Air Tattoo Celebrates RAF100 in Style
A record crowd of 185,000 people enjoyed a feast of flying as the Royal International Air Tattoo staged international celebrations marking the Royal Air Force’s Centenary at RAF Fairford. In total, 302 aircraft from 43 air arms representing 30 nations attended the airshow, of which 121 took part in the flying display.
Among the flying display highlights were a number of unique flypasts. A special tribute to the legendary 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron saw the iconic Lancaster bomber from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fly in formation with the squadron’s current aircraft, the Tornado, and the RAF’s new state-of-the-art F-35B Lighting II. Another flypast featured nine RAF Typhoons in formation as part of centenary celebrations.
In the static aircraft park there were examples of aircraft from around the world including debut appearances by the Embraer KC-390 from Brazil, the Kawasaki C-2 from Japan and HH-101A CaeSAR tactical helicopter from the Italian Air Force.
Among the Royal guests in attendance at the Ait Tattoo were HRH the Duke of Kent, Patron of the RAF Charitable Trust; HRH Prince Michael of Kent; HRH The Princess Royal and HRH Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein of the Jordanian Royal Family.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said he was delighted that so many people had turned up to celebrate the RAF’s Centenary at RAF Fairford. He said “This year’s airshow has been many years in the planning and I think my team, including our amazing army of 1,500 volunteers, really delivered something special to the nation.
“We’ve enjoyed some spectacular flying in glorious sunshine and a superb range of entertainment on the showground”.
Next year’s Air Tattoo takes place on July 19th – 21st, 2019.