Part n°1 Text & Pictures: Bruno Ghils © sbap 2014

It was under a magnificent sun, to which we are not accustomed to this side of the Channel, that the traditonnal “ROYAL AIR TATTOO” (RIAT) took place and this year as traditionally focused on various main themes.

The 50th anniversary of the RED ARROWS with no less than five international aerobatic teams: the Patrouille de France, the Patrouille Suisse, the Frecce Tricolori, the Polish Orlik Team, the Royal Jordanian Falcons and the civil Breitling Jet Team flying the Aero L39... and of course the Red Arrows.

The 40th anniversary of the F-16 with the demonstrations of SOLOTÜRK (flying the F-16C), the Dutch solo display (F-16AM) and of course Cdt Avi Renaud “Grat” Thys of the Belgian Air Force bound from Florennes flying his F-16AM... in addition to this 3 demo's, seven different F-16 were present in the static display.

The 40th anniversary of the Hawk with several different types presents in the static show, but alas, no foreign or exotic example.

The RIAT 2014 edition was to reserve us a big surprise and a great exclusivity. It was indeed foreseen to present the new technological toy of American industry in static and during the flying display, the F-35 of witch four examples were due to take part, one even in the colours of the Royal Air Force. But it was a big surprise to all when at the eve of the show the cancellation of the participation of these aircraft and their support planes was announced due to technical reasons largely commented in the press.

This unintentional fact (safety first) changed the program a bit : no F-35 solo display, no fly-by with the Red Arrows, no aircraft in the static display to great disappointment of the organizers and a certain frustration for thousands of passionate.

But even without the F-35 and a reduced static display, the RIAT remains a fantastic airshow and the presented aircraft, be it in flight or in the static display, make you never regret attending the Royal International Air Tattoo.

The last Greek A7 Corsair, which most certainly made their last voyage, the Polish SU22 'Fitter', the big Swiss presence celebrating also their anniversary this year with the solo FA-18 and Super Puma display, the new P-8 'Poseidon' from the US NAVY, the F-18F presented by Boeing, the Airbus A400M and the KC-767J bound directly from the land of the rising sun were certainly some good reasons to come to Fairford.

Without of course forgetting the solo displays of the RAF, the Tucano, Typhoon and Chinook. No less than four Italian solo displays came also to the land of her majesty, AMX, Typhoon, Tornado and C-27 “Spartan”.

And now I would like to share amazing news with great pride. Each year at Fairford a series of prestigious prices are awarded such as the best demonstration, the best show, the best demon with a jet, etc... This year the Sir Douglas Bader trophy, in memory of this great ace of the Royal Air Force, was awarded for the best individual flight display to Cdt Avi Renaud “Grat” Thys of the 350 Squadron of the Belgian Air Force, what an honour for our F-16 solo display. The trophy not only rewards the pilot but also rewards the whole team, mechanics, gunsmiths, crew chiefs, etc...

Whereas “Grat” is ending his third and last show season before handing over his seat to another pilot and aircraft, we already thank him for, during those three years, having brightened the colours of our country with his dedicated “FA84”.

But the airshow season has not ended yet and we will have some more occasions to see Cdt “Grat” Thys fly before us. Congratulations, guys!

    
Cdt Renaud "Grat" Thys & Sir Douglas Bader...from dream to reality

To cut a long story short, an excellent RIAT, thanks to all the participants, the organizers and the volunteers who work in the shadow to bring us this internationally renowned airshow.
SBAP wishes to thank in particular Mr Richard Arquati Head of Media and Public Relations, Jane Leigh our contact and all the media team for welcoming us hardly and granting us the facilities during our stay enabling us to present you this report.

