Wings and Wheels Society.

R.I.A.T. Fairford Wednesday 13-7-2022.

After being absent since 2019 due to the covid pandemic, The Royal International Air Tattoo Returns with the actual public days being the 15-17th July 2022, this was the Tattoo's 50th show as well! The International Air Tattoo today has a global reputation for delivering the world's most spectacular showcase of modern military aviation and providing unique engagement opportunities for the world's air forces to meet annually at RAF Fairford. To date, 56 nations from across the world have participated at the Air Tattoo, sending aircraft for spectators to admire and enjoy. However the Royal International Air Tattoo,(RIAT), grew from humble beginnings, with the first event held at North Weald Airfield in 1971 having around 100 aircraft on display. The Fairford 2022 show saw approximately 170,000 excited visitors through the gates over the course of the long weekend to enjoy the thrilling sights and sounds of several hundred aircraft of all shapes and sizes, from all eras and countries of the world, on this awesome, unique, adrenalin fuelled long weekend. The 2022 show was certainly an eclectic mix of aircraft including Jet, Piston, and even Electric propulsion in both the flying program and the static displays, The main theme of RIAT 2022 was the 75th anniversary of the American Air Force (USAF). We knew RIAT 2022 would be a hot one, as the Met Office had issued an amber weather warning for Wiltshire, with temperatures into the mid 30's by the Sunday and Monday. All said, apart from the heat it was probably the best set of sunny constant 6 days for a RIAT in a while, as you can see in our photographs. Lots of sun protection and hydration was the order of the day, everyday, and would keep us snapping away over the whole event. Throughout most of the show we were based in the Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo (FRIAT) enclosure, with our MACH3 tickets (purchased in October 2019), we must also say we had a great set of friendly people sat around us in the stalls that were from the Netherlands and further afield, as well as more local to Fairford like us. The whole show is always a friendly event, but 2022 seemed even more so due to the pause since 2019, the extra hard work the teams put in to make it happen really shone through. Some of the Highlights of the 6 days flying and static (including the 3 public days) were as follows: On Thursdays practice day and the weekend saw the South Korean Black Eagles display team flying their T-50B supersonic jet trainer aircraft, flown by the 53rd Air Demonstration group, they were awesome, their display included putting a smoke trail South Korean Flag logo in the sky! The Belgium and Hellenic F16 displays, along with a Spanish F18 Hornet were afterburning tastic. The Swedish Saab Gripen solo displays were fuelled with excitement as well! Other displays featured the USAF CV-22B Osprey, Mil-Hip and Hind's, The Battle of Britain Memorial flight, and a flypast from the massive A330-743L Beluga XL to name a few. On the Static display and the arrival and departure days there were a lot of varied assortments of aircraft to say the least! These featured many warbirds such as B17 Sally B, P51 and P47-D Thunderbolt, Auster and Cessna 01 Bird Dog's. If Classic Cold War Heavy Metal takes your fancy, we had a trio of classic heritage flight Saabs in the form of the SAAB Viggen, Draken, and Lansen. USAF Sabre, Hunter T72, Lockheed U-2S (Dragon Lady), and, Douglas A4N Skyhawk were also great to see. Large Static exhibits ranged from a Boeing E-4B USAF Command and Control Group aircraft, Japanese Kawasaki C2, Brazilian Embraer KC-390, and many more exciting aircraft were also on static display. Please enjoy the photos, I think we certainly captured the excitement of this much needed special occasion! We would also like to say Many Thanks to all who made this massive show run well especially to all RIAT Organisers volunteers and workers, and a special thanks to FRIAT Manager Wendy Toms and her team for all the hard work they put in to make the show possible

Copyright of all pictures in this gallery belong to D Lamb and R Kelsey.