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Royal International Air Tattoo 2012 Review

Photographs

photo by Webmaster
Black Eagles
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Black Eagles
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Al Fursan
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Al Fursan
photo by Webmaster
Black Eagles
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Al Fursan
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Black Eagles
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Patrouille Suisse
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Black Eagles
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Typhoon FGR4
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Dutch F-16
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Polish MiG-29
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Dutch F-16
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Polish MiG-29
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Typhoon FGR4
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Swedish Gripen
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Dutch F-16
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Dutch F-16
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Pyrotechnics
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Tucano T1
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Boeing 767
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Polish MiG-29
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Chinook HC2
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Belgian F-16
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Super Hornet
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Hawk T1
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French Rafale
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French Rafale
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A400M Atlas
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Super Hornet
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A400M Atlas
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Patrouille Suisse
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Hawk T1
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Patrouille Suisse
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BBMF Lancaster
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Black Eagles
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BBMF
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BBMF Spitfire
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Polish MiG-29
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Patrouille Suisse

Static Aircraft Photos 2012

Trophy Winners 2012




Airshow Photographs

US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey - photo by Webmaster

US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey

Royal International Air Tattoo 2012 Review

Despite the recent bad weather and the wettest June on record, the Royal International Air Tattoo was able to continue and attract over 130,000 visitors during the weekend. Saturday had a mixture of sun and showers and Sunday remained dry with plenty of sunny intervals.

This year the themes were 'Diamond Jubilee', as 2012 is the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne, and 'Skylift' which includes giant military transporters, and heavy-lift helicopters.

There were plenty of display teams this year with the Black Eagles from South Korea making their RIAT debut in their eight T-50 'Golden Eagle' supersonic light-trainer aircraft, Al Fursan from the United Arab Emirates making their European debut to RIAT in their seven Alenia Aermacchi MB-339A trainer aircraft, Patrouille Suisse in their six Northdrop F-5E Tiger II aircraft, Red Arrows in just seven Hawk T1 aircraft this year, Royal Jordanian Falcons in their four Extra EA300L aircraft, and the Breitling Jet Team with their seven Aero L-39C Albatros aircraft.

The South Korean Black Eagles put on a superb performance in front of a very appreciative audience and scooped the top award of the King Hussein Memorial Sword for the Best Overall Flying Demonstration, and also the As the Crow Flies Trophy which is voted by the Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo (FRIAT).

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Black Eagles
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Black Eagles
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Black Eagles
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Al Fursan
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Al Fursan

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Patrouille Suisse
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Patrouille Suisse
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Red Arrows
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Red Arrows
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Jordanian Falcons

There was also a good turn out of fighter aircraft including the Belgian & Dutch F-16 Fighting Falcons, Swedish Saab JAS 39C Gripen, Polish MiG-29A Fulcrum, French Rafale C, RAF Typhoon FGR4, and Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Sqn Ldr Scott Loughran of 6 Squadron RAF Leuchars, flying the Eurofighter Typhoon won the Paul Bowen Trophy for the Best Solo Jet Demonstration, Captains Michael Brocard & Cedric Ruet, from ETR 2/92 Aquitaine, French Air Force, flying the Rafale won the Sir Douglas Bader Trophy for the Best Individual Flying Display, and Capt Adrian Rojek and Capt Artur Kalko, flying the Polish Air Force Mikoyan MiG-29 won the Lockheed Martin Cannestra Trophy for the Best Flying Demonstration by an overseas participant.

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Dutch F-16
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Belgian F-16
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Swedish Gripen
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Polish MiG-29
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Polish MiG-29
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French Rafale
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French Rafale
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RAF Typhoon
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Super Hornet
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Super Hornet

Representing the Diamond Jubilee we were treated to a large formation of twenty seven Hawk T1/T1A/T2 aircraft in a EiiR formation.

