PREVIEW: Royal International Air Tattoo 2017

Introduction: The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world’s largest military airshow. Held over three days at RAF Fairford, the 2017 show will celebrate the USAF’s 75th anniversary, featuring an eight-hour flying display and a two-mile static park with upwards of 100 aircraft from over 20 countries. It will be held from Friday 14th-Sunday 16th July. The official website is airtattoo.com.

Visitor information: Friday 14th July will see a four-hour air display and limited crowd size, while the Saturday and Sunday (15th-16th July) will see the full show. Visitors can enjoy rehearsals and arrivals from the Park and View enclosures on Wednesday and Thursday, and on Monday for the departures. The popular FRIAT “Mach 3” package allows access to the FRIAT grandstand from Wednesday to Monday.

Tips: if traveling by car, aim to arrive at or before 8:00am to avoid queues. To get a space at the front of the crowd line, near the centre, arrive well before 9:00. The static display is best enjoyed in the evening after the aerial display. It is advisable to bring food and drink due to the cost of on-site offerings. Buying tickets early will save on cost.

2016 show: RIAT 2016 was arguably one of the best in a decade, with representation in the flying display of almost every modern fast jet family in the West: no fewer than four F-16s, four Typhoons, F/A-18, F-22, JAS-39, MiG-29 and Rafale. The United States put in a strong appearance, also providing their F-22 & F-35 “Heritage Flight” and a UK-based MV-22 Osprey. The highlight was, of course, the F-35, which appeared in flypasts and in a dynamic solo display. The Red Arrows, Wings of Storm, Team Orlik, Frecce Tricolori and Wings of Storm made up the formation flying element, although the Patrouille Suisse flew with only four jets. Static aircraft were in a slightly lower number than usual, but some of the rarest types on show included the Belgian “Tiger” F-16, Greek F-4, Japanese KC-767 and Australian A330, among over a hundred others. Read the 2016 report  here. See photos from the 2016 show below.

RAF Typhoon     

2017 show: this year’s Air Tattoo will be all about the US Air Force. 2017 is the air arm’s 70th anniversary year, and with this being the main theme of the show, they are expected to contribute heavily to the flying and static display. Indeed, the Thunderbirds were the first confirmation for the event. In terms of fast jets, there seems to be considerably greater variety compared to last year (although overall numbers may be down). Contributions from Italy, France and Finland are particularly of note. The static display is looking strong and varied compared to recent years.

Our coverage: we will provide a live feed with photographs and updates about the arrivals from Tuesday afternoon through to Friday. After the show, a written and illustrated report featuring photos from all three show days will be published. We will also be producing a 1-hour video report of the event, shot mostly on Saturday, featuring interviews and cockpit footage.

Confirmed aircraft:

United States Air Force:

  • Thunderbirds x6 F-16 (F)
  • USAF Heritage Flight F-22A Raptor & P-51B Mustang “Berlin Express” (F)
  • USAFE Flypast C-130J Hercules, KC-135R Stratotanker, F-15C Eagle, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16C Fighting Falcon (FP)
  • F-22A Raptor (F)
  • CV-22 Osprey (F/S)
  • U-2 Dragon Lady (S)
  • B-1B Lancer (S)
  • B-52H Stratofortress (S)
  • KC-135 Stratotanker (S)
  • C-17A Globemaster III (S)
  • MC-130J Hercules (S)
  • F-15C Eagle (S)
  • F-15E Strike Eagle (S)
  • F-16C Fighting Falcon (S)
  • Learjet C-21A (S)
  • HH-60G Pave Hawk (S)

Royal Air Force:

  • Red Arrows x9 Hawk T.1 (F)
  • Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster & x4 Spitfire (F)
  • Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 (F)
  • Chinook (F)
  • A330 Voyager KC.2/3 (S)
  • A400M Atlas C.1 (S)
  • C-17A Globemaster III (S)
  • Tornado GR.4 (S)
  • Puma HC.2 (S)
  • Hawk T.1A (S)
  • Hawk T.2 (S)
  • King Air 200/350 (S)
  • Shorts Tucano T.1 (S)
  • Griffin HT.1 (S)
  • Squirrel HT.1 (S)
  • H135 Juno HT.1 (S)
  • H145 Jupiter HT.1 (S)
  • Grob Tutor (S)
  • Vigilant T.1 (S)
  • Viking TX.1 (S)

Swiss Air Force:

  • Patrouille Suisse x6 F-5E Tiger II (F)

Finnish Air Force:

  • Midnight Hawks x4 Hawk Mk.51 (F)

Armée de l’Air (France):

  • Couteau Delta x2 Mirage 2000D (F)
  • Dassault Rafale C (F)
  • Alpha Jet E (S)

Italian Air Force:

  • C-27J Spartan (F)
  • M-346 Master (F)
  • Tornado A-200 (F)

Czech Air Force:

  • x2 L-159A ALCA (F/S)
  • JAS-39C Gripen (F)
  • CASA CN-295 (S) TBC

Belgian Air Force:

