flypast at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 7-8.

The iconic Breitling Super Constellation Star of Switzerland, seen by many as the embodiment of the golden age of propeller planes, will be flanked by seven Czech-built L-39C Albatross jets, from the Breitling Jet Team, for a Diamond Jubilee tribute to the Queen.

Capable of crossing the Atlantic without any stop-overs, the Lockheed Super Constellation dominated civil aviation in the 1950s and set new standards in comfort and luxury.

Air Tattoo flying display commentator and Classic Aircraft magazine editor Ben Dunnell said: “There’s no doubt that the Breitling Super Constellation will be an absolute highlight of this summer’s Air Tattoo. The Connie is simply one of the most beautiful aircraft ever conceived and makes a majestic sight in the sky.

“There are few spectacles in aviation more evocative than that of a ‘Connie’ in the air, thanks in no small part to its wonderful shape and distinctive sound. Many will be delighted that it’s coming back to these shores after an eight year absence. Simply put, it’s everyone’s favourite big-pistoned airliner.”

Other Diamond Jubilee attractions taking place at the Air Tattoo include a repeat of the spectacular mass flypast of 27 Hawk jets in an ‘EIIR’ formation that flew over Windsor Castle in May. A number of colourful Diamond Jubilee-painted aircraft will also be displaying along with a static line-up of current and historic aircraft with ‘Royal’ connections.

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. This summer will see aircraft from more than 22 countries, including two that will be taking part in a UK airshow for the first time – South Korea and Colombia.

Tickets, priced from £39, are available from or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.

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RAF Heavyweights Prepare to Flex Muscles

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

GIANT aircraft from the RAF’s air transport and air-to-air refuelling fleets will fill the sky over RAF Fairford next month when they take part in a unique flypast at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

A VC-10, TriStar, A330 Voyager, C-17 and C-130 Hercules from RAF Brize Norton will be joined by Airbus Military’s A400M for a flypast representing the past, present and future of the RAF’s airlift capability.

The flypast will be particularly poignant as it will provide a final opportunity for Air Tattoo visitors to bid farewell to the VC-10 before the fleet is finally retired in March 2013. It was from RAF Fairford that the first RAF Transport Command VC-10 sortie was flown by 10 Sqn in the late 1960s.

The flypast is part of the Air Tattoo’s operational theme Skylift 2012 which will bring together some of the aircraft that help project air mobility around the globe by providing air-to-air refuelling and delivering troops and equipment quickly and safely to support combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian campaigns.

Among the other international military aircraft supporting the Skylift 2012 theme will be a German Airbus A310, a Hungarian An-26, an Italian KC-767, a Polish An-28, an Omani Airbus A320 and a USAF KC-135. Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “This is an incredible opportunity to witness an entire generation of mighty RAF aircraft flying together, as the old and the new combine to perform a unique flypast as well as giving the VC-10 a spectacular send-off.”

This summer’s Air Tattoo will feature aircraft from around the world, including South Korea, Russia, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. The eight-hour flying programme includes the European debut of the United Arab Emirates’ Al Fursan display team, the Red Arrows and the unique MV-22 Osprey.

The Air Tattoo is staged in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. Tickets, priced from £39, are available from or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.

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Sparkling Start to Air Tattoo Preview

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

DARE-DEVIL parachutists provided a taste of what’s to come when they dropped in to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire yesterday.

Members of the RAF Falcons parachute display team unfurled a Diamond Jubilee flag as they drifted down to earth from 3,000ft at a special preview of the Royal International Air Tattoo.

The world’s biggest military airshow, which will take place on July 7 and 8, is this year celebrating HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and a sparkling display of aircraft touched down to publicise this summer’s event.

Children’s tv presenter Barney Harwood flew in as the day’s special guest, arriving in style courtesy of an RAF Hawk flown by Fairford-born display pilot Flt Lt Phil Bird.

The logo on the flag delivered by the RAF Falcons had been chosen from thousands of entries in a children’s design competition run by the BBC’s Blue Peter programme, and presenter Barney performed the official raising of the flag, accompanied by the Fanfare team from the Band of the RAF Regiment.

Barney said: “I got my first Airfix kit at the age of eight, and that was a Hawk, so it was incredible to actually fly in one. It relays the message that anything is possible: I used to work in a kennels and now here I am in an RAF jumpsuit. It’s such a beautiful aircraft and it was so exciting to fulfil a lifelong ambition.”

Five spectacular aircraft touched down at the Gloucestershire airbase, including a Chipmunk with a royal connection – WP903, painted in the bright colours of the Royal Flight, is the actual two-seater trainer aircraft in which Prince Charles learnt to fly – and an RAF Tucano, painted in special Diamond Jubilee livery.

A deHavilland Vampire T11, which entered service with the RAF 60 years ago, was also on show, while a US Air Force MC-130 Hercules, operated by US Special Forces, also flew in, symbolising the close links between the airshow and the USAF.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “It’s been great to provide a preview of what’s in store in July, as we have an exceptional line-up of aircraft. As well as a special mass flypast of Hawks in an E II R formation, the Air Tattoo will feature seven aerobatic display teams including Al Fursan, a newly-formed team from the United Arab Emirates who’ll be making their European debut at the airshow.

“Two countries, Colombia and South Korea, will be making their Air Tattoo debuts, the iconic Avro Vulcan will be here to thrill the crowds, and many of the world’s top fast jets will also be joining us in July. The world really is coming to Fairford this year – make sure you don’t miss out on the action.”

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