RIAT 2011 Part 3 – the home team jets in
With the RAF Typhoon Display Team busy using their aircraft for what it was intended, BAE Systems stepped in to provide the Typhoon Display this year. Add to that the appearance of the Tornado role demo from the RAF and the shows major sponsor was well represented in the flying display. Not to be outdone, the RAF’s newest aircraft the A330 “Voyager” was present at its first Tattoo. Star Trek anyone?
As I said above the RAF Typhoon Display Team are a tad busy at the moment. But that said they were present with their Team tent in the showground and, despite being somewhat overstretched, a Typhoon was present on Static display. This was despite the fact that the air and ground crews of the Typhoon force are currently working 24/7 holding QRA, Flying in combat over Libya, providing Air Defence for the Falkland Islands and all this with a relatively immature aircraft that is still being bought up to full service spec. It was a damn good show all round that they provided what they did and it was very much appreciated.
BAE SYSTEMS Typhoon.
Using development aircraft IPA5,BAE Systems Warton Chief Test Pilot, Mark Bowman, stepped in and provided the Typhoon flying display and with some style. Using the aircraft fully configured with air defence missiles and laser guided bombs (dummies of course but they still weigh the same) he put on a superb display reminiscent of the early RAF Typhoon displays, it had the wow factor.
Despite the fact that they are flying combat in Afghanistan, the RAF has been good enough to provide a 2 aircraft Role demo presentation using the Tornado GR4 force from XVSqn. Although a shadow of the full force Role Demo of several years ago, it was still a welcome addition to the display programme. As well as the fliers, 41Sqn provided their specially marked Jet for Static display.
Voyage to the Future
The RAF chose RIAT to name the new A330MRTT aircraft being supplied under the Air Tanker PFI contract to replace the existing VC10 and Tristar aircraft in the Air to Air Tanker role. The chosen name is Voyager. Ok then….
It was the first visit of the type to the Air Tattoo, one we hope to see again.
For the next instalment I will be looking at the foreign displays.