It’s mid July on the border of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire and the sweet smell of Jet A1 pervades the early morning air. It can only mean one thing. RIAT! My annual week-long pilgrimage to the gods of fast jet and turbines.
As ever the British Weather threatened to spoil everything; but save for rain on Saturday morning (which gave way to superb sunny conditions) and a cloud layer on Sunday, it failed so to do. The numbers of participants were inevitably down on previous years. The aircraft simply arent in service in such numbers anymore and global financial conditions and putting a strait jacket on defence spending so we have to hope for quality rather than quantity. And over the 6 days I was there I was well satisfied (with one or two exceptions of which more in later posts).
for the rest of the story of the display teams, read on! (more…)
Perm any 9 from 13 BAE SYSTEMS Hawk T.1s (6 of which have been with the team since they converted from the Gnat)
9 Pilots; all with at 1500hrs and 1 Frontline tour behind them and all rated above average
92 Backroom staff ranging from Engineers to the Adjutant to the Road Manager (2 of which are Civillians)
I was lucky enough to go and see the team at their dispersal. (more…)