Qatar will make its UK airshow debut this summer when it takes part in the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds.
The Qatar Emiri Air Force will send for the show’s static display a C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft, one of four such aircraft delivered to the small but strategically and economically-important Arab state by manufacturer Lockheed Martin in 2011-12. Qatar thus became the first Middle Eastern customer for the C-130J model.
Based at Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, the country’s capital, the C-130J-30s — the stretched version of the so-called Super Hercules — and four Boeing C-17A Globemaster IIIs have provided Qatar with a much-improved air transport capability, for use on both military airlift and humanitarian taskings.
The Qatari aircraft joins the legendary Vulcan bomber and Swiss Air Force aircraft on the list of early confirmed participants for this summer’s Air Tattoo on July 17-19 and brings to 55, the number of nations that have taken part in the airshow since it was first staged in 1971.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “Our thanks go to the Qatar Emiri Air Force for agreeing to participate in this year’s Air Tattoo. I’m particularly pleased that new nations continue to be added to the long list of those that have supported the event over the years. We look forward to welcoming the C-130 and its crew to Fairford in July.”
The Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. Tickets for the event on July 17-19 are only available in advance. Special Super Earlybird tickets priced from £26 are available until January 31 from airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.