The Royal International Air Tattoo was given a boost this week after the RAF announced which aircraft would be starring along with the Red Arrows in this summer’s flying programme.
Legendary aircraft such as the Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane and Dakota will be joined by the RAF’s state of the art multi-role combat aircraft, the Typhoon and the basic trainer aircraft, the Tucano on Saturday July 12 and Sunday July 13. The Typhoon and Tucano will also be flying on Friday, July 11, as part of the special Red Arrows Pit Day.
The power and agility of the Typhoon makes it one of the most eagerly anticipated performers at the airshow. Piloting the multi-role combat aircraft in 2014 will be Flt Lt Noel Rees from 29 (Reserve) Squadron based at RAF Coningsby.
Demonstrating the capabilities of the Tucano, which provides basic fast jet flying training to RAF and Royal Navy student pilots, will be Flt Lt Dave Kirby. The aircraft, which features the Royal British Legion logo, poppies and the words ‘Lest we Forget’, is operated from No 1 Flying Training School, at RAF Linton-on-Ouse.
As well as enjoying RAF aircraft in action, visitors to this summer’s Air Tattoo will be able to get close to a wide range of RAF aircraft parked in the Showground. There will also be the opportunity to meet many of the pilots and crew.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said that once again, the RAF has demonstrated the immense value it sees in the airshow, in terms of public engagement opportunities and international diplomacy.”
He said: “The Air Tattoo provides the Royal Air Force with a unique platform on which to highlight the capability of its aircraft and the dedication and skill of all those who fly, maintain and support them. Not only will airshow visitors will be able to see the RAF’s operational aircraft and those from the BBMF that have earned legendary status but they will also be able to join us for the biggest international celebration marking the Red Arrows’ 50th display season.”
The Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. Tickets for the event are only available in advance. Specially-priced Earlybird tickets for next summer’s Air Tattoo, on July 11-13, are available until May 31 from airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.
AIRSHOW NEWS: Swiss turn Air Tattoo into joint celebration
The Swiss Air Force has ensured the Red Arrows won’t be the only aerobatic display team celebrating an aviation landmark at this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 11-13.
It has announced plans to send their aerobatic display team, the Patrouille Suisse, in their 50th anniversary year, along with an F-18 Hornet and Super Puma helicopter to take part in the Air Tattoo’s flying display.
Air Tattoo organisers said that official celebrations marking the 50th display season of the Red Arrows would also include the Patrouille Suisse in order that their anniversary was also recognised.
Formed in 1964, the team fly six F-5E Tiger IIs painted in a bright colour scheme that incorporates the red and white of the Swiss national flag. The pilots, who are all volunteers from various frontline squadrons, are famed worldwide for performing precise formations at high speed.
Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said that as an international celebration of aviation, it was important that the Air Tattoo recognised important anniversaries being celebrated by other participating air arms.
He said: “The Swiss have particular cause to celebrate this year. Not only is it the 50th anniversary of the Patrouille Suisse but it is also the 25th anniversary of their PC-7 aerobatic display team. On top of that, the Swiss Air Force will also be marking the 100th anniversary of military aviation in their country. Given all these anniversaries, we’re really pleased that the Swiss have agreed to support our airshow in such an incredible way.”
The Swiss Air Force have been regular visitors to the Air Tattoo since first attending the airshow at RAF Greenham Common in 1979 with the Patrouille Suisse. Then, the team flew six Hawker Hunter F-58s before switching to their current Northrop F-5E Tiger II jets in 1995. Accompanying the display team on their first visit was a Swiss Air Force de Havilland Venom FB.4, which was presented as a gift, to the Royal Air Force Museum.
This summer could be one of the last times the Patrouille Suisse perform in the UK after it was announced last year that the team would be disbanded in 2016 due to the withdrawal of the F-5 from Swiss Air Force service.
Specially-priced Super Earlybird tickets for next summer’s Air Tattoo, on July 11-13, are available until the end of January from airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.
