The RAF’s legendary Red Arrows heads a list of spectacular aerobatic display teams preparing to take part in the world’s largest military airshow this summer.
They will join Team Viper, the Breitling Jet Team and the Breitling Wingwalkers in helping celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on July 16-17.
Enthusiasts in particular will be pleased to see Team Viper, who will be making their Air Tattoo debut in July. The team, flying supersonic Hawker Hunter jets, will fly as a five-ship formation for the first time this season.
The barnstorming Breitling Wingwalkers, based at Rendcomb in Gloucestershire, are the world’s only formation wingwalking team. Four Boeing Stearman aircraft display a breathtaking sequence of loops, rolls and turns while wingwalkers wave and perform handstands against 150mph wind pressure.
Based in Dijon, France, the Breitling Jet Team’s only UK appearance this year will be at the Air Tattoo. The team, which was founded in 2003, comprises seven L-39 Albatros Jets flown by civilian pilots.
Deputy Director of Air Operations Rob Windsor said: “The Air Tattoo is renowned for featuring a wonderfully diverse range of aerobatic display teams and this year will be no different. The Hawker Hunters flown by Team Viper form an important part of the airshow’s history as the aircraft’s 25th anniversary was the first ever ‘theme’ celebrated by the Air Tattoo, for its 1976 event. The Red Arrows’ have supported the Air Tattoo for many years and were based at RAF Fairford at one time. Jacque Bothelin, who created the Breitling Jet team has been a good friend of the Air Tattoo for many years and we shall look forward to welcoming him back in July. As for the wingwalkers, their hi-energy, barnstorming displays never cease to please the crowds!”
In addition to celebrating its 40th anniversary, this summer’s Air Tattoo will host a gathering of specially-decorated ‘Tiger’ aircraft from the NATO Tiger Association. ‘Tiger’ aircraft come from NATO squadrons that have a Tiger or Big Cat in their emblem and their association marks its 50th anniversary in 2011. The ‘operational’ spotlight STAR 11 will focus on aircraft and equipment involved in the roles of Strike and Reconnaissance.
Day-specific Earlybird entry tickets, priced £34, are available until the end of February. From March 1, day-specific tickets will cost £39 plus a £4 booking fee for orders taken online or over the telephone. For details, visit www.airtattoo.com or call 0800 107 1940. All tickets must be purchased in advance. All accompanied under-16s go free.