Also in 2011 we travelled to what is called the biggest military airshow in the world, the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford.
Just like in 2010, 4Aviation travelled to the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford with two different groups this your again. Two buses with enthusiasts visited the show on Saturday 16 July 2011, while the other group arrived by double-decker bus on Sunday morning 17 July. They visited the event both that Sunday as well as the next Monday (spending the night in a hotel).
During the week leading up to the show weekend it became apparent that raincoats and rubber boots were advisable. The group that visited the air show only on Saturday had to accept during the first hours of the show that the rain was pouring down. Fortunately the weather improved a lot during the afternoon, so the majority of the, somewhat shortened, air show participants could be captured in full sunshine. Most of the participants of the trip had dried up by the time they sat down in the buses again at the end of the afternoon. On their way home these buses met the next bus. This bus was on its way to Fairford. The more than 70 participants of the tour that visited Fairford both on Sunday (for the air show) as well as Monday (for the departures), have been treated to reasonable weather. It certainly wasn’t warm, but generally it was dry. The sun even managed to show itself every now and then, which was not to expected based on the weather forecast.
The 2011 edition of the Royal International Air Tattoo was remarkable for its limited size. Despite that, also this year there were several highlights to be admired that made the show worth visiting. In 2011 the Royal Saudi Air Force visited the event for the first time with their Saudi Hawks team. Returning to the event, after many years of absence, was the Ukrainian Air Force that sent a Su-27 Flanker and a IL-76 to Fairford. The Turkish Air Force sent their Solo Türk team to Fairford to show its abilities with the team’s F-16 (in a very neat colour scheme).
Other things of interest were the presence of the Voyager (A330) still to be delivered to the RAF and a demo of a fully armed Typhoon. Add a Omani and Jordanian C-130 to this and there are enough ingredients to visit the RIAT in 2012 once more.