AIRSHOW NEWS: Air Tattoo saving is just the ticket!
People planning to be at this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford to celebrate the Red Arrows’ 50th display season have until the end of the month to take advantage of specially-priced Super Earlybird tickets.
The three-day event, which takes place on July 11-13, will feature a number of unique Red Arrows’ themed spectacles in the air and on the ground as the world famous aerobatic display team return to their first home as part of their official birthday celebrations.
Admission tickets bought by the January 31 deadline are £10 cheaper than the standard price meaning special Friday Reds’ Pit Day tickets can be bought for £24 with Saturday and Sunday tickets costing £34. All under-16s are admitted free.
Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said buying early not only made sense financially but would also ensure people didn’t risk missing out on all the excitement planned.
He said: “Last July’s airshow was a sell-out and we’re anticipating a repeat this year as excitement for the Reds’ 50th builds. As well as the public’s enthusiasm, fellow military aviators from around the globe have also indicated to us that they’d like to be part of the celebrations. It’s going to be very special.”
As well as celebrating the Reds’ 50th, the Air Tattoo will be marking two other aviation landmarks: the 40th anniversary of both the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon and the BAE Systems Hawk, the aircraft currently flown by the Red Arrows.
Earlier this month, the Air Tattoo, which is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, won top honours in the Tourism Event of the Year category of the Cotswold Tourism Awards 2014. To book tickets and to find out about the range of enclosure packages visit airtattoo.com
DVD REVIEW: The Royal International Air Tattoo 2013
Produced by The Media Group; available from airshowdvds.co.uk priced £16.95 DVD, £24.95 Blu-Ray.(This review is based around the standard edition of the DVD/Blu-Ray)
The Royal International Air Tattoo is the biggest military airshow of the year and in 2013 pulled in 235 aircraft to RAF Fairford. The continued difficulties faced by air arms around the world did have a major impact on the event, not least the non-appearance of any United States military aircraft. It did however still present many highlights including some memorable formations involving the Red Arrows with the first British Airways A380 and the Airbus A400M and return by the Polish Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum.
2013 also marked a change for the traditional RIAT DVD with The Media Group (TMG) taking over the responsibility of producing the official product. TMG already produce the RAF Waddington International Airshow DVD and their products generally have the feel of a full TV Documentary over a simple record of a flying display with many different interviews and featurettes slotted into their production.
Running for nearly two hours, the production touches on many highlights from RIAT. The flying displays provide the bulk of the production and while filmed in HD, the filming does seem a little shaky at times and there are some odd camera positions which are positioned a very long way from the display line. While this on occasion does give some interesting angles on the big display teams, it does make the smaller aircraft seem overly distant and often makes the picture look a little too hazy! There is also some unfortunate editing, particularly of the aerobatic C-27J which sees the camera cut away as the aircraft starts its signature loop!
That said there is some really spectacular footage, particularly the on-board footage from the likes of the MiG-29 and La Patrouille de France. The flying display filming is up some concise and informative commentary from RIAT’s senior commentator Ben Dunnell.
However, like TMG’s Waddington production, it is the interviews and background coverage in which this DVD scores very highly. There’s is a real sense that this DVD tries to give a flavour of the full RIAT story with contributions from the volunteers, medical staff, pilots as well as the likes of Tim Prince and Honorary Vice-Patron David Jason. While some may only want wall to wall coverage of the flying display, I always feel that DVDs always benefit from the extra depth these interviews and features add and it is something TMG have always done well. My only criticism of these segements is that some of them suffer from overuse of some psychedelic special effects.
AIRSHOW NEWS: Air Tattoo on a Friday? Take it as red!
People planning to attend next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo onJuly 12-13 are being invited to make an extra pit stop as part of the RAF’s official celebrations marking the Red Arrows’ 50th
display season. Up to 10,000 special Pit Day tickets, priced £24, are being made available for Friday, July 11 offering exclusive access to the world famous aerobatic display team and their aircraft. The Red Arrows’ Pit Day will also enable visitors to watch aircraft arrivals and rehearsals in the morning and enjoy a four-hour flying display in the afternoon including the premiere of a special Red Arrows’ formation flypast.
