19-21 luglio 2019 RAF Fairford (UK)
Rain, wind, sun… the different expressions of the English summer weather. A weather, at times adverse, but which did not stop the 170,000 spectators who visited the RIAT 2019 in its three days.
Best Shot Aircraft since Wednesday for arrivals has once again been present to document the event and bring it to you with its best photo shoots.
Although the weather created quite a few problems, especially on Friday, the organizers guaranteed many of the displays in the various days of one of the largest world airshows. This year did not present many surprises, but gave a catwalk of old glories of the skies to all the participants, we could see in the skies of Fairford and in the static display: two Harrier of the Spanish navy, a USAF B52, two F4 Phantom of Turkish Air Forces and Romanian Air Forces Mig21, historic aircraft that have delighted the eyes of the public.
This year’s topic of the Royal International Tattoo was: “Air and Space: Inspiring the Next Generation Air Force”, to bring attention to the need to bring new generations into the aerospace world to ensure a future of research, development and new inventions for future air forces and space exploration.
Among the events of the RIAT we also had the honor of celebrating the 70th anniversary of NATO, the 50 years of the landing on the Moon and not less the 100 years of British Airways. Celebrations that could not possibly be ignored by the most eagerly awaited event by flight enthusiasts around the world.
Many arrivals between Wednesday morning and Friday, 245 aircraft from more than 39 air forces from 25 different world nations arrived in Gloucestershire to the delight of the many aviation photographers and all the participants who flocked to the Fairford airbase.
The presence of both military and civilian aerobatic patrols present at the Airshow is substantial: the Italian Frecce Tricolori, the Royal Jordanian Falcon, the Patrouille de France, The Blades, the inevitable Red Arrows and the Breitling Jet Team who have recently announced the end of their collaboration with the sponsor Breitling for the end of 2019. In fact, they are looking for a new sponsor that will support them on their tours starting in 2020.
Always present at the RIAT the various Solo Display teams of various world air forces: Swiss Hornet Display Team, Dark Falcon Belgian Air Force, Dedalus Demo Greek Team, the Viper Demo Team USAF and many others… a long list that only our photos can fill up.
As previously stated, the weather was not exactly the best and on Friday many of the exhibitions were canceled or reduced due to rain and wind, and the latter was practically present for all the days of the event. Even if the adverse conditions created some problems, the participants were able to fly their vehicles in the various days and were able to present their skills as pilots and the capabilities of their vehicles to an interested and enthusiastic public.
On the aprons and taxiways instead we had the opportunity to admire the many planes and military vehicles of the present world armed forces, to mention the presence of a Boeing E-3 AWACS of NATO, which participated in the flypast dedicated by the Royal International Air Tattoo in honor of the 70th anniversary of the military alliance along with 3 RAF Typhoons, 4 F-16 Belgians, Dutch, Norwegians and Danes, 1 KC-135R (France), 1 German Typhoon and 3 F15 USAF.
Among the various Lockheed C-130 Hercules present, the livery of the C130 of the Pakistani Air Forces and the Hercules of support to the Royal Jordanian Falcon stood out, as spectacular as ever. Beautiful and particular the Boeing C17 of the Qatari Air Forces.
In the static display you could visit the Tempest mockup, already present at the RAF Cosford Airshow, and also the Northrop Grumman Firebird a new surveillance plane that can be either remotely piloted or fly with a pilot on board.
Instead the presence of a Eurofighter Typhoon and a Saab Gripen next to each other was the announcer of what happened on Friday 19 July between the British and Swedish Defense Ministers: the signing of a collaboration agreement for the future realization of new European Fighters. A collaboration that will lead to the design and development of new European aircraft, such as the Tempest, which in the near future will have to replace the Typhoon for the defense of our skies.
Returning to the flying performances, to honor one of the most beautiful civilian aircraft ever produced, the Patrouille de France together with the Red Arrows carried out some passages both in their “Concorde” formations, dedicating them to the 50 years of the prestigious French-English production aircraft .
But the Red Arrows still had a lot to celebrate, and in their last European airshow for this year before the North American trip, they offered in addition to their splendid performances also a tribute to the 100 years of British Airways. The English aerobatic team in fact flew with a Boeing 747-400 in a BOAC-British Overseas Airways Corporation livery on the skies of the Fairford air base, to celebrate this important anniversary for British civil aviation.
Impossible not to mention the always welcome presence of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which with a Hawker Hurricane, a Supermarine Spitfire and their Avro 683 Lancaster offered an always pleasantly awaited display.
In Aerospace, in addition to the many appointments in the various stands of the RIAT to lord it was the British astronaut Major Tim Peake who tried to inspire the many young people present at the event, who also thanks to their schools were able to participate in the Riat 2019.
During the three days of the show, many displays are judged and awarded every year for their performances. This year the winners were:
- Paul Bowen Trophy – Best Solo Jet Display to Lt Col Yurii Bulavka, pilot of the Sukhoi Su-27P1M from the 831st Guards Tactical Aviation Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Force;
- RAFCTE Trophy, awarded to the best flying demonstration by an overseas participant to the Frecce Tricolori from Aeronautica Militare Italiana/Italian Air Force;
- Steedman Display Sword for best display by a UK participant to the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team “Red Arrows”;
- Sir Douglas Bader Trophy for best individual flying demonstration to the Capt Arto Ukskoski, pilot of McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet from Fighter Squadron 11 of the Finnish Air Force;
- The Crow Flies Trophy for best display to the Capt Arto Ukskoski, pilot of McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet from Fighter Squadron 11 of the Finnish Air Force;
- King Hussein Memorial Sword for best overall flying demonstration to pilot Maj Peter Fallén from F 7 wing of the Swedish Air Force with his Swedish Air Force Saab JAS 39C Gripen;
- RIAT Chief Executive Trophy to the Spanish Navy’s EAV-8B Harrier II+ duo;
- Trophy for best livery was presented to the Eurofighter EF2000 operated by Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 71 ‘Richthofen’ of the German Air Force, stationed at Wittmund.
Royal International Air Tattoo, born in 1971 and since 1985, almost always in the current Fairford RAF Air Base, is held in the third weekend of July.
It has been the appointment that every aviation enthusiast cannot fail to attend at least once in the past his life. An Airshow that always guarantees an exceptional show, even when the weather like this year falls to the spasmodic search to ruin the party.
The organizers, by now tested and fully aware of their strength, never fear to leave their public unsatisfied, this is how it was this year too.
The appointment is now from 17 to 19 July 2020, an even year that for the “experts” of the RIAT can mean many more surprises and expectations than usual and we will be present again to present them to those who will not be able to participate and will follow us on our site www.bestshotaircraft.com.
from RAF Fairford (UK): Daniele Maiolo
RIAT 2019 photos: