THIS year’s Royal International Air Tattoo is set to be a truly out-of-this-world experience.

Starting tomorrow, the massively-popular Fairford air show will host an array of space-themed activities and events at its Tech Zone area to inspire the next generation of air force and space industry recruits.

British astronaut Tim Peake will touch down tomorrow at 9.30am to chat to Carol Vorderman in the Bader Marquee about his time in orbit.

Displays including a prototype Mars rover and sections of the rocket involved in the UK’s one and only successful orbital launch of a satellite will be exhibited.

A RIAT spokesman said: “Hundreds of aircraft are arriving from around the world for one of aviation’s greatest spectacles.

“There’s plenty of aircraft to see on the ground in our impressive static display - including an Austrian C-130K Hercules, two of the Belgian Air Force’s F-16s and The Royal Canadian Air Force’s CP-140 Aurora and C-130H Hercules.

“As well as welcoming such exciting aircraft to RAF Fairford, the showground will be full of interactive displays, many with a focus on space to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.

“Visitors can expect a planetarium, an ExoMars Rover and roving space characters plus, new this year, a giant observation wheel providing never before seen views of the airshow. There is something for everyone and we can’t wait to welcome you all.”

The air show itself will highlight the 70th anniversary of Nato with a flypast on Friday and Saturday that includes three RAF Typhoons, a NATO E-3 AWACS, three Belgian and Dutch F-16s, a German A400M, a German EF2000, a German Tornado, a French KC-135R and three American F-15s.

To mark the centenary of British Airways, a BA-branded Boeing 747 painted in its iconic British Overseas Airways Corporation livery will perform a dramatic flypast on Saturday with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – better known as the Red Arrows.

The Red Arrows will soar over the showground for their last UK show of the year at 3.29pm on Friday, 4.15pm on Saturday and 2.44pm on Sunday.

This year features more than 30 air arms from over 20 different nations, which means the Air Tattoo is the best place to see military aircraft on display to the public. Confirmed aircraft includes two Spanish Navy Harriers, the Ukrainian Su-27, US Air Force F-16 Viper Demo Team, Italian Frecce Tricolori, and RAF F-35B Lightning.

The showground is open from until Sunday July 21. Over the weekend, it’s open from 7.30am to 7.30pm with displays starting at 10am and finishing at 5.30pm.

Tomorrow is a preview day with four hours of displays from 11am though the showground will be open from 7.30am to 6.30pm.

Traffic from the west, south west and Bristol on the M4 should exit at Junction 17 and travel north towards Malmesbury, turning north east on to the B4040 towards Minety and then north on the B4696 towards Ashton Keynes (Cotswold Water Park).

Traffic passes over the A419 joining the Cirencester Road south bound through Latton, merging with the Blue or Green routes as directed, dependent upon prevailing traffic levels.

Guests can travel to the airshow from Swindon Bus Station for £4 return when purchasing an admission ticket; - just select this option when purchasing tickets.

People who already have a valid admission ticket should purchase a shuttle bus ticket on the day from Swindon Bus Station.

Journey time is about 30 minutes and services run frequently on certain days and set times.

Numerous coach operators run trips to the Air Tattoo.

Parking is free for ticket holders and the car parks open from 6am from Friday to Sunday.

Visitors can leave and come back to the showground up until 5pm.