Other Pit Day benefits include access to Showground East Red Zone (10am to 6pm), the Red Arrows Village and
Vintage Village, the BAE Systems’ Hawk and F-16 Anniversary Park plus close access to other international aerobatic teams and their aircraft – with more exciting themed activities to be announced.
The Red Arrows began life at RAF Fairford in 1964, performing their first display at Little Rissington in the Cotswolds a year later. Since then, they have performed more than 4,500 displays in 54 different countries. Air Tattoo organisers are working closely with the Royal Air Force and other air arms to stage the UK’s premier internationally-flavoured aerial tribute to the world’s most famous aerobatic display team.
Spokesman Richard Arquati said: “If you love the Red Arrows then the Royal International Air Tattoo is the place to be next summer as we host the biggest birthday celebration for the team in the UK.” As well as celebrating the Reds’ 50th display season, the Air Tattoo will be marking the 40th anniversary of two other aviation landmarks: the 40th anniversary of both the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon and the BAE Systems Hawk, the
aircraft currently flown by the Red Arrows.
Tickets for next summer’s Air Tattoo go on sale from Wednesday (November 20) including specially-priced Super Earlybird admission tickets, Friday Red Arrows Pit Day tickets plus a range of enclosure packages. Discounts of up to £10 per ticket are available until January 31, 2014. Visit airtattoo.com for details.
The Air Tattoo is the world’s largest military airshow and is held annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust.
AIRSHOW NEWS: Air Tattoo DVD offers thrills – and more!
RE-LIVE all the thrills and excitement from one of this year’s greatest aviation events with the Royal International Air Tattoo’s official 2013 DVD featuring exclusive interviews, dramatic in-cockpit footage and a fascinating glimpse behind-the-scenes.
From fast jets and vintage warbirds to aerobatic display teams and role demos, the official Royal International Air Tattoo 2013 DVD is a must-buy for aviation fans of all ages.
Also included is footage of three memorable flypasts: the RAF Red Arrows alongside a giant British Airways’ Airbus A380; the Red Arrows with an Airbus Military A400M ‘Atlas’, plus a commemorative flypast by the BBMF Lancaster and an RAF Tornado GR4 from 617 Sqn, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the legendary Dambusters’ Raid.
Filmed in High Definition and featuring multiple camera angles, including on-board and on-wing footage, this year’s official DVD, produced by The Media Group, features the pick of the action from the world’s greatest airshow held at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds.
Around 130,000 people headed for RAF Fairford this summer and were entertained by more than 230 aircraft from 27 air arms representing 19 nations from as far afield as Brazil, Estonia and Jordan.
Among the many highlights were displays by the Polish Air Force MiG-29, Hungarian and Swedish Air Force Gripens, French Air Force Rafale, RAF Typhoon and the Italian Air Force C-27J Spartan. Warbird and vintage aircraft enthusiasts were rewarded with displays by Avro Vulcan XH558, Plane Sailing’s PBY-5A Catalina flying boat, Classic Air Force’s Gloster Meteor T7 and Red Bull’s B-25J Mitchell and Vought F4U-4 Corsair.
Special Under The Radar features turn the spotlight on Boeing Stearman pilot Tracey Curtis-Taylor, who is planning to recreate Mary Heath’s historic 1928 Cape Town to London flight and the teams behind Canberra XH134, Vulcan XH558 and RAF Live!
The DVD also includes interviews with a wide variety of participants, supporters and organisers including Air Tattoo co-founder Tim Prince, the Patrouille de France, the Red Arrows, the Flying Bulls and Air Tattoo Honorary Vice Patron Sir David Jason.
