A DELUGE of aviation fans set to converge on RAF Fairford this summer will be lifted by the news the Royal Air Force’s finest aircraft – the Typhoon – will be among the aerial displays.
The Royal International Air Tattoo was given a boost this week after the RAF announced which aircraft would be starring along with the Red Arrows in this summer’s flying programme.
Legendary aircraft such as the Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane and Dakota will be joined by the RAF’s state-of-the-art fighter jet, the Typhoon, and the basic trainer aircraft, the Tucano on Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13.
The Typhoon and Tucano will also be flying on Friday, July 11, as part of the special Red Arrows Pit Day.
It’s not the first time the jet, which is capable of breaking the sound barrier, will be heard over Swindon’s skies. In April 2012 two scrambled jets emitted a loud bang, known as a sonic boom, when responding to a helicopter’s distress signal nearby.
The power and agility of the Typhoon makes it one of the most eagerly anticipated performers at the airshow. Piloting the multi-role combat aircraft this year will be Flt Lt Noel Rees from 29 (Reserve) Squadron based at RAF Coningsby.
Meanwhile, demonstrating the capabilities of the Tucano, which provides basic fast jet flying training to RAF and Royal Navy student pilots, will be Flt Lt Dave Kirby. The aircraft, which features the Royal British Legion logo, poppies and the words ‘Lest We Forget’, is operated from No 1 Flying Training School, at RAF Linton-on-Ouse.
As well as enjoying RAF aircraft in action, visitors to this summer’s air tattoo will be able to get close to a wide range of RAF aircraft parked in the showground. There will also be the opportunity to meet many of the pilots and crew.
Air Tattoo chief executive Tim Prince said the RAF has demonstrated the immense value it sees in the airshow, in terms of public engagement opportunities and international diplomacy.
He said: “The air tattoo provides the Royal Air Force with a unique platform on which to highlight the capability of its aircraft and the dedication and skill of all those who fly, maintain and support them.
“Not only will airshow visitors be able to see the RAF’s operational aircraft and those from the BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) that have earned legendary status, but they will also be able to join us for the biggest international celebration marking the Red Arrows’ 50th display season.”
The Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust.
Tickets are only available in advance. Specially-priced Earlybird tickets are available until May 31 from airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free and there is free parking.