Royal International Air Tattoo 2010, RAF Fairford - 17th-18th July - Friday Arrivals

Friday has seen the last few advance arrivals to RIAT and the bulk of the rehearsals. High winds delayed several of the warbird arrivals until much later in the eveving. Since we left Fairford, the Airbus A400M has also arrived from Farnborough in time for the evening news programmes transmitted live from RAF Fairford.

Despite the lack of warbirds, the Battle of Britain segment was rehearsed with the modern military participants performing a multinational flypast. The rehearsal did end in some drama with one of the USAFE F-15s suffering a hydraulic failure on landing. Quick reactions by the pilot saw the aircraft go around and divert to nearby RAF Lyneham so it could have to use of arrestor gear.
Star arrivals were the Saab Gripen NG (Next Generation) prototype and a Luftwaffe F-4F Phantom II. Other welcome participants included an HH-60G Blackhawk from RAF Lakenheath and a German Navy Sea King Mk41 .
Star of the day though was the first full rehearsal by the F-22A Raptor at Fairford. There are not the superlatives to describe the display which quite simply blows everything else away. The power and the control authority the pilot has is epic. The looks of the aircraft are also something else with it's metallic paint lookign very fish-like in the sun against the dark clouds. The weather is looking much better for the weekend and we're all looking forward to some superb flying displays.

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