Also featured is a tanking demo flypast by an Italian Air Force KC767 and two typhoons plus a special Eurocopter UK emergency services demo illustrating the role helicopters play in bringing specialist equipment and people rapidly to a scene.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “This superb DVD not only captures all the action and excitement from this summer’s Air Tattoo but it also gives viewers a pilot’s-eye perspective of many of the incredible displays. There’s also the chance to meet pilots, organisers, volunteers and supporters who bring together this unique aviation event each year.”
Sold in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the official RIAT 2013 DVD is priced £16.95 and can be ordered online at airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 297 1940. A two-disc Collector’s Edition, featuring extended highlights as well as arrivals and departures, is also available, priced £24.95. Both are also available on Blu-Ray.
AIRSHOW NEWS: Tim Prince to hand over Air Tattoo controls in 2014
After 42 years at the helm of the Royal International Air Tattoo, Chief Executive Tim Prince announced today (June 24) that the 2014 airshow will be his last.
As one of the airshow’s founding fathers, Mr Prince has helped build the event into what is widely considered to be the greatest airshow in the world.
He said he couldn’t go on forever and that it was time to stand down and entrust the Air Tattoo’s future to a fresh pair of hands.
Mr Prince said: “For the past 42 years, the Air Tattoo has been my life and I’ve loved every minute of it. During this time I have been fortunate enough to have met some incredible and inspirational people and have made many wonderful friends. It’s now time to pass on the baton.”
The Air Tattoo was first organised by a group of aircraft loving air traffickers at North Weald airfield in 1971. Driven by their passion for aviation, the Air Tattoo grew over the following three decades until, in 2003, Guinness World Records recognised it as the largest military airshow in the world.
The Air Tattoo continues to feature rare aircraft from countries that have never participated in British airshows before. In 2012, Japan, South Korea and Colombia were the latest names added to the list of 54 nations that have been represented at the airshow since the beginning.
Chairman of the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises (RAFCTE) Alan Smith described Tim as a “fantastic” leader of the organisation who is greatly admired by the thousands of volunteers, employees, sponsors and customers who have always been very happy to follow his lead.
Mr Smith said: “The Trustees, the Directors and myself are hugely grateful to Tim for agreeing to remain with the company for the next 14 months (and two more Air Tattoos) to help both appoint and introduce his successor.
“Tim’s most important legacy will be that, along with Paul Bowen, he created the greatest airshow in the world and subsequently ensured, with the support of many others, its long term presence in the annual aviation calendar. As a result, thousands of people have benefitted from the millions of charity pounds raised.”
Details of the Chief Executive vacancy will be published after this summer’s Air Tattoo on July 20-21. However, the RAFCTE Board of Directors wish to encourage prospective applicants, on their own initiative, to visit the airshow next month if they have not attended the event in recent years.
AIRSHOW NEWS: RIAT set for take-off with The Media Group
The world’s largest military airshow, Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) has announced the appointment of The Media Group to film and produce their official airshow DVD for 2013.
RIAT, held annually at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, is one of the UK’s top outdoor family events with upwards of 130,000 visitors each year. The 2013 show, a ‘Celebration of Aviation Excellence’ will take place over the weekend of 20 and 21 July. Footage captured at the event will go straight into post-production with The Media Group and the finished product is due to ship in August.
Richard Arquati, Head of press and public relations at the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises said “The Air Tattoo has a fantastic line-up this year with around 200 aircraft from across the world taking part. Capturing all the action is tricky but we’re delighted to be working with The Media Group, who have the right balance of ideas and expertise to produce an exciting, memorable product.”
The Media Group will continue to produce the annual RAF Waddington airshow DVD, which they have produced for the past four years.
The Media Group’s managing director Keith Daniell says: “Airshows are fantastic events to film as there is thrilling action in the sky and lots of emotional stories behind the scenes. Our annual production for Waddington always gets great reviews and we’re looking forward to producing a new DVD that RIAT will be proud of.”
