F-22, RAF to star at Air Tattoo

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To be staged on 12-13 July, immediately before Farnborough, this year's Royal International Air Tattoo will feature the first overseas display appearance by the US Air Force's Lockheed Martin F-22.

Two aircraft from the Raptor East Demo Team at Langley AFB, Virginia will be deployed to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire for RIAT, with one of these expected to make a flying appearance on day one of the Farnborough event.

f-22 demo
 © US Air Force

While the Raptor's international show debut will be the highlight for many, huge emphasis is being placed on marking this year's 90th anniversary of the Royal Air Force in considerable style.

The RAF will be presented with new Queen's Colours at Fairford on the Friday before the weekend event traditionally its low-key final display rehearsal and trade media day. Preparations are under way to mark the first event of its kind for 15 years, including for a flypast to involve around 95 aircraft of almost all types in the RAF's current inventory.

"While we cannot take any credit for the organisation of this special ceremony, it is a huge honour to have been asked to provide the backdrop for it," says Air Tattoo director Tim Prince.

The weekend event is expected to attract around 350 aircraft, comprising a variety of military types from European and NATO nations and elsewhere, including Brazil and Pakistan. Historic types from the First and Second World Wars and eight aerobatic display teams will entertain the crowds, while the Avro Vulcan could make its long-planned return to the air show circuit.

Show organiser the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises expects up to 165,000 visitors to attend this year's event, enabling it to increase its contribution of around £700,000 ($1.38 million) made to the air force and its charities over the past three years.


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