USAF E-4B to make appearance at RIAT

Organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) have revealed a ‘big’ addition to the aircraft line-up for this year's show in the shape of a US Air Force E-4B Nightwatch.

The extremely rare airframe, which is based on the Boeing 747-200, is expected to make an appearance to mark the 60th anniversary of the National Airborne Operations Center and the 75th anniversary of the USAF.

According to RIAT’s website, the type will be on static display only on Saturday July 16 and Sunday July 17.

An E-4B aircraft sits on the tarmac at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Sep. 11, 2017. The E-4B participated in a flyover at the California Capital Airshow.
An E-4B aircraft sits on the tarmac at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Sep. 11, 2017. The E-4B participated in a flyover at the California Capital Airshow. US Air Force/Louis Briscese

Meanwhile, the Kuwait Air Force will return to RIAT for the first time since 1993, which one of their new Eurofighter Typhoons attending for static display, fresh from the Leonardo Aircraft factory in Italy.

Another fast jet addition to the static line-up is a Spanish EF-18B Hornet, complementing the example in the flying display.

Long term Air Tattoo supporters QinetiQ is expected to send two of its aircraft used by the Empire Test Pilot School to the show, with its new AW139 helicopter attending for the first time, plus the Avro RJ100 Airborne Technology Demonstrator.

Raytheon will send its newly acquired Strategic ISR Platform for static display. Friday visitors will also get a glimpse of the new Leonardo AW149 making an appearance in the flying display, but the helicopter won't be landing at RAF Fairford.

Concluding its latest update, organisers say a handful of civilian operators have also been added to the participation list, including some more vintage types will be displayed in the "Village Green" area at the Eastern End of the showground.