Royal International Air Tattoo

Royal International Air Tattoo
Photo: airtattoo.com
Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the largest military air show in the world and one of the United Kingdom’s premier outdoor events. It is held every year over the third weekend of July at the Royal Air Force Fairford (RAF Fairford), a RAF station in Gloucestershire, England. The show offers thrilling flying action and non-stop entertainment, attracting between 150,000 and 160,000 attendees over the weekend.

The Royal International Air Tattoo was founded by CAA Air Traffic Controllers Timothy Prince and Paul Bowen and Air Marshal Sir Denis Crowley-Milling. The inaugural air show was held at North Weald Airfield in Essex, England in 1971 and featured just over a hundred aircraft.

Between 1973 and 1983 it was held intermittently at Royal Air Force Greenham Common in Berkshire, England before moving to its current location, RAF Fairford, in 1985. The show was named the Internation Air Tattoo in 1976 and was given its current title, the Royal International Air Tattoo, in 1996.

RIAT is organized to support the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, a charity that was founded in 2005 to cater to the wider RAF Family. It seeks to develop of a spirit of air-mindedness in youth and promote excellence with the RAF.

Today’s Royal International Air Tattoo offers a rich and diverse program for spectators of all ages. It features a thrilling flying display and gives a chance to get close to the aircraft, meet the crews and enjoy non-stop entertainment on the ground. The show features several hundred aircraft from more than 20 countries. In 2003, it was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the largest military air show, with an attendance of over 500 aircraft.

Over the years, RIAT has become an important showcase for the world’s military. It is regarded as a precursor to the Farnborough Airshow, a biennial event that combines a public airshow and a trade exhibition for the defense and aerospace industries. It is held a week after RIAT on even years. RIAT doesn’t have the commercial pressure of the Farnborough Airshow and allows the military aerospace industry to present is products in a more relaxed environment.

Royal International Air Tattoo


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