Agusta A109E AS332M1 Super Puma
MBB BO105P Army SA341B Gazelle AH.1
Royal Marines SA341B Gazelle AH.1 Royal Air Force WA341D Gazelle
AW 101 Merlin HC3 SA330 Puma HC2
Aerospatiale Squirrel HT.1 Bell Griffin HT.1
Royal Navy Lynx HMA 8 Royal Navy AW EH-101 Merlin HM1
Raytheon T-6B Texan II BAE Systems Hawk T1
Aero L-39C Breitling Jet Team Qinetiq Alpha jet A1
Irish Air Corps Pilatus PC-9
Saab JAS-39D Gripen Spanish Air Force EF-18M Hornet
Greece Air Force LTV TA-7C Corsair II
Tail Story 1 Tail Story 2
Tail Story 3 Tail Story 4
 

The Textron AirLand Scorpion is a proposed American light attack and Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) jet aircraft. The aircraft is being developed by Textron AirLand, LLC, a joint venture between Textron and AirLand Enterprises, LLC.
Airland Enterprises LLC, Textron's partner in the project, is described by Textron spokesman David Sylvestre as "a group of outside investors who originally came to Textron with the concept of a lower cost tactical jet”.
A prototype was secretly constructed by Cessna at their Wichita, Kansas facility between April 2012 and September 2013 and first flown on 12 December 2013.
In October 2011, Airland Enterprises approached Textron with the concept of building the "world’s most affordable tactical jet aircraft." The two companies created a joint venture called Textron AirLand and development of an aircraft began in January 2012. Neither Textron nor its subsidiaries had much experience designing fixed-wing combat aircraft. Textron sees a market for the type: while modern military aircraft grow more expensive, defense budgets are declining. Named Scorpion, the first concept had a single engine. In early 2012, engineers reviewed over 12 design configurations that would meet their goals and shortlisted four designs; the team eventually settled on the tandem-seat, twin-engine configuration. The aircraft was kept secret, being identified by the codename SCV12-1, or simply "the project." At its peak, the production team was 200 people, which eventually decreased to 170, including 120 engineers. The outside contours were made in May 2012, with wing production starting in August. In an unconventional step, wind tunnel tests were performed the next month, taking place after wing parts were already being made. In a traditional aircraft development program, the Department of Defense or a military service would issue detailed requirements, potentially hundreds of pages long. Instead, Textron AirLand did market and capability analysis to determine what domestic and foreign forces required but didn't have. The design team made up of personnel from Textron, Cessna, and Bell Helicopter was assembled in one building with everyone focused on the task, enabling decisions to be made in hours instead of days. To not alert any potential competitors, development was kept secret through the signing of non-disclosure agreements, obtaining parts from local suppliers, and the natural close-knit, "small town" nature of Wichita. The company commercially developed a military product through reusing technology from the Cessna inventory or using other existing and readily-available components and hardware.[10] The Scorpion was unveiled on 16 September 2013. If a customer can be found, production could begin in 2015. Deliveries can begin 15–18 months after an order is received.
In late November Textron spokesman David Sylvestre confirmed that while Cessna had been involved in building the prototype Scorpion, the company may not build any production models. Sylvestre stated, "depending on demand and manufacturing capacity needs, the final site of Scorpion manufacturing beyond the initial low rate production (2015) is yet to be decided. It may be built 'at' Cessna, but by the joint venture called Textron AirLand...which is a legal entity of Textron Inc. and AirLand Enterprises LLC. Cessna itself is not formally a co-owner of the joint venture at this time."
The Scorpion demonstrator completed pre-flight taxi trials on 25 November 2013 in preparation for the aircraft's first flight. The Scorpion first flew on 12 December 2013 for 1.4 hours. The flight occurred 23 months after the aircraft's conception, and the flight certification program will last two years. Within the next 12 months, Textron Airland hopes to complete 500 flight hours and verify basic performance features. A demonstration involving sensors and weapons is expected by the end of 2014 Additional flights were conducted in January and February 2014. Initial flight tests showed positive results in evaluations of performance and mechanical and electronic systems. On 9 April 2014, Textron AirLand announced that the Scorpion had reached 50 flight hours over 26 flights. It was flown as high as 30,000 ft (9,100 m), at speeds as fast as 310 kn (360 mph; 570 km/h) and 430 kn (490 mph; 800 km/h), and subjected to G-forces ranging from 3.7 to -0.5 Gs. Stall speed was identified at slower than 90 kn (100 mph; 170 km/h). Other tests performed included single-engine climbs and in-flight engine shutdown and restart. Pilots reported that the Scorpion was nimble, agile, and powerful even when flown on one engine, with good low speed characteristics. The aircraft demonstrated an intercept of a Cessna 182 as a typical general aviation aircraft. Few issues were encountered, attributed to the use of mature, non-developmental systems. 300-400 flight hours are to be performed in 2014 over 150 flights, including a number of international flights.
The Scorpion demonstrator is a tandem-seat twin engine jet aircraft with an all-composite fuselage designed for light attack and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. Production costs have been kept to a minimum by using components developed for Cessna business jet platforms, common technology and manufacturing resources. The flap drive mechanism is from the Cessna Citation XLS and Cessna Citation Mustang, while the aileron drive mechanism is from the Citation X. Textron Airland refers to the Scorpion as an ISR/strike aircraft rather than a light strike plane. It is meant to handle "non-traditional ISR" flights that U.S. fighters had done in Iraq and Afghanistan. A-10 and F-16 aircraft that flew in combat rarely were shot at and did not employ weapons on most flights. Resulting costs were in the range of tens of thousands of dollars an hour and used up the service life of high-end assets. The Scorpion is designed to cheaply perform armed reconnaissance using sensors to cruise above 15,000 ft, higher than most ground fire can reach, and is still rugged enough to sustain minimal damage.
As of 19 May 2014, the Scorpion had flown 76.4 hours in 41 test flights; no planned flights were cancelled due to mechanical or maintenance issues, but several were cancelled due to weather. Incremental improvements were to be made to the aircraft over the course of testing, but participation in the Farnborough International Airshow accelerated changes. Modifications made to the Scorpion include an engine inlet ice protection system and a metal inlet leading edge in place of the composite one for flying in a broader range of weather conditions, a cockpit ladder so the pilot does not need a ground crew ladder, an onboard oxygen-generating system in place of oxygen bottles, and other non-urgent items. The modified Scorpion will be painted and resume flights on June 1 before going to the U.K.
The Scorpion will take part in an exercise in August 2014 in an attempt to generate interest in an order from the U.S. Air National Guard. The premise is that a tornado goes through Kansas and hits a train carrying chemicals, creating a situation with a large chemical spill cleanup and search-and-rescue operations. A Textron test pilot will fly the Scorpion, which will circle the area for a few hours and transmit full motion video of the area to Guard members. This exercise is to demonstrate the aircraft's intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities to fulfill a niche for Air Guard missions.

