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I predict a RIAT

Alan Kenny attended the 2013 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. All images by Gary Parsons unless stated.


The Rafale C from EC01.007 based at Saint-Dizier had a very large fan base in the fields below

The Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Aircraft and air forces from all over the world usually attend, but there was a large presence missing in the shape of the United States Air Force.

Despite the lack of American assets, the show was a success with over 130,000 people attending over the weekend. The weather had been excellent for the arrivals and practices, but the Saturday show day was grey and overcast. Thankfully the sun reappeared for the Sunday show.

The main highlights were the Red Arrows flying in formation with the new British Airways A380, French Air Force Rafale, Airbus A400M, Polish Air Force MiG-29, Dambuster tribute with the Lancaster and 617 Squadron's Tornado GR4 and the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 & Apache flying in formation.

Fl Lt Jamie ‘Noz’ Norris streams vapour off his jet as he lights the burners in a high G turn.

British Airways’ first Airbus A380 wowed crowds as it flew two seamless flypasts with the Red Arrows. Alan Kenny

The second Red Arrows flypast of the weekend on the Sunday was a formation with the Airbus Military A400M.

Capt. Stefan ‘Stitch’ Hutten pulled a lot of G during his display in the bright orange F-16 ‘J-015′. The F-16 and Apache both flew together in a rare formation of fighter jet and attack helicopter.

After being absent from the 2012 show due to operational requirements, we were treated to a tight and aggressive display by the Dutch AH-64D Apache ‘Q-17′, wearing this very eye catching scheme.

Pilot Capt Adrian Rojek performs an impressive dirty roll with full use of the afterburner in MiG-29A ’111′.

Belgian Air Force Agusta A-109BA ‘H24′ c/n: 0324 performed a very tidy display. It is based at Beauvechain Air Base in Belgium and from 1 Wing.

The Italian Air Force (AMI) EF2000 made full use of the smoke winders on the wingtips. Maj. Raffaele ‘Boff’ Beltrame, who piloted the jet, is from the Flight Test Squadron of the AMI.

The Lancaster PA474 and Tornado GR4 from 617 Squadron perform a special flypast to celebrate 70 years of the Dambusters’ famous raid in May 1943.

Fl Lt Jamie ‘Noz’ Norris streams vapour off his jet as he lights the burners in a high G turn.

The Army Air Corps Apache looked very menacing during the tight and aggressive display, almost mowing cars down in the Rhymes Farm park and view.

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Filed Under Military Aviation Features.


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Mike Fudge said on the 23-Aug-2013 at 12:14

This is the fourth show ive attended a probably the weakest to date. The duplication of aircraft in different liveries was dissapointing. There is only so much an apache or euro fighter can actually do.
My highlight of Saturday was the fantastic commentary to support the Italian display team. Such passion and pride for the team was incredible.
The consession stands were again hugely overpriced. I have for the last three events brought a picnic to keep the costs down. Anyone prepared to pay £3.60 for a mister whippee must have too much money!
My only regret is that my boys will be over 16 when the next show comes around and i wont be able to afford to attend.
only one suggestion - how about a priority bus route from Swindon to assist with those of us who use public transport, it took nearly two hours to get back to the train station.

Chris G said on the 23-Aug-2013 at 13:19

Interesting that your "reviewer" was not among the 130,000 who paid to be inside the show ground though...

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