Friday 13 July brought my first chance to experience the world-renowned Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, albeit on the practice day. Transport was provided courtesy of BAE Systems from Farnborough using one of their corporate travel department BAe 146s. Click here to see a picture of the aircraft that we boarded at the TAG Aviation terminal.
Interestingly, this aircraft is painted in a fairly non-descript, interim scheme and the "coffee stains" corporate branding used on the other aircraft is being dropped. The 146-200 that we flew on is fitted with a single-class cabin, and was filled with media colleagues and BAE public relations staff (click here to see image).
Upon arrival at RAF Fairford it became clear that the weather - as forecast - was going to have a significant impact on the amount of flying that we were going to see.
On landing at Fairford I could see why the event is held in such high esteem by enthusiasts, with a huge range of aircraft visible on the static display.
On the bus transfer to the BAE chalet, I caught a glimpse of what looked like Glastonbury, but with aircraft.
During the bus ride we passed the Indian Sukhoi Su-30MKIs and their Ilyushin Il-78 tanker, making their debut at RIAT.
One of the best displays that took place on Friday was performed by a US Air Force Boeing F-15.