Category Archives: Airshow News Military

Royal International Air Tattoo cancelled amid coronavirus outbreak

FAIRFORD | This year’s Royal International Air Tattoo, known as the world’s largest military airshow, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus, the first July airshow to be hit by the disease.

The airshow had been due to take place from the 17th-19th July at RAF Fairford, with performers such as the Patrouille Suisse, Royal Danish Air Force F-16AM and US Air Force F-16C expected to take part in the flying display.

The airshow organisers said: “This decision has not been taken lightly and a significant amount of work sits behind this course of action.  The crisis, which is worsening by the day, and the implications of which are becoming more profound, has led us to conclude that the most prudent course of action is to cease any further planning to deliver this significant event.

“The Air Tattoo is reliant on the support of a wide range of stakeholders, not least the participation of international air arms, medical professionals, military security teams and our Emergency Services, many of whom are delivering a fundamental contribution to fighting this crisis. We believe delivery of our event would distract them from this.

“At the heart of this difficult decision is our firm belief that staging the Air Tattoo this year would not only run counter to the current Government advice but would also be beyond what we could reasonably ask of our supporters. We recognise that our decision will have a negative financial impact on our valued suppliers and traders, on the local economy that benefits so much from the large influx of people who arrive in the area for one week in July, as well as on our parent charity. For this we apologise.”

Although dozens of airshows have already been cancelled globally due to the coronavirus, the Royal International Air Tattoo 2020 is the only one so far beyond mid-June to be scrapped. However, given its reliance on international air arms, the event is particularly vulnerable to global pandemics.

It is the third UK airshow to be officially cancelled, after the Midlands Air Festival and Duxford Air Festival were pulled from the calendar earlier in the week. Schools are to close to most pupils today, and 1.4 million Britons with underlying health conditions are being advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks, starting over the weekend. Follow the latest news as the outbreak continuis to affect the airshow industry on our coronavirus live blog.

The next Royal International Air Tattoo will be held on the 16th-18th July 2021, and will celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary. Remember if you want to re-live previous Air Tattoos, our 90-minute documentary on RIAT 2018 is available on our website!

USAF cancels all airshows and demo team appearances until mid-May

The United States Air Force will be suspending its outreach programmes due to uncertainty over the coronavirus outbreak.

After two days of individual show cancellations, the Brig. Gen Edward Thomas, the USAF’s director of public affairs, said: “The Air Force is committed to upholding the complete trust and confidence of Americans and our community engagement is the key to those connections. However, due to the uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and to protect our Airmen, their families and the communities that support us, the Department of the Air Force is suspending all outreach activities and support to community events through May 15.

“This includes, but is not limited to, on-base and civilian sponsored air shows, band performances and community engagements and meetings (speaking engagements, community meetings on installations, base tours, Pentagon visits, etc.).

“We will continue to support funeral flyovers on a case-by-case basis. The Air Force will continuously evaluate the situation and provide updates as needed.”

You can stay up to date on our LIVE BLOG.


USAF airshows in this period include:

  • Mar 14: Laughlin AFB Fiesta of Flight, TX
  • Mar 21-22: Luke Days Air & Space Expo, AZ
  • Mar 28-29: MacDill AFB Tampa Bay AirFest, FL
  • Apr 18-19: Maxwell AFB Beyond the Horizon Airshow, AL
  • Apr 18-19: JB Charleston Air & Space Expo, SC
  • Apr 25-26: Wings Over Columbus, MS
  • May 9-10: Beale AFB Thunder Over Recce Town, CA
  • May 9-10: Dyess Big Country AirFest, TX

Other shows still scheduled to go ahead will lose headline acts, such as the Fort Lauderdale Airshow, which was scheduled to host the Thunderbirds, Thunder Over Louisville, which was expected to feature USAF flyovers and solo demonstrations, and the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In, recently rescheduled to early May.

March AFB Airshow becomes first in US to be postponed over coronavirus fears

RIVERSIDE, CA | The March ARB Thunder Over the Empire Air & Space Expo has become the first in the US to be cancelled over the coronavirus outbreak.

In perhaps an inevitable move, as public events are cancelled across the world, March ARB announced on Wednesday that, after meetings with military and civilian health officials, they had decided to postpone the show “indefinitely”.

They said: “We are doing everything we can in conjunction with Riverside County health officials to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. Department of the Air Force personnel and their families live, work and attend school in this community and we are committed to doing our part to limit the spread of the virus.”

They added that the wellbeing of servicemen and women was their “primary concern”.

The March ARB Air & Space Expo was due to be held on the 28th-29th March, featuring the Thunderbirds and A-10 Demo Team. A rescheduled date is “to be determined”.

The event is the largest western airshow to be cancelled so far due to the desease, with the Aero Friedrichshafen general aviation trade show in Germany and the innaugural Aqaba Airshow in Jordan also being postponed. Several Chinese events have also been put back, including the Zhengzhou Airshow, scheduled for April.

Patrulla Águila suspended from aerobatic displays and training following crash

MURCIA | Aerobatic displays by Spain’s main aerobatic team have been suspended following three fatal accidents in just six months at the team’s base of San Javier.

According to El País, Spain’s second-largest daily newspaper, the Spanish Air Force have cancelled training and displays by Patrulla Águila while they perform a review of its training methods and the workload of its pilots. Patrulla Águila pilots must fly for the aerobatic team while also working as full-time flight instructors.

