Air arms representing more than 20 countries from around the globewill be taking part in a special event this weekend being organised by the team behind the Royal International Air Tattoo and supported by the Royal Air Force.
The Virtual Air Tattoo is a free-to-view, live-streamed event that will take place from 11am to 3pm on Saturday July 18 and Sunday July 19, the same weekend the actual airshow was due to be staged.
Hosted by Air Tattoo commentators and aviation experts Ben Dunnell and Mark Manwaring and featuring special welcome messages from Sir David Jason and Carol Vorderman -the Virtual Air Tattoo will give viewers a flavour of the real event planned for 2020 with dramatic virtual flying displays, pilot interviews, special guests and uniqueaircraft footage.
• Displays created by Virtual Airshows, performed by Europe'stop flightsimulator pilots including the Virtual Red Arrows and Swiss, French and Italian teams.
• Footage from some of the most exciting Air Tattoo participants, including 2019 displays by the MiG-21 LanceR& EAV-8 Harrier.
• Live interviews withthe Red Arrows as well as pilots from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and RAF Typhoon Display Team.
• Unique behind-the-scenes footage of military aviation including a flight on a recent Royal Air Force air-to-air refuelling mission.
• Messages, interviews and special aircraft tours courtesy of participatinginternational aircrew.
And with tickets for next year's 50th anniversary airshow going on sale at the weekend, the Virtual Air Tattoo will take a look back at some of the event's aviation highlights since it was first stage in 1971.
Among the nations taking part in the Virtual Air Tattoo are Austria, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, the US and UK - with Sri Lanka and Singapore being represented for the first time ever - albeit virtually!Video support for the Virtual Air Tattoo has also come from aerospace industry, including BAE Systems Leonardo, Airbus Northrop Grumman, MBDA and Rolls-Royce, with additional help from Boeing, Lockheed Martin and other long-term sponsors.
Whilst the Air Tattoo will deliver the main broadcast, the RAF will host two additional channels, one providing extended footage of RAF content featured in the Virtual Air Tattoo and the other, broadcast live on Twitch, hosted by the RAF's Video Gaming and Esports Association who will be staging a number of socially-distanced esportcompetitions.
Working with PlanesTV, the programme will be hosted from a live studio and,as well as featuring special guests, the show will invite viewers' questions via social media, making the Virtual Air Tattoo a truly interactive experience.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Paul Atherton said: "The Royal Air Force has been a great partner for the virtual Air Tattooas they are for the Royal International Air Tattoo each year. Their support in providing behind-the-scenes access to, and footage of, its aircraft, facilities and people has been pivotal and we now look forward to sharing this content with our online visitors. We are confident that this, coupled with the incredible material created by our international friends and the virtual world of air displays will wow our audiences."
Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, said: "I am delighted the Royal Air Force has joined forces with RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises to deliver a trailblazing Virtual Air Tattoo. We look forward to exhilarating displays from our allies around the world, getting behind the scenes with the RAF and our industry partners as we showcase our talent, and sharing special moments from previous Air Tattoos as we approach the airshow's 50th anniversary next year."
During the event, viewers will have the opportunity to donate to the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the Air Tattoo's parent charity. Text TRUST to 70490 to donate £5 (Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message). Also through Virgin Money Giving: https://bit.ly/rafcharitable
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