  • F-16AMU Fighting Falcon (F/S)
  • Sea King Mk.48 (F)
  • C-130H Hercules (S)

Ukrainian Air Force:

  • Su-27P1M Flanker (F/S)
  • Ilyushin Il-76MD (S)

Turkish Air Force:

  • SoloTurk F-16C (F)

Ejército del Aire (Spanish Air Force):

  • EF-18AM Hornet (F)

Swedish Air Force:

  • JAS-39C Gripen (F)
  • JAS-39D Gripen (S)

Austrian Air Force:

  • Saab 105Ö (F/S)

Slovenian Air Force:

  • PC-9M Swift (F/S)
  • Let 410 (S)

Army Air Corps (UK):

  • Attack Helicopter Display Team x1 WAH-64D Apache (F)
  • BN-2T-4S Defender 4000 (S)
  • Wildcat AH.1 (S)
  • Beaver AL.1 (S)
    Scout AH Mk.I (S)

Royal Navy (UK):

  • BAE Hawk T.1 (S)
  • King Air Avenger T.1 (S)
  • Merlin HM.2 (S)
  • Merlin HC.3/3A (S)
  • King Air ASaC.7 (S)
  • Wildcat HMA.2 (S)

Luftwaffe (German Air Force):

  • A400M Atlas (S)
  • Eurofighter EF2000/T (S)
  • Tornado PA200 IDS/ECR (S)
  • Transall C-160D (S)

QinetiQ:

  • Alpha Jet (S)
  • RJ70/100 (S)
  • WAH-64D Apache (S)
  • A109E Power (S)

German Navy:

  • P-3C Orion (S)
  • Sea King Mk.41 (S)
  • Sea Lynx Mk.88 (S)
  • EC-135 (S)

Royal Netherlands Air Force:

  • C-130H-30 Hercules (S)
  • KDC-10 Extender (S)
  • Dornier Do-228 (S)
  • F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon (S)

Royal Canadian Air Force:

  • CC-177 Globemaster III (S)
  • CH-147F Chinook (S)

Irish Air Force:

  • PC-9M (S)
  • EC-135P (S)

Hellenic Air Force (Greece):

  • F-4E Phantom (S)

Hungarian Air Force:

  • JAS-39C/D Gripen (S)

Royal Australian Air Force:

  • E-7 Wedgetail (S)

US Navy:

  • P-8 Poseidon (S)

Japanese Air Self-Defence Force:

  • KC-767J (S)

NATO:

  • E-3 Sentry (S)

Royal Jordanian Air Force:

  • C-130H Hercules (S)

Qatar Emiri Air Force:

  • C-130H Hercules (S)

Pakistan Air Force:

  • C-130E Hercules (S)

Lithuanian Air Force:

  • C-27J Spartan (S)

Polish Navy:

  • M28 Bryza 1R (S)

Finnish Air Force:

  • NH90 TTH (S)

Danish Air Force:

  • Challenger CL-604

Polish Navy:

  • An-28B1R Bryza (S) TBC

Civilian:

  • Royal Jordanian Falcons x4 Extra 300 (F)
  • Airbus A400M Atlas (F)
  • B-17G Flying Fortress “Sally B” (F)
  • P-51D Mustang “Tall in the Saddle” (F)
  • A-4N Skyhawk (S)
  • AirLand Scorpion (S)
  • Strikemaster Mk.82A (S)
  • Jet Provost T.5 (S)
  • Jet Provost Mk.5 (S)
  • Hawker Hunter Mk.58 (S)
  • CM170 Magister (S)
  • Provost T.1 (S)
  • OV-10B Bronco (S)
  • Gulfstream G550 (S)
  • Piaggio R166C (S)
  • SC-7 Skyvan (S)
  • Beech 18S (S)
  • Phenom 100 (S)
  • T-6C Texan II (S)
  • Grob 120TP (S)
  • de Havilland DCH-9 (S)
  • Gloster Gladiator 1 (S)
  • Global 6000 (S)
  • BN-2T Defender (S)
  • BN-2T Islander (S)
  • Bulldog T.1 (S)
  • Extra EA400 (S)
  • Cessna Caravan EX (S)
  • S6 Coyote (S)
  • DA-40 Diamond Star (S)
  • DA-42 Twin Star (S)
  • EV-97 Eurostar SL (S)
  • EV-97 Team Eurostar (S)
  • Ikarus C42a (S)
  • P2002-JF Sierra (S)
  • P2008-JC (S)
  • PA-28-180 (S)
  • PA-28R (S)
  • TB20 Trinidad (S)
  • Piper Cub (S)
  • DCH-1 Chipmunk (S)

  (F) – Flying     (S) – Static      (FP) – Flypast     (F/S) – Flying & Static      (M) – Mock-up      (SP) – Support   (R) – Rides    (?) – Participation unknown     “TBC” – not officially confirmed     “aircraft” – Cancelled