A SHOW-STOPPING star of the skies will return to the Royal International Air Tattoo in July.

The Russian-built Sukhoi Su-27 from the Ukrainian Air Force wowed RIAT visitors in Fairford last year and will soar over them once more at this year's show.

A spokesman for the acclaimed air show said; "The Soviet-era heavy fighter was initially created in reaction to the United States Air Force’s F-15 Eagle. The Sukhoi design, which was the first Soviet aircraft to be operated using an electronic interface instead of conventional manual flight controls, is an exceptionally agile aircraft that can reach top speeds of 2,500 km per hour.

"Codenamed ‘Flanker’ by NATO, it first flew in 1977 and was much-feared by potential Western opponents during the Cold War.

"Since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the original Su-27 series has continued to equip the Russian armed forces and serve with the Ukrainian Air Force, which we are excited to be welcoming back to the Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford from July 19 to 21."

The ever-popular RAF Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the rarely-seen Spanish Navy Harriers will also be delighting visitors with thrilling flying displays.

On the ground, guests will be able to marvel at large transports like the Ukrainian Il-76 ‘Candid’ which is attending in support of the Su-27, as well as the Royal Jordanian Air Force C-130H Hercules and the US Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster III, amongst many others.

British astronaut Tim Peake will be this year's star attraction in the Techno Zone to highlight the theme of 'Air and Space: Inspiring the Next Generation Air Force' with exhibits about space and other astronauts attending on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

Tickets for the airshow, which is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, can be bought online at www.airtattoo.com or by calling 01285 713456. All accompanied under-18s get free entry.