 



(Courtesy Textron) (Bruno Ghils for static display)
Fighters, the past and the present
Luftwaffe C-160D Transall
Spanish Air Force Casa C-295M
Polish Air Force Casa C-295M
Lithuanian Air Force C-27J Spartan
Portugal Air Force Casa C-295MPA British Aerospace BAe-146-301ARA
 (Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements – FAAM)
Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) Boeing 767-2FK
US Navy Boeing P-8 Poseidon
USAF Boeing KC-135R
German Navy Lockheed P-3C Orion
Algerian Air Force Lockheed C-130H Oman Air Force (SOAF) Lockheed C-130J
Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Belgian Air Force new fuel sponsor (to be fresh with foam on the top)
Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
Folland Gnat T.1
BAC Jet Provost T.5A De Havilland Vampire T55 (Export version of T11)
Training, the past and the present Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina
Hawker Hunter T7 English Electric Canberra PR9
Some general vue of the event...
Italian Air Force EF2000 Typhoon display
RAF Boeing CH-47 MkII display
Italian Air Force Lockheed C-27J Spartan display
Lockheed Martin F-16C Soloturk
Polish Air Force Sukhoi Su-22M4
Italian Air Force Frecce Tricolori
Little smoke system  problem at landing
Airbus EADS A400M display
Italian Air Force AMX display
Boeing F-18F display
Northrop F-5E Tiger II  Patrouille Suisse
Swedish Saab JAS 39C display
RAF Short Tucano T.1 display
PZL-130 “Orlik” TC-I trainer  “Orlik team”
Austrian Saab 105OE display
Estonian Aero L-39C display
RAF AH-64D Apache Solo Display
   










