Royal International Air Tattoo 2011, RAF Fairford - 16th-17th July - Friday Arrivals

Friday is the final day of arrivals and one of the main rehearsals day. It was slightly quieter than usual with long gaps between short periods of manic action. The Vulcan made it over from Yeovilton for the show putting on a flypast for the VIPs and the last few static arrivals also dripped in.

Star of the day for many was the first public appearance of the RAF's newest and biggest ever aircraft, the Airbus A330MRTT Voyager KC1. The aircraft arrived at RAF Fairford following a pair of Merlin HC3/As from RAF Benson which brought in a number of VIPs from european air forces for a naming ceremony for the aircraft which also saw Defency Secretary Dr. Liam Fox in attendance.
There were a number of rehearsals; the most extraordinary of which was the Italian Air Force C-27J Spartan from RSV which was permitted to do it's full show which included a Barrel Roll, a Loop and a derry turn! To see a relatively large aircraft perform such aerobatic feats is quite simply amazing.
Also catching the eye were some great performances by the USAF A-10A and the French Air Force Rafale C wearing special markings celebrating 30,000 hours of flying for the type which is now heavily engaged in Libyian operations.

Amongst the late arrivals were the much delayed pair of Frnch Army Puma and Gazelle, and the rather strange looking CASA CN295AEW making only it's seond public appearance since it's first flight in June. The volunteers were still working on preparing the static park as we left at 1800, and the last few rehearsals were being squeezed in before some rain arrives in the west country tonight. Let's hope it passes Fairford quickly as sunny spells are promised in it's wake!

Todays Arrivals (Upto 1800)

Others still due including OFMC Spitfire and Mustang (1830L)

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