After a two-year absence, we were quite happy that the Royal International Air Tattoo was going ahead again in 2022. As we normally do, we organised two different bus trips to visit the show. This year’s edition saw record-breaking temperatures and interesting participants.
Many additional photos; Paul Jongeneelen
On Friday 15 July, two buses with 4Aviation-travellers departed to the United Kingdom for the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. Finally, after two years of cancellations due to COVID-19. Bus 1 from Zwolle got stuck in a roadblock and after that a lot of accidents on the road, while bus 2 from Amsterdam had a smooth trip to Calais. A slow check-in followed, but both touring cars made it to the ferry in time.
After a good night of rest on the bus, the ±125 enthusiasts arrived at RIAT in time on Saturday (16 July) not to miss a thing. With a lot of sun and high temperatures it was a very good day. More than enough highlights in the static display: Portuguese Epsilons, retro-schemed Canadian Polaris, Japanese C-2, Swedish Historical Flight with their Lansen, Draken and Viggen, Omani C-295M Persuader, the United States Air Force E-4B ‘Nightwatch’, Hungarian Hinds, Lithuanian Dauphin, Bahraini Hercules (the 57th country to attend the Air Tattoo), Estonian M28 Skytruck, Romanian An-30 Clank, fresh Kuwaiti Typhoon (from the factory at Caselle) and two Qatari Hawks. The static was further completed by a lot of British, German and Italian stuff. In the centre of the static was the (small) celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Unites States Air Force. With the cancellation of (two) B-52s, it was the only disappointment of the weekend.
The audience was treated in the sky by the South Korean Black Eagles, solo Finnish Hawk, a flyby of the newest Airbus Beluga XL, the ‘Boris Johnson’ Voyager with the Red Arrows. Stunning was the Austrian Air Force with a QRA Demo, consisting of two Typhoons and a Hercules. When the Swiss AF with their PC-7 and F-18 Hornet display ended the Saturday show, it was time to go back to the buses. A smooth departure of the parking lot and a long check-in again (this time at Dover). On Sunday morning everybody was dropped off which ended the one-day-RIAT-trip.
The bustrip visiting Fairford on Sunday and Monday had by now started its journey as well. The bus trip started at 14:00 starting in Nijmegen – Dukenburg. In view of the possible actions as a result of the farmers’ strike, the planning offered sufficient flexibility to absorb any delays, so that we could make it to the boat ferry on time. This was also the first bus trip to RIAT after Brexit took effect and so there would also be more than enough time for any delays at passport checks.
From Nijmegen – Dukenburg we stopped at Utrecht Jaarbeurs, Breda-Prinsenbeek, Antwerp and Gent to pick up all participants. Then we went with a full bus to Calais to take the boat ferry to Dover.