RAF Red Arrows…50 years of excellence
   
Italian Air Force Tornado ECR display
   




Belgian Air Force F-16AM solo display…Our awarded “Grat” in action…Congratulations for the wonderful price to all the team!
   
Breitling Jet Team Aero L-39C
 
The Breitling Wingwalkers at four aircraft
BBMF Douglas C-47 Dakota Mk III
Swiss Air Force Super Puma display
BBMF Avro Lancaster Mk III & Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXe  
Looking to the planes?
 Part n°2   Text & Pictures: Alexander Vandenbohede © sbap 2014

 

 

 

"If the crowd have time to lick their ice-creams,
we aren't doing our job properly!"
Sqn Ldr Ray Hanna and his Gnat-mounted Red Arrows
knew very well how to rob you of a good refresher.
Not so many things have changed since the 1960s.
In their celebrating 50th display season, the Red Arrows
still know how to keep your attention.
The Reds appropriately took a centre stage in this year's RIAT.


 

 

 

Besides the Red's birthday party, this year Royal International Air Tattoo had something for everybody: from classic jets and historic warbirds to today's frontline jets and famous display teams. It resulted in a highly varied show, although a little bit more punch in the early afternoon would have been nice. What follows is a report on Sunday's display and Monday's always entertaining departure day.

And oh, there was some fuzz about a high-profile American fighter which was canceled, but I didn't really catch what it was all about. Probably not so important ...

 
 

The pros and contras of a "Farnborough year". The show was "opened" by this F-18F which canceled its afternoon demo and headed towards Farnborough. But Farnborough influence had also its good moments: this Textron AirLand Scorpion made its international debut.

 
 

40 years of F-16 was another theme and solo displays of Belgian, Dutch and Turkish air force participated in the flying display. Further examples of the Belgian, Danish, Dutch, and Norwegian air force were in the static. A thematic flight, like we had them in the past, was surely missed here!

 

RAF, German and Italian Typhoons could be admired.
The RAF example with D-Day commemoration markings
gave an impressive display, finishing with some fly pasts
together with BBMF Spitfire MK356.
Specially decorated examples of 29 and 6 Sqn added some colour.

 

There was a large Italian delegation with
the Frecce Tricolore painting the flag in
the sky and a Tornado and Typhoon delivering
some raw jet noise.
The C-27 always impresses with its aerobatics
whereas an AMX gave a not so often
seen but graceful demo.

 

 

Besides the already mentioned Red Arrows and Frecce Tricolore, other display teams were present: the civil Breitling Jet Team; Patrouille Suisse, also showing 50 years markings; Patrouille de France, but only on Saturday; and the ever fascinating Royal Jordanian Falcons. Unfortunately, a formation flight of the jet team leaders with the Red Arrows was only on Friday!

 
 

The Orlik (Eagle) aerobatic team of the Polish air force formed a welcome addition to the flying program. The team flies nine Polish-built PZL-130 “Orlik” TC-I trainers. The team's planes don't have any special color scheme and all of the team members are volunteers from 2nd Flight Training Center in Radom-Sadkow Air Base. Great show!

