Thursday, 8 April 2010

Heavies hoping to be seen & heard at RIAT!

Last year at the RAF Fairford, there was a notable absence - that of the B1 bomber in the skies, sure enough one was on the deck in the static display, but it just wasn't the same as having a thunderous Lancer ripping the skies apart, and causing those stomachs to reverberate with it's special take off.

There was also the lack of a flying C-17 last year thanks to operational requirements, which of course takes priority over any air show plans, and rightly so, but still disappointing for the airshow fans. This year though there is already one booked in for the flying display, and with a bit of luck this year it will remain in the programme.

The B52 is also a regular at RIAT, with its screeching engines that bleed the ears nicely on take off, and that impressive nose down lift off too a common sight at Fairford, and hopefully this year we'll get to see it all again.

The Avro Vulcan is of course on its road to recovery once again after the public - largely thanks to a anonymous donation of £458,000 - brought her back from the brink of a trip to a museum, and I for one cannot wait to see the fantastic take off, and famous howl once again from those Olympus engines.

All that's needed now to complete the set would be a tasty C5 Galaxy - now that, along with the other heavies listed, would be a most fantastic air display to head to, and one that I'm sure would live very very long in the memory!

There is bound to be plenty of noise around Gloucestershire once again this year as the return of the F-18 Super Hornet has been confirmed, in what is always a powerful and ear bashing display, and the Us Navy will I'm sure be keen to put on a good show!

Another master blaster is the Typhoon which will almost certainly be showering the skies with bags of noise, and it may well team up with a Spitfire as part of the Heritage Flight at this year's air show which of course commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and I'm sure officials are preparing a wonderful fly past similar to the 100 years of the Navy fly past last time, although lets hope none are so high and far away as the Sea Venom was!

There will also be the return to the skies of the RAF Role Demo, which will include after a four year absence, a return to the display for the Harrier GR9, and also not one, but 2 Tornado GR4's, so ear plugs at the ready!

As far as team displays are concerned, the Patrouille de France return in their Alpha Jets and are sure to decorate the skies in red, white and blue, as I'm sure will the world famous Red Arrows, who will have hoped to recover from their set back in Europe this year.

Moving across Europe a little, and the Dutch will be represented by the F16 Fighting Falcon once again, which will be sure to have people desperate to see if flares can be used, but unfortunately it looks as though that won't happen again this year.

One team that always makes its way over to the UK is the Royal Jordanian Falcons, who are now cemented in to the show's history, and always a delight to watch.

RIAT have also been celebrating participation from what will be the 52nd nation to support the Air Tattoo, that being the Sri Lankans, who are sending over an Antonov An-32B for this year's show, and will I'm sure be a highlight in the static park.

So, plenty of good things to look forward to, and once the B1, B52, and Vulcan are all confirmed as Flying, I'll certainly be counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds to the display this year, which is shaping up to be one of the best for many a year.

Now, what about the B2 anyone???

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