The Skylift RAF Flypast included the BAC VC10 K3, Lockheed Tristar, Lockheed Hercules, Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, Airbus Voyager KC1, and the Airbus Military A400M Atlas. The VC10, and Tristar tankers are to be replaced by the new Voyager aircraft in RAF service, and the Hercules is to be replaced by the new A400M Atlas in 2014.

photo by Webmaster
EiiR Formation
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VC10
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Tristar
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Hercules
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C-17 Globemaster
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Voyager KC1
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A400M Atlas
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Tucano T1
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Hawk T1
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Chinook HC2

The Royal Air Force was well represented with the Tutor T1, Tucano T1, Hawk T1A, RAF Falcons, King Air B200, Chinook HC2, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) with their Lancaster, and two Spitfires, Typhoon FGR4, Tornado GR4 Role Demo which included some very loud pyrotechnics, and the Red Arrows. Flt Lt Paul A Farmer and his team, flying the Chinook from 18 Sqn, RAF Odiham won the Steedman Display Sword for the Best Flying Demonstration by a UK participant. On Sunday, one of the Red Arrows aircraft suffered a bird-strike but after a short delay was seen to land safely.

The US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey made a welcome return after making its UK flying display debut at RIAT in 2006. The Osprey is the world's first tilt-rotor aircraft which allows it to take-off, land, and hover like a helicopter or tilt the rotors forward to fly like a conventional aircraft. This allows it to reach speeds twice as fast as a helicopter but also enables it to carry heavier payloads and fly at higher altitudes. There was an Osprey in the flying and static displays at RIAT 2012.

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BBMF Lancaster
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BBMF
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Typhoon FGR4
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Typhoon FGR4
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Tornado GR4
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Tornado GR4
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Tornado GR4
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Red Arrows
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Red Arrows
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MV-22B Osprey

The only remaining flying Avro Vulcan B2, XH558 returned to RIAT to display again this year. It had suffered a setback at the end of May when two of its engines were damaged and had to be replaced. After a lot of hard work, the aircraft was returned to flight again in early July so it would be ready to display at RIAT.

The Army Air Corps Apache AH1 attack helicopter, from Wattisham Airfield, put on a good display. The Apache is currently being operated in Afghanistan in the close air support role and has proved its ability to operate from Royal Navy ships during the NATO military intervention in Libya. Another good helicopter display was the Belgian Augusta A109BA which replaced the Alouette II helicopter in the reconaissance and observation role.

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MV-22B Osprey
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Vulcan B2
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Vulcan B2
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Vulcan B2
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Vulcan B2
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Apache AH1
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Belgian A109BA
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Sea Fury T20
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Boeing 767
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Boeing 767

Seen for the first time outside of Russia was the Yakovlev Yak-130 'Mitten' which is a two-seat subsonic jet trainer/light attack aircraft. This aircraft entered service with the Russian Air Force in 2010.

Other display items included the Royal Navy Historic Flight's (RNHF) Hawker Sea Fury T20 which was the last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, and was the fastest production single piston-engined aircraft ever built. Also the Fouga CM170 Magister, and on Saturday there was a display by a DHL Boeing 757-236SF and on Sunday a DHL Boeing 767-300F, from East Midlands Airport, which made impressive displays considering they are airliners.

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B-2 Spirit
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MV-22B Osprey
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RQ-4 Global Hawk
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Slovak MiG-29
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Mi-14 Haze

More photographs of the aircraft in the static display can be found by clicking here.

The impressive static display, which included almost 300 aircraft from many different countries, included the US Air Force B-2 'Spirit' stealth bomber. The last time a B-2 was seen on the ground at RIAT was in 1999. The aircraft from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and flown by Captain Ben Smith arrived at Fairford at 7pm on Friday after a 10 hour flight. The distinctive shape of the large B-2 could be seen in the static park next to a Northdrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV).

Other aircraft on static display included a Slovakian Mig-29UB, USAF RC-135 'Rivet Joint', US Air Force Reserve Command B-52, C-17, KC-135, and C-5 Galaxy aircraft, US Navy E-6B Mercury, and P-3C Orion, Japanese Boeing KC-767J, Columbian Air Force C-130H, and T-90 Calima, NATO E-3 Sentry, German Air Force F-4F Phantom II, Tornado and Typhoon, BAe Systems Mantis (UAV), and Sea Harrier FA.2, along with many other aircraft. The Best Livery Award went to the crew of the Polish Navy's Mil Mi-14 'Haze' helicopter of 29 Eskadra based at Darlowo which was on static display.

Thanks to the organisers for putting on another excellent display and the dates for next year's Royal International Air Tattoo are 20th-21st July 2013.

               Article and photographs by Dave Key - www.militaryairshows.co.uk