2014 Event Review

Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2014 – July 11-13, 2014
Location: Royal Air Force, Fairford, UK
Admission: Expensive
Parking: Free on-site, with shuttles to the flightline
Value: Excellent
Rating out of 10: 10
 
Display by the Italians
Breitling Wingwalker (©) Peter Thivessen

Some 140.000 spectators turned up at RAF Fairford for the Royal International Air Tattoo 2014 over the second weekend in July to celebrate the RAF Red Arrows 50 th anniversary. They were rewarded with breath-taking military aerobatic flying, thrilling fast jet displays, unbelievable agile military cargo planes, crowd helicopters and, additionally lots of classic warbirds. The aerobatic display teams Patrouille de France, Frecce Tricolori, Patrouille Suisse and the Breitling Jet Team flew in to join the Red Arrows' celebrations thrilling the crowds with their precision flying. On Friday, 11th of July the Royal International Air Tattoo welcomed a royal visitor at RAF Fairford. His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, came to meet the pilots of the RAF's aerobatic display team.

While the Red Arrows are in the centre of attention, as they celebrate their 50th display season, they aren't the only military aerobatic team commemorating a half century at the RIAT 2014. Additionally the Swiss Air Force's aerobatic team, the Patrouille Suisse, is celebrating their 50th anniversary, having flown their first official display on August, the 6th of 1964. Their big birthday party will take place over the first two weekends in September (at Payerne AB).>

Some 240 aircraft coming from 25 different countries representing 31 air arms took part in Air Tattoo 2014. Unfortunately the most anticipated aircraft did not show up - the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II. All current JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) were (again) grounded due to technical reasons, so there was no way that any of the announced aircraft showed up at Fairford during the weekend. Air Tattoo`s Chief Executive Officer Tim Prince expressed his frustration: ”The decision was a great disappointment given the amount of planning that had gone into bringing the aircraft over to RIAT for its international display debut.”

Still there were some rare fast jets in the static as well as in the flying program. The most favourite for the vast majority of the enthusiasts was a rare appearance of two Sukhoi Su-22 “FITTER” ground-attack strike aircraft from the Polish Air Force. Another highlight for sure was the very last visit of the Vought A-7 Corsair from the Hellenic Air Force. In October this year the Greek will retire their old workhorse in a fly out ceremony on the Araxos AB.

With the executive jets none of the big players is to be missed, like DASSAULT, CESSNA, GULFSTREAM or EMBRAER, just to name a few. The newest kid on the block, the EMBRAER company, is extremely successful with their E-190 and E-195 aircraft series. The latest model of this company, the cargo aircraft KC-390, was put on the market by using huge posters. The Russian Sukhoi company was also on site with their Super Jet 100 painted in the colours of one of its customer, the Mexican airline INTERJET.

Flying display, for hours on Friday from 1.00pm to 5.00pm, Saturday and Sunday eight hours from 10.00am to 6.00pm. Beside the wide range of aircraft on the ground as well as in the air spectators could enjoy many other attractions on the showground.

Summery: the quantity of the aircraft on display at Fairford is definitely far off from the record breaking events of the past, still the quality of the aircraft and their performances did not leave anyone disappointed. The static display showcased a wide range of different aircraft from all over the world, and the flying display did attract the public with a nonstop program from 10am to 6pm with lots of spectacular highlights, some of them absolutely unique in our times. Thumbs up also for the great traffic control organisation, which guided thousands of vehicles almost with no delays to the designated parking areas. A very positive balance was drawn by the Air Tattoo´s medical team, who reported no major incidents and a pretty quiet weekend for all those nurses and doctors who had been on duty over the.

The Aviation Magazine would like to thank all of RIAT`s organization team: “job very well done, guys”! We want to say a special thanks to Robert Hewson from the Saab Group for the splendid day and for heir hospitality in their chalet. (Thanks Georg Mader for the connection with the Saab Group).

Flying Display Program
Eurofighter F-2000A Typhoon, Pratica de Mare, Italian Air Force
Boeing Chinook HC2, No 27 Sqn, Odiham, Royal Air Force, Uk
Alenia C-27J Spartan, Pratica de Mare, Italian Air Force
F-16C “Solotürk”, 141 Filo, Akinci, Turkish Air Force
Sukhoi Su-22M4s, 40.Elt, Swidwin, Polish Air Force
Airbus A400M, Toulouse, France
Frecce Tricolori, 10xAermacchi AT-339As, Rivolto, Italian Air Force
AMX A11, Pratica de Mare, Italian Air Force
Royal Jordanian Falcons, 3x Extra EA300Ls, Aqaba, Jordan
F/A-18F Super Hornet, US Navy
Patrouille Suisse, 6x F-5E Tiger Iis, Emmen, Swiss Air Force
JAS 39C Gripen, Satenas, Swedish Air Force
Shorts Tucano T1, 72 Sqn. Linton-on-Ouse, Royal Air Force, UK
Spitfire PRXIX, East Midlands Airport, UK
Team Orlik, 7x PZL-130TC-II, Radom, Polish Air Force
Merlin HM2, 829 Naval Air Sqn., Culdrose, Royal Navy, UK
Saab J 105OE, Duesentrainerstaffel, Linz-Hoersching, Austria Air Force
Augusta Westland Apache AH1, 3 Regiment, Wattisham, Army Air Corps, UK
Red Arrows, 9x Hawk T1/T1As, Scamton, Royal Air Force, UK
Tornado A-200, Pratica de Mare, Italian Air Force
F-16A MLU, 350 Sqn., Florennes, Belgian Air Force
Breitling Jet Team 7x L-39C Albatroses, Dijon-Longvic, France
Breitling Wingwalkers, 4x Boeing Stearman A75N1s, Rendcom
Dakota III, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Coningsby, UK
Super Puma AS332M1, Luftstransportstaffel 6, Alpnach, Swiss Air Force
F-16AM, 322,323 Sqn., Leeuwarden, Royal Netherlands Air Force
Patrouille de France, 8x Alpha Jet, Salon de Provence, French Air Force
F/A-18C, Fliegerstaffel 17, Payerne, Swiss Air Force
Avro LancasterI, Hawker HurricaneIIc, Spitfire, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Coningsby
Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4, 29 Sqn. Coningsby, Royal Air Force, UK
Westland Lynx AH7, 671 Sqn., Middle Wallop, Army Air Corps, UK
Report co-written by Wolfgang Jarisch, Peter Thivessen and Robert Kysela for The Aviation Magazine

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Saab Gripen taking off at RIAT
 
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