By Craig Hoyle at RAF Fairford

This year’s RIAT show included a debut appearance by the Pakistan air force, which sent one of its Lockheed Martin C-130B transports to the UK to support this year’s theme of delivering rapid global effect. On static display this weekend, the aircraft features striking tail art depicting the type’s key contribution during humanitarian relief efforts staged after a massive earthquake devastated part of Pakistan late last year.


Pakistan’s participation in the 2006 show makes it the 50th country to have sent aircraft to support the event over its lifetime, and its air force is one of 39 air arms from 26 nations involved in this year’s event. Its contribution was also marked during the plush Gala dinner on Friday night, when Pakistan picked up two trophies, including one for embodying the spirit of the air show through its deployment of the commemorative Hercules.

Other distant participants this year include a Brazilian air force C-130, a Boeing 707 transport from the Royal Australian Air Force and a Royal Malaysian Air Force Airtech CN-235.

Next year’s event should be equally spectacular, with the US Air Force to mark its 60th anniversary during the show. Perhaps visitors to RIAT will be able to see more examples of its firepower above this year’s impressive Boeing B-1 and B-52 bombers? Potential contributors could include the Northrop Grumman B-2 bomber and debut appearances by the Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor and RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle – guaranteed show stealers.

Source: Flight International