On 17 & 18 July the annual Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), the world's greatest military airshow, was held at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England. This year themes included 50 years of the Hercules, 30 years of the Hawk and the 60th anniversary of d-day
We were present during the show days and the departure of most aircraft on Monday. Don't forget to check out all 5 pages using the links on the right-hand side of this page!
Like last year, the flight line of aircraft flying the airshow, was located behind entrance B. Most flying aircraft were located on this side of the field, while some aircraft, mostly special visitors like the F-117 and F/A-18F were located on the north side of the runway. Seen from entrance B, the big aircraft like the transports were located on the left (west) side of the airfield, while the fighters and the D-day exhibition were located on the right (east) side.
Highlights on the static display included the Lithuanian An-26 and L-39, French Mirage IV, Italian army Do 228, US LC-130, Alaskan and Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Oman and New Zealand C-130, Canadian Hawk, French Pilatus PC-6, Estonian Let-410 and the US IAI C-38. Especially the contribution of French and Italian aircraft were impressive this year. The French contribution had all to do with the celebration of the 'Entente Cordiale' agreement which established a lasting diplomatic understanding between the British and the French.
Boeing displayed for the first time in Europe it´s Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) project with the mock-up of the X-45C. Later on the day, the mock-up was packed into crates to be shipped to Farnborough.
Weather conditions weren't that good on the Saturday morning. Fortunately the sky cleared mostly later on the morning, providing a beautiful photographically cloud cover.
This year also lot's of US C-135 variants were present, including the Navy E-6 and the Offut based RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic intelligence aircraft.
Next up will be this years Themes: 50 Years of the Hercules and 30 Years of the Hawk.