 
There are always quite some C-130s to be seen,
in the static or as support
during the departure day.
Examples of Algeria, Belgium, Italy, Jordan,
the Netherlands, Norway, Oman and Sweden
could be
watched this year.
 

The A400 showed its maneuverability whereas a Lithuanian C-27 provided an interesting airplane in the static.

 

An Estonian L-39C Albatros trainer,
Spanish F-18 Hornet and a German
 P-3C Orion colored a participant
field which contained less specially
decorated aircraft than in recent years. 
It was especially great to see the Albatros
with its elegant solo display back this year.

 

 

The Midair Squadron’s Canberra PR9 (XH134) and Hunter T7 (XL577) were a highlight in the static park. The Canberra is the only flying example of the type in the world and represents a PR9 in the markings worn when the type entered service. These classic British jets could be seen in action during the departure day.

 

Let's end this report with the Red Arrows waving
the Union Jack in the sky above Fairford
and with some of its history: a Gnat in the colors
of the Yellowjacks and the Red Arrows.

 Part n°3   Pictures: Jacques Vincent © sbap 2014
Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon T.1 Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4
Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4
Royal Air Force British Aerospace Hawk T.1 Royal Air Force British Aerospace Hawk T.1
Royal Air Force British Aerospace Hawk T.2 Royal Air Force British Aerospace Hawk T.1
Royal Air Force British Aerospace Hawk T.1 Royal Air Force Alpha jet A1
Royal Air Force Grob G-115E Tutor Royal Air Force Short Tucano T.1
Royal Air Force SA330 Puma HC2 Royal Air Force AW 101 Merlin HC3
Royal Air Force Boeing CH-47 MkII Royal Air Force AH-64D Apache
Royal Air Force Beechcraft B200GT King Air English Electric Canberra PR9
Royal Air Force Agusta A109E Royal Air Force British Aerospace BAe 146-300 Qinetiq
Royal Navy Beech 350 Avenger T1 British Aerospace BAe-146-301ARA
Algerian Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130H Irish Air Corp Pilatus PC-9
Italian Air Force AMX international Italian Air Force EF2000 Typhoon
Italian Air Force Tornado ECR Italian Air Force Aermacchi MB-339 PAN
Italian Air Force Piaggio P.180 Avanti Italian Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J
Italian Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Italian Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J-30
Austrian Air Force Saab 105OE Austrian Air Force Saab 105OE
Belgian Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130H Belgian Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16AM
Czech Air Force Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger Piaggio P.166 Albatross
Luftwaffe C-160D Transall Luftwaffe Eurofighter EF2000S Typhoon
German Navy Lockheed P-3C Orion Lithuanian Air Force Lockheed Martin C-27J Spartan
Helenic Air Force LTV TA-7C Corsair II Helenic Air Force LTV TA-7C Corsair II
Japan Air Self Defence Force Boeing 767-2FK Japan Air Self Defence Force Boeing 767-2FK
Netherland Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16AM Oman Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J
Turkish Air Force C-160D Transall USAF Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle
Polish Air Force Casa C-295M Polish Air Force Casa C-295M
Polish Air Force Casa C-295M Polish Air Force Sukhoi Su-22M4
Polish Air Force Sukhoi Su-22M4 Polish Air Force Sukhoi Su-22M4
Danish Air Force Canadair CL604 Challenger Danish Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16AM
Danish Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16BM Royal Jordanian Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130H
Netherland Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130H Norvegian Air Force Lockheed C-130J-30
Norvegian Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16AM Norvegian Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16BM
Spanish Air Force Boeing EF-18M Hornet Swedish Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130H
Swedish Air Force Saab JAS-39C Gripen Swedish Air Force Saab JAS-39D Gripen
Swiss Air Force Beech 1900D Swiss Air Force Boeing F/A-18A Hornet
Swiss Air Force AS332M1 Super Puma Swiss Air Force Northrop F-5E Tiger II 
Spartan 7W Executive Rockwell OV-10 Bronco

Reports Menu - Homepage