Once again I have been fortunate to attend the Royal international Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford. It took place over three days on 19 – 21 July with changeable weather conditions. On Friday the British summer arrived as usual with heavy rain for most of the day which rampaged through the flying programme leaving only a couple of contributions. When not sheltering in one of the “Service Station” marquees the static park and side events were interesting.
Walking the Static Line it became clear that many countries had done “special” paint schemes and some images are below.
Top: L – R German Air Force Typhoon Tail Art; GAF Tornado; GAF Typhoon. Bottom L – R: Jordanian Air Force C130; 2 images of Danish Air Force F16.
Some of the more mundane but nevertheless interesting paint jobs on show below:
Top Row: USAF C17; Ukrainian Air Force Su 27; Romanian Air Force MiG 21. Bottom Row L – R: Inside looking out – On the ramp of the C17; USAF B52; German Air Force Tornado.
The weather was greatly improved on Saturday and I met up with two ex RAF friends and we enjoyed a day catching up, and watching the flying display.
The day was all about commemoration. Firstly, the 70th anniversary of NATO, marked by a flypast of NATO aircraft. However for me there were two highlights. Firstly the Red Arrows joined with a British Airways Boeing 747 in a flypast to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the first commercial passenger flight by the BA forerunner, Aircraft Transport and Travel Ltd. The 747 was decorated in the original BOAC livery from the 1970’s and was very well received by the crowd.
Red Arrows and BOAC Liveried Boeing 747 from British Airways
The second highlight marked the 50th anniversary of the first Concorde flight in 1969 and was a joint flypast involving the Red Arrows once again, together with the French Air Force Aerobatic Display Team The Patrouille de France, both in their “Concorde” formation.
RAF Red Arrows and French Air Force Patrouille de France in “Concorde” Formations
Other contributions featured aircraft from Spain, Italy, Ukraine and Romania.
Italian Air Force Aerobatic Team – Frecce Tricolori – Aermacchi AT-339A
RAF Aerobatic Team – The Red Arrows
Top Row – F35B Lightning II from 617 Sqn RAF. Bottom left: Belgian Air Component F16 Fighting Falcon; Right: Spanish Navy EAV-8B Harrier.
Saturday was a much better day weather wise, sunshine some of the time and no rain. Also it was great to see old friends again.