MILAVIA > Air Shows > Preview: RIAT 2008 Last updated: 12 July 2008
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Air Show Preview : Royal International Air Tattoo 2008

Royal International Air Tattoo 2008

Event Name: Royal International Air Tattoo 2008 / RIAT 2008
Location: RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Date: Sat 12 - Sun 13 July 2008
Time: 0730-2100 hrs (flying display 1000-1800 hrs)
Entrance: £32.50 per day (presale, excl. fees)
£45.00 per day (on-the-day, at the gate)
free for children under 16
Parking: Free



Due to the unusually heavy rainfall during the past 72 hours, a decision has been made by the organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire to cancel the airshow on Saturday, July 12.

Official press release by the organisers can be found on the official website


The organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire announce that the airshow on Sunday, July 13 will not go ahead.

Official press release by the organisers can be found on the official website

General Information
Every year, the Royal International Air Tattoo or RIAT - the biggest military airshow in the world - takes place in the UK, at RAF Fairford. With every year around 300 visiting aircraft from 35 different countries, nowhere else in the world the aviation enthusiast is able to see this many various aircraft and helicopters at one show. Last year the airshow was a big success with beautiful weather, and many different aircraft. The show area is huge, and this show needs some good preparation before going.

2008 Themes

Royal Air Force 90th Anniversary: Aircraft spanning the history of British military aviation will feature in a spectacular tribute marking the 90th anniversary of the Royal Air Force at RAF at Fairford this summer. From the Great War and the Battle of Britain, through Korea and the Cold War to current operations in the Middle East, visitors will be able to chart the transition of one of the oldest independent air forces from fledgling service to one of the most potent air forces in the world. Salute the crucial role the RAF has played in bringing much-needed humanitarian relief to some of the most desperate human tragedies that have unfolded during the past nine decades, including the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949, the Ethiopian famine od 1984 and the Asian tsunami of 2004. Organisers also plan to offer a glimpse of the RAF's future, in which aircraft such as the Nimrod MRA4, the Typhoon and the new A330-200 Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft that will provide the backbone of the UK's air power capability.

Skytanker 08: Air-to-air refuelling is one of the cornerstones of an international air arm’s global reach capability enabling it to engage further, faster and with more force than ever before. Airborne tankers such as the A310 MRTT, KC-10 Extender, KC-130 Hercules, Tristar and VC-10 have been fundamental to power projection and, along with transport fleets, have helped create sustainable and effective air bridges during some of the 20th century’s biggest conflicts including the Vietnam War, the Falklands and Kosovo, as well as during current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. State-of-the-art aircraft ready to take ‘global reach’ into the 21st century, it seems appropriate that the Royal International Air Tattoo should turn the spotlight on this vital, yet often unseen, aspect of military air mobility.

Global Engagement: This theme is a concept that seeks to build the trust and understanding that is crucial to developing relationships and co-operation in order to promote peace and stability in difficult times.

The first list with confirmations for this year's RIAT edition are in. Here is a short overview of the most important visitors known at the moment. For the flying programme are now confirmed: a USAF Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptor, the Canadian CF-188 Hornet solo display, the Brazilian "Esquadrilla de Fumaca", "Los Halcones" from Chile, JAS-39C Gripen from the Czech Republic, Team "Sarang" from India and the RAF Role Demo, which includes a E-3D Sentry, two Hawk T-1s, two Tornado F-3s and two GR.4s. The static display has a few very intereseting participants confirmed: one EADS/CASA C-105 Amazonas (CN-295M) of the Brazilian Air Force, a P-3C Orion from Pakistan, a BAC 1-11 from Oman and a C-130H Hercules from Chile. And also invited, but still waiting on some paperwork and permissions from several military rankings, are a US Navy F/A-18E/F Hornet most likely flown by Boeing chief test pilot Ricardo Traven, and a flying MiG-29 from Hungary. Of course the Avro Vulcan B2 will hopefully also be seen in the air over Fairford, however this project is still strugling with financial and minor technical problems. Fingers crossed...

Because of the very large exhibition area, you need to be well prepared if you want to see all the aircraft on show. Unnecessary to say is that you need a good pair of hiking shoes, if you still want to have decent feet at the end of the day. Some food and fluids are also no luxury to bring along. Based on the weather during the previous editions at Fairford, you should be prepared for both sun and rain. Another good tip for the show is to bring some earplugs and to go watch the show and take-off of the loud and massive B-52 Stratofortress and B-1 Lancer. And remember this is a big show not just because of the many participating aircraft, but also because of the huge number of visitors.

For more information or questions, please visit the Official Royal International Air Tattoo Website first before contacting us. Thank you.

photo by Niels Hillebrand
Official Website(s)
The Royal International Air Tattoo
The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises
Air Tattoo Gift Collection

photo by Niels Hillebrand
Previous Show Reports
RIAT 2005 RAF Fairford
RIAT 2006 RAF Fairford

photo by Niels Hillebrand
Related Links
RIAT 2007 @ Scorpion Aviation
RIAT 2006 @ Scorpion Aviation
RIAT 2006 @
RIAT 2006 @
RIAT 2006 @
RIAT 2005 @ Scorpion Aviation
RIAT 2005 @
RIAT 2005 @
RIAT 2005 @
RIAT 2004 @
RIAT 2004 @

photo by Niels Hillebrand
Related forum topics. Discuss!
RIAT 2008 @ MILAVIA Forum
RIAT 2007 @ MILAVIA Forum

This preview is written by Ramon van Opdorp. Photos from last year's show.