RIAT 2008 Press Release

RIAT 2008 Press Release


WHATEVER the weather at Fairford this year, one rarely-seen plane will be basking in the relative warmth of the Cotswolds.

The De Havilland Canada Twin Otter is taking a break from the British Antarctic Survey to join the static display aircraft at the Royal International Air Tattoo on July 12 and 13.

Specially adapted to operate in the extreme temperatures of the Antarctic, the fleet of four Twin Otters and one De Havilland Canada Dash-7 flies during the Antarctic Summer from October to March, before the winter cold and dark make flying too difficult.

The cold and the isolation – the nearest civilisation is some five hours away by air – mean Antarctic flying is a challenging undertaking. BAS pilots receive specialist training and always fly with a co-pilot, while each plane carries fuel reserves and emergency supplies.

The Twin Otters support a wide variety of transport and science operations in Antarctica, including airborne surveys, and are equipped with skis for landing on snow and ice.

Chief Pilot Alan Meredith, from British Antarctic Survey, said: “We are really looking forward to showcasing one of our aircraft at the Royal International Air Tattoo in July, and being able to highlight more about the work of BAS.”

Robert Windsor, Aircraft Operations Manager for RIAT, said: “The Twin Otter is a fascinating addition to the static display at this summer's airshow, showing the huge variety of aircraft in use around the world. We're delighted to welcome this British Antarctic Survey aeroplane to RIAT 2008.”

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. This summer's event will include official celebrations to mark the RAF's 90th anniversary. For more details, visit www.airtattoo.com