Air displays, do you love ’em or hate them? Me? I fall into the first category. There is something about the skill of the pilots, the artistry of the patterns they weave in the sky and the engineering required to get something so ungainly (and sometimes ugly) into the air, that is fascinating and awe inspiring.
After our visit to the Avalon Air Show near Melbourne earlier this year I was lucky to be able to attend the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford recently. Avalon was big. RIAT is bigger! RAF Fairford is huge, with their main runway over two miles long there is a massive amount of space to fill with aircraft and trade stands and the room afforded to the flying display made for some outstanding displays. The line for static aircraft was about 1.5 miles long with contributions from all over the world.
Below is a small collection of the close on 800 pictures I shot, over two days at the show. I hope you enjoy them. Even if you do fall into the “hate them” category please just admire the skill of the engineers who designed and built these things and the crews who display them.
RAF Red Arrows and USAF Thunderbirds open the Flying Display on Friday.
Red 10 gets in on the act. He departed the formation after this flypast to film the display from the air. (Note: Only 9 jets make up the display team, Red 10 is the Manager).
Red Arrows “Enid” Section.
Still one of the most menacing looking jets around -RAF Tornado GR4A in desert pink paint job
Boeing CV22B Osprey – unique as its props tilt so it can be a helicopter or conventional fixed wing aircraft in flight.
The Best of Sunday.
Sundays displays were hindered by low cloud but this made for some more exciting flying at low level.
Future Pilot? RAF aircrew show a keen young “recruit” round their Tucano.
Italian Air Force Tornado departs on his display
Sukhoi SU 27 – Contribution from the Ukranian Air Force
Drummers and Boeing 767 from the Japanese Self Defence Forces
B2 Spirit from Whiteman AFB Missouri accompanied by F15 Eagle from RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk UK
The Old and The New – P51 Mustang from the Hangar 11 collection at North Weald UK and F22 Raptor from Langley AFB
Thunderbirds Are Go!! Four of the 6 F16s of the USAF Demonstration Team “The Thunderbirds”
Airbus A400M Atlas flown by Airbus Industrie crew based in Seville Spain
RAF Display Team The Red Arrows join the party on Sunday. Note the dark clouds. We got wet shortly after this shot was taken.
Red 6 You’re going the wrong way!!
Red Arrows “Gippo” Section and their Gippo Roll. Gippo was the nickname of the Reds first Leader back in 1960something.
Seven Red Arrows Break. Synchro Pair pass by from either end of the runway seconds later.