OEastern European airpower will take centre stage in the Cotswolds this summer when two of the world’s most potent fighter aircraft take to the skies for one of the UK’s biggest outdoor events – the Royal International Air Tattoo.
Airshow organisers have just added a legendary Mikoyan MiG-29, from the Polish Air Force, and a SAAB JAS-39 Gripen from the Hungarian Air Force to the seven-and-a-half hour flying display programme, which takes place at RAF Fairford on July 20-21.
The Russian-built MiG-29 is a giant among modern-day combat jets, combining supreme power and agility with remarkable versatility. Developed in the mid-1970s, in response to a rapid stream of highly-capable new fighters emerging from the US and Europe, the MiG-29 made its first flight in 1977 and joined the then Soviet Air Force six years later. It has since been acquired by many other nations, several of them in Eastern Europe including Poland.
The MiG-29 can fly at approximately Mach 2.25, or almost 1,500 miles per hour, and it can operate at an altitude of over 59,000ft.
The delta-winged JAS-39 Gripen is one of the world’s most advanced fighters having been designed to replace the SAAB 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force.
Both aircraft will line up against other fighters such as the Typhoon, Tornado and F-16 in the flying display which also features a wide range of large transporters, helicopters, historic warbirds such as the Vulcan and aerobatic display teams including the RAF Red Arrows.
Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said: “The Air Tattoo’s reputation has been built on attracting exciting aircraft from former Soviet Bloc countries. These countries, many of which are now our NATO allies, remain among the most eagerly anticipated and popular participants at our airshow.”
In July, the Air Tattoo will unveil a package of initiatives designed to make the visitor experience even more enjoyable. These include new Service Stations, featuring food courts, free wi-fi hubs, information booths, merchandise outlets, street entertainment, seating and a shaded area providing cover. There will also be three new exciting themed areas called the Adrenalin Zone, Techno Zone and the Vintage Village.
The Royal International Air Tattoo takes place at RAF Fairford on July 20-21. For a full list of all the visitor opportunities and to purchase tickets, visit airtattoo.com or call 0800 107 1940. All under-16s go free. Free parking.
The 70th anniversary of one of the Second World War’s most audacious bombing missions will be commemorated by a special flypast at this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds.
The announcement comes on the same day (May 16) in 1943 that the RAF’s elite 617 Sqn took off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and headed for Germany’s Ruhr dams for what was to become known as the legendary Dambusters Raid.
The attack was made memorable for using specially developed ‘bouncing bombs’, invented by aircraft designer Barnes Wallis. These were dropped from Lancaster bombers at low altitude and skipped along the surface of the water into the dams.
Whilst the mission to flood the heavily industrialised area of the Ruhr and destroy the dams’ hydro-electric power capability is now considered to have been only a partial success, the bravery and audacity of those involved assured its place in military aviation history.
Today (Thursday, May 16), to mark the anniversary, the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Lancaster and two Tornado GR4s from 617 Sqn will fly over Derwent Reservoir in Derbyshire and Eyebrook Reservoir in the East Midlands, both of which were used for low level flying practice by the original Dambusters crews.
At this summer’s Air Tattoo, which takes place on July 20-21, the BBMF Lancaster, one of only two in the world that are still airworthy, will once again fly alongside a specially painted, modern day Tornado GR4 from the legendary 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “The Dambusters Raid was an incredible feat not only in terms of what it was aiming to achieve but also in the way in which it was looking to achieve it.
“The courage and skill of all those involved served as an inspiration to a nation ravaged by war and this courage and skill lives on in the men and women of today’s 617 Squadron who help provide vital protection to allied ground forces in Afghanistan.”
A second specially painted Tornado GR4 will be on display in the Air Tattoo’s static aircraft park offering visitors the opportunity to see it close up.
The Royal International Air Tattoo takes place at RAF Fairford on July 20-21. For a full list of all the visitor opportunities and to purchase tickets, visit airtattoo.com or call 0800 107 1940. All under-16s go free. Free parking.