In July 2012, 4Aviation travelled to RAF Fairford for the fourth year in a row, for a visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo. This year, again, two different trips were organised to this large event (a trip to the show on Saturday and a trip to visit the show on Sunday and the departures on Monday). A total of more than 250 people chose to join one of these two trips to, what the organisation themselves calls, ‘The World’s Largest Military Air Show’.
The 2012 edition of RIAT can be called very good. After a couple of editions that can be described as ‘a bit disappointing’, the organisation appeared to be pushing the right buttons again this year, resulting in a very fine list of participants. The Republic of Korea Air Force Black Eagles visited for instance. With their black T-50s they definitely stole the show. Also new where the MB-339s of the UAE AF, that gave a fine display as well as the Al Fursan team. Aircraft from Japan (KC-767) and Colombia (C-130 and T-90) made sure that both countries were added to the list of countries ever visiting RIAT.
Since RIAT coincided with the Farnborough Air Show again this year, some special visitors made it to the event like the USMC MV-22s and a USNavy Super Hornet. All was completed by a relatively large number of aircraft that could be found at Fairford on previous occasions, but without them becoming ordinary (a USAF B-2, Brazilian C-130 and a French Navy Super Etendard for instance).
The weather conditions are always playing a major role during RIAT. Unfortunately, this year the whole weekend and the Monday it was rather cloudy. In between the sun came out every now and then. Despite that, all participants to the bus trips have enjoyed themselves a lot. The large group that went on Saturday (having taken their seat on the bus on Friday evening), returned to their pick-up locations on Sunday morning again. The ‘full double decker’ that had opted for the Sunday and Monday was warmly welcomed in the hotel on Sunday evening for a well-deserved break. Only to rise early again on Monday morning for a visit to the Park & View area for the departures.
In 2013 4Aviation will, obviously, organise the same trips again.