It had been speculated that the team could be grounded after its solo pilot, Commander Eduardo Garvalena, was killed in a training accident last month while flying a 40-year-old C-101 Aviojet belonging to the team. His predecessor, Cmdr. Francisco Marín, died flying a C-101 in Murcia last August, shortly after passing over the reigns to Cmdr. Garvalena. As Patrulla Águila solo pilots are trained by their predecessors, there is currently no way to quickly train a replacement pilot.

However, Spain’s ageing fleet of C-101s has not been grounded, and El País say that investigators have not found a technical fault on Cmdr. Garvalena’s aircraft, although the investigation is ongoing. This means that Patrulla Águila will continue to participate in parades and flypasts.

Spain’s fleet of over 60 C-101s are due to be replaced in some roles by the Pilatus PC-21 over the next few years, with the entire fleet expected to be retired before the end of the decade.

Pakistan Air Force F-16 crashes during Republic Day parade practice

ISLAMABAD | An F-16 belonging to the Pakistan Air Force has crashed in Islamabad while practicing for the Republic Day parade, killing the pilot.

Wing Commander Nouman Akram died in the accident, which is now the subject of an inquiry by the Pakistan Air Force. There were no casualties on the ground or damage to property.

The jet was rehearsing a solo aerobatic display, due to be performed at the Republic Day parade on the 23rd March. The parade typically includes several solo displays from the Pakistan Air Force, such as the F-16 Fightning Falcon or JF-17 Thunder, as well as flypasts and a performance by Pakistan’s aerobatic team, the Sherdils. Foreign air forces, including those of China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, have also performed on occasions.

Belgian Air Force Agusta A109BA solo display dates 2020

The Belgian Air Force’s Agusta A109BA solo display can be seen at the following events this year.

Date Show Location Country
May 16-17 France Portes Ouvertes BA116 Luxeuil Saint-Sauveur France
Jul 11/td> United Kingdom Royal Navy International Air Day Yeovilton UK
Jul 21-23/td> France Meeting Aérien International Albert – Picardie France
Sep 11 Belgium Sanicole Sunset Airshow Hechtel Belgium
Sep 13 Belgium Sanicole International Airshow Hechtel Belgium
Sep 19-20 Italy 60th Anniversary of the Frecce Tricolori Rivolto Italy

Belgian Air Force Red Devils 2020 airshow schedule

The Belgian Air Force’s official aerobatic team, the Red Devils, have published their 2020 airshow season. The team, who fly four Marchetti SF.260s, will perform at nine events, including two international shows.

Date Show Location Country
Jun 14 Denmark Danish Airshow Karup Denmark
Jun 21 France Aerotorshow Valence Chabeuil France
Jun 27-28 Belgium Aérodrome en Fete St Hubert – Cerfontaine Belgium
Jun 27-28 Belgium Cerfontaine Belgium
Jun 28 Belgium Le festival Des Ballons et des Ailes Le Roeulx Belgium
Jul 1 Belgium Open Door Koksijde Belgium
Jul 4-5 Belgium BOACK Koksijde Belgium
Jul 4-5 Belgium Navydays (flypast only) Zeebrugge Belgium
Sep 13 Belgium Sanicole International Airshow Hechtel Belgium

Spanish Air Force Patrulla Aspa 2020 airshow schedule

GRANADA | The Spanish Air Force’s EC-120 Colibri aerobatic team have released their 2020 airshow schedule, which includes two international shows.

Date Show Location Country
Mar 7 Spain Estaremos en las Jornadas Aeronauticas de Tablada Seville Spain
May 13-17 Germany Internationale Luft- und Raumfahrtausstellung (ILA) Berlin Germany
Jun 21 Spain Festival Aéreo de Motril Motril Spain
Jun 27 Spain Fiestas Patronales de Burgos San Pablo Spain
Jul 23-26 Spain XV Criterium Aeronautico y XXXVII Vuelta Aerea a Galica Lugo Spain
Jul 24-26 Spain Festival Aéreo de Gijón Gijón Spain
Jul 24-27 Spain Regata Tall Ship Race La Coruna Spain
Oct 10-11 France Free Flight World Masters Saint-Maxime France


Belgian Air Force F-16AM “Dark Falcon” 2020 display dates

The Belgian Air Force’s popular F_16AM Fighting Falcon solo display is due to participate in 16 events spanning eight countries this year. It will be the final year with Captain Stefan Darte, callsign “Vador”, flying his “Dark Falcon” jet.

Date Show Location Country
May 23-24 United Kingdom Duxford Air Festival Duxford UK
May 30 Croatia Croatian International Military Airshow Zadar Croatia
Jun 6 Norway Rygge Airshow Rygge Norway
Jun 13-14 France Meeting de l’Air Cognac – Châteaubernard France
Jun 28 Belgium Ursel Avia Ursel Belgium
Jun 28 Belgium Aérodrome en Fete St Hubert – Cerfontaine Belgium
Jul 1 Belgium Open Door Koksijde Belgium
Jul 4 Belgium BOACK Koksijde Belgium
Jul 17-19 United Kingdom Royal International Air Tattoo Fairford UK
Aug 1-2 Latvia Wings Over Baltics Jurmala Latvia
Aug 23-24 France Meeting Aérien International Albert – Picardie France
Aug 29-30 Slovakia Slovak International Air Fest Sliač Slovakia
Sep 6 France Meeting Aérien de Cambrai Cambrai – Niergnies France
Sep 11 Belgium Sanicole Sunset Airshow Hechtel Belgium
Sep 13 Belgium Sanicole International Airshow Hechtel Belgium
Sep 19-20 Italy 60th Anniversary of the Frecce Tricolori Rivolto Italy