This Years Royal International Air Tattoo was a classic, in fact it was the best this century. The ladies and Gentlemen at Douglas Bader House excelled themselves, gone were the Z-list “singers” and other side shows that distracted from the prime reason for the event. Instead it was back to basics and what we had, was a superb air show.
Aided considerably by this being a Farnborough year, in attendance this year were aircraft from no less than 3 nations that were new to the event, in this first blog I have a look at the aircraft from two of those nations. Japan and firstly Korea.
The United States Navy used to call NAS Miramar in California “Fightertown USA”. Here in Great Britain we have a similar base, instead of Southern California we have Lincolnshire, the delights of San Diego are replaced by Sleaford and Lincoln. I give you Fightertown UK, RAF Coningsby.
In all seriousness, it’s the HQ of the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoon force with the OCU (29Sqn) and OEU (17Sqn) based there, as well as 2 operational squadrons numbers 3 and 11 plus the Tornados of 41Sqn who provide a test role for the Tornado force. When I was there for the BBMF PDA displays it would have been rude not to capture some of the more modern hardware as well.
Its been a while since my last installment from the Royal International Air Tattoo so its probably about time I wrapped things up for this year.
There were several F-16 displays this year. The Turkish Air Force made a rare appearance in their anniversary year. After, so I am told, a spectacular display in their own country they flew a somewhat toned down version at RIAT. A very welcome addition to the flying display.
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?