It was a historic year for the Royal International Air Tattoo in 2015. Not only did the event celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a memorable balbo of warbirds, but the event welcomed the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force for the first time who participated in the flying display with the Kawasaki P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft. 2015 was also the first event held under the stewardship of RIAT’s new Chief Executive, Andy Armstrong.
It was all change for the traditional souvenir DVD & Blu-Ray with Planes TV taking over the production. Planes TV bring with them a wealth of experience of flying display filming and that certainly shines through the coverage. Like many of their other productions, the main bulk of flying display commentary is recorded live from the event, but there is additional post-event narration from RIAT’s senior commentator, Ben Dunnell.
However, compared to Planes TV’s other airshow productions, the RIAT coverage is very different. There’s much more use of music during the film, though not too much over the actual flying displays. There are also a great many interviews from RIAT’s own personnel as well the participating aircrew. Outside of the main film, the DVD has perhaps the largest selection of special features I’ve seen on an airshow DVD. There’s coverage of the arrivals and departures plus further behind-the-scenes interviews and featurettes covering the likes of the 35th Anniversary of the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment, the RIAT Technozone, RIAT’s Flying Display Director and Flying Control Committee, the Breitling DC-3 and the Vulcan’s final RIAT visit.
The coverage of the flying displays is filmed from a good variety of angles. There is also good footage on the ground too with camera positions within the aircraft parks and also in the rear of the “Follow-Me” vehicles. Many of the various displays also featured mini-cams either in the cockpit on on the airframes. These provide some really spectacular moments, notable from the Airbus Military A400M, Vulcan, Typhoon and Spitfire Synchro, Polish Air Force MiG-29, German Army B-105P1, Ramex Delta and the Patrouille de France.
The oberall coverage of the flying displays is pretty comprehensive, but many of the main show highlights are covered in greater depth. The Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary Balbo is given some great coverage, but the Vulcan’s final RIAT provides another high point with coverage of the memorable display given on the Saturday including “that” take-off! The DVD’s special features also has more in-depth mini-can footage with talk-thoughs from the display aircrew.
This is certainly a great souvenir of RIAT 2015, one of the most memorable events of the 2015 season.