Show reports

Royal International Air Tattoo 2022

By Gostar den Daas | July 2022
After two years, Europe’s biggest airshow is back.

After an absence of two years due to the COVID pandemic, the Royal International Air Tattoo, opened its doors again on 16-17 July 2022 at RAF Fairford for Europe’s biggest air show. Highlights on this sold out event included the E-4B, the Republic of Korea display team Black Eagles, flying the KAI T-50B, a Bahrain C-130J, first RIAT visit of the KC-46, Top Aces A-4N and Swedish Air Force History Flight including a Viggen, Dragen and Lancer. Civil highlights included the Oil Spill Response classic Boeing 727.

thumb_up 0 Like this page?


Although this year’s theme was celebrating 75 years anniversary of USAF, its contribution to the show was less than in previous years. No B-52, B-1 or B-2 flyby. But on the other hand, an absolute highlight was brought by the USAF in the form of the “Doomsday” plane. This E-4B (bases on the Boeing 747-200) is a very rare sight at air shows. For Europe it was the first time ever.

Like always a great variation of aircraft and contributing Air Forces. Weather conditions were great, but extremely hot. On Sunday it was over 32 degrees, with a nice cooling wind making it fairly confrontable.

The Kuwait Air Force TF-2000 still wore its Italian factory registration. Also great to see some of the old RAF helicopters, like the Wessex, Seaking and Gazelle. Airbus was showing the EC175 wearing the Union Jack for a potential sell to the RAF. The U-2 on the static is still deployed at Fairford.

CSX55274, TF-2000

46+25, Tornado

6053, L-159

FA-86, F-16

G-WSEX, Wessex

G-SKNG, Seaking

ZZ387, Wildcat

ZH847, Merlin

G-TSTR, Gazelle

ZK324 / 324, Typhoon

XW237, Puma

ZM508 / 08, Juno

G-HOUR, MH.1521

-, T-50

-, T-50

FA-119, F-16

46+38, Tornado

CSX55274, TF-2000



PT-ZTU, A-29

68-10329 / BB, U-2

68-10329 / BB, U-2

G-CMDK, P-51

88-0435 / AV, F-16

92-0364, F-15

54+29, A400

G-THUN, P-47

NL51ZW, P-51

19-5475 / LN, F-35

88-0526 / AV, F-16



01, C-17

G-BEDF, B-17

G-ETPL, BAe 146

84+79, CH-53

346, C-130

N691BD, Sentinel

76+06, H145


N-227, NH90

42 blue, AS365

332, Mi-24

332, Mi-24

701, C-130

911, C-295

60+06, P-3

130609 / 609, CC-130

13-5776, MC-130


G-MCGJ, S-92

19-46063, KC-46

19-46063, KC-46

60-0335 / D, KC-135

11-0057, CV-22

G-VNAM, L-19

N590D, O-2

ZB131, Hawk

ZB132, Hawk

XE688, Hunter

G-BWSG, Jet Provost

G-CBSK, Gazelle

SE-RMI, Cessna 550

280, PC-12

08 blue, C-27

1962, C-27

CC-2, C-295

1104, An-30

1104, An-30

1104, An-30

-, PC-21

07 / 709-FI, PC-21

FA-87, F-16

HW-354, Hawk

HW-341, Hawk

534, F-16

J-5023, F/A-18

31, JAS-39

39211 / 211, JAS-39

39291 / 291, JAS-39

0712, W-3

79+09, NH90

E-4 Nightwatch

Star of the show was without a doubt the USAF E-4B Nightwatch, also known as "Doomsday Plane”. This aircraft is the flying command post for the Secretary of Defense and key staff in case of a (nuclear) conflict. To see an E-4, of which four are in operation, is extremely rare at an airshow.

If want to know more about this plane, check our dedicated open-in-new Boeing E-4 factsheet

73-1676, E-4

73-1676, E-4

73-1676, E-4

73-1676, E-4

73-1676, E-4

73-1676, E-4

73-1676, E-4

73-1676, E-4

73-1676, E-4

Lots of eastern Europe contributions in the form of Mi-24/35s, C-27s, M-28 and a Romanian AN-30. Japan was present again with the massive C-2 and Germany brought the A340 which will be retired soon. Also a first for the RIAT was the RAF Poseidon (P-8A). Still going strong is the Canadian A310, locally designated CC-150. Also great to see Top Aces flew on of there A-4s over from Canada.

16+02, A340

G-OSRA, B727

G-OSRA, B727

G-OSRA, B727

G-OSRA, B727

39825 / 825, JAS-39

ZP802 / 02, Poseidon

18-1215, C-2

SE-DXO, Sk37

SE-DXP, Sk35


SE-DXO, Sk37

ZH869 / 869, Hercules

FAB2857, KC-390

30+73, EF2000

J-197, F-16

15003, CC-150

J-508, F-16


11405, TB-30

11413, TB-30

L9-66, PC-9

44 black, M-28

CE.15-07 / 15-76, EF-18

MM55219 / 61-20 , T-346

MM55044 / 51-82, AMX

MM55065 / 61-131, MB-339

FA-136, F-16

260, PC-9

On the next page highlights from the air show including the Black Eagles, Black Jack and the Belgian Tiger X demo.

To place a comment, you need be be an Aviamagazine Member. Sign up for a free membership.