During the weekend of July 16th and 17th the RIAT was held at RAF Fairford in the UK. There were several interesting themes for this years Tattoo, including - “Tigers Roar”, a gathering of international aircraft sporting a tiger in their squadron’s badge. On display were a Su22 of the Polish Air force, a KC135R of the AFRC, a Navy Merlin, Army Air Corps Lynx and a RAF Puma al sporting their tiger stripes. Missed in this line up were the Mirage 2000 from EC 1/12 Cambrai France and F16 from 31sq Kleine Brogel Belgium! - Surveillance, the recce and spy planes like the U2 or RQ4. Also a rarely seen Nimrod R1 of the RAF - United Nations: transport aircraft and helicopters of several air forces.
The flying display contained some special items including a final four ship Sea Harrier display of the Royal Navy as these aircrafts are withdrawn next year. Als the four Royal Navy Jet Streams, the four RAF Hercules flying a missing men formation in honour for there collegues who died in an accident earlier this year, and the formation of the FRADU with two Falcon20 aircraft and four Hawk trainers. The RAF Red Arrows flew a formation with three Spitfire’s. The USAF participated with the F16 East Coast Demonstration Team and the always impressive B52H and B1B bombers. News was the first display of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the Boeing Scan Eagle. This was not a succes due to the fact that the aircraft had the size of a model ad the display was far away of the crowdline. We believe that only a few people will have seen it. We missed it!
To conclude: this years Tattoo was an interesting one, well organised and blessed with fine weather. The US participation was below normal figures but hopefully that will improve again. Next year we will be back for Rapid Global Mobility during the weekend of July the 15th/16th 2006.
Sentry Aviation News would like to thank Michele Eccles for her cooperation.
A publication of the RIAT is in AIREVIEW 2006-01.
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