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

The second arrivals days was all about one aircraft, the USAF F-22A Raptor. Two aircraft from the deployment at RAF Lakenheath arrived just before 0900 in prepartion for a busy day of flying. Their first flight from Fairford was due to be a rehearsal, but after an extraordinary time sat on the runway waiting for the weather to clear, the rehearsal was eventually aborted after about 3 minutes. Later in the afternoon in much better conditions, the aircraft departed for a validation of Farnborough before returning to Fairford.

The Polish Air Force also supplied another star turn with a Sukhoi Su-22 "Fitter" arriving in one of the heavy rain showers that hit Fairford in the morning. It appears the Slovak L-39 may have cancelled (it's not due to appear in the flying display) making the Sukhoi the only eastern european fast jet at RIAT this year.
The Royal Air Force started arriving today en-masse. 19 Squadron have sent several Hawks for the Battle of Britain commemorations and thier T1's are all sporting simple but elegent 95th anniversary markings. There were also three of the new T2s, one from BAE Systems and two from 19 Squadron.
There were plenty of USAF heavies on show two. The display C-17 arrived as did the KC-135R for the flying display. Another KC-135R was the "Speckled Trout" from Edwards AFB and a number of more C-130 Hercules derivatives arrived. High winds did mean however, that a number of arrivals were cancelled notably a number of warbirds. It was also not the smoothest of days for the Red Arrows. Red One suffered a hydraulics failure on their first arrival and it appeared that a further two aircraft went unservicable following a display at Dartmouth. Thier last sortie of the day only involved eight aircraft. The weather is forecast to worsen overnight and they'll be further havy showers tomorrow but things are looking brighter for the weekend.

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