Text: Bruno Ghils - Translation: Marc Arys  © sbap 2016
Pictures: Bruno Ghils, Philippe Decock & Jacques Vincent
 
 

RIAT 2016, the biggest airshow in Europe was held at the Fairford airbase on July 08 and 10, 2016 and lived up his reputation.
Gathering the greatest aerial show, the biggest static show, the biggest number of aircraft from all over the world is the trademark of the RIAT.
Right after the show, the organizers get to work to already prepare the next one, with their challonge of having the greatest number of foreign delegations with their aircraft of course and each time, the RIAT team achieves its goal.
There are, of course, the regular visitors, neighbouring countries, the NATO allies and the BFF who will never miss a show : France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Jordania, Pakistan, Oman and much more. Regulars but also surprises and moreover occasions of unusual encounters…
What makes RIAT so fabulous is the encounter of all those people, to hear all those foreign languages, to see all these various cultures, to talk to the pilots or the crews, who we otherwise never have to opportunity to talk to, picture airplanes with roundels which the passionate dreamed of being a child and building his first 'Airfix' kit. Photographing a kiwi or a kangaroo on an airplane, dreaming of the long voyage the KC-767J made flying in from Japan, talking French with Canadian pilots, German with the Polish, English with the Spanish..; This also is Fairford !
But apart from these human encounters, when attending the Tatoo, you are there to see aircraft fly and admire the aerial demonstrations. The Red Arrows, of course, the smoking Frecci Tricolori from Italy, the Polish and Croatian teams (the Croations being rewarded for their show) and the 'Ramex Delta'. The team of the strategic French Air Force made its last public appearance at Fairford before being disbanded. Indeed, the famous squadron 2/4 'LaFayette' which celebrates its 100 anniversary will soon loose its Mirage 2000N to be replaced by the Rafale). Ramex Delta won the trophy for the best foreign aerial demonstration - the RAFCTE Trophy. Moreover, the specially painted Mirage 2000N, design by our contributor Régis Rocca, won the award for the best decoration of the Tatoo. Magnificent trophy for a team which landed for the last time and a certain pride for the designer and the whole SBAP-staff.
The French did not alone do well regarding the beauty of their airplanes or teams, Capt "Marty" Martinez, Rafale demonstration pilot from Escadron 2/92 Aquitaine won the award for the best 'jet' demo. Congratulations to "Marty" ! Other awards went to BAE Systems test pilot Nat Makepeace for his performance on the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 and to the Swedish pilot flying the Saab Gripen.
The European industry once again proved its know-how and mastery in aeronautics.
But Fairford is not the European industry alone. You also have the American industry and manufacturers and even if the NAVY made an impressive come-back with the F/A-18 F Super Hornet and the USAF showed its CV-22B Osprey and F-22 "Raptor" with mastery, the real highlight of RIAT 2016 was without a doubt the F-35 Lightning II.
We were finally able to look, up to the flight demonstrations of the F-35 B, first escorted by the Red Arrows and a RAF Typhoon, followed by a solo display concluded by a stationary flight and vertical landing. The dream of every Royal Navy and RAF pilot who at last will find a replacement for their regretted Harrier and Sea Harrier. Thanks to the F-35 B and the new aircraft carrier 'Queen Elisabeth', the Royal Navy will regain its full capability, quite good news for the United Kingdom and Europe.
Besides the F-35 B, visitors could also watch the basic version of the F-35. Even if the American Marines, the Royal Navy, the RAF and the Italian Navy seak to replace their Harriers, numerous air forces throughout the world had found through the F-35 A a replacement for their F-16, F-18, Tornados and other former generation fighters. With numerous orders from the USAF, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Australia, Israel and various others, we will see more of this amazing airplane for times to come.
Presented in synchro pair with a F-22 'Raptor' from the US Air Force normally based at langley AFB followed by a solo display. Noteworthy is the fact that the F-22 which gratified us with a superb solo demonstration, regularly flew off to, among other shows, fly a demo of the USAF Heritage Flight, during the renowned Flying Legends at Duxford. A paired flight of a F-22 'Raptor' and a P-51 D…
This years theme was "The next generation : Inspiring Innovation". Next year we will have " US AIR FORCES 70th ANNIVERSARY". The past and the future… this is RIAT !
What can we say more ? A superb show, fantastic aircraft, great people, all this pathed together by an excellent team : the organizers team of the Royal International Air tatoo, the RAF Caritable Trust, the Royal Air Force and all the voluteers.
SBAP would like to thank heartily the media team and Mrs Elle Webster in particular for the welcome and facilities granted during our stay.

 
(© Bruno Ghils)
Hawker Hunter F.58 (ZZ191)  former Swiss Air Force (J-4058)
(© Philippe Decock)
Panavia Tornado-GR.4T (ZG771) RAF Marham anniversary 
(© Philippe Decock)
Piaggio P-166C
(© Philippe Decock)
Mil Mi-171Sh (223) Slovenian Air Force
(© Philippe Decock)
Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon S Luftwaffe 60 anniversary
(© Philippe Decock)
The Typhoon tails
(© Bruno Ghils)
Mc.Donnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II Greece Air Force 339 Mira
(© Bruno Ghils)
Boeing 757-2K2 Royal New Zeeland Air Force
(© Philippe Decock)
CASA C295M Oman Air Force
(© Philippe Decock)
Lockheed C-130J C5 "Hercules" 50 years in RAF service
(© Philippe Decock)
Lockheed C-130H "Hercules" Pakistan Air Force
(© Philippe Decock)
Painting details
(© Philippe Decock)
Transall C-160D Luftwaffe LTG 62
(© Philippe Decock)
Airbus A-400M Luftwaffe LTG 62
(© Philippe Decock)
"Raptor" nest
(© Philippe Decock)
Lockheed Martin F-22A "Raptor" 1st Fighter Wing Langley AFB
(© Philippe Decock)
Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II VMFAT-501/VMX-1
US Marine Corps - MCAS Beaufort
(© Philippe Decock)
Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II 56th Fighter Wing
Luke AFB
(© Philippe Decock)
(© Philippe Decock) (© Philippe Decock)
(© Philippe Decock) Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II (© Bruno Ghils)
(© Bruno Ghils)
(© Philippe Decock)
Lockheed Martin F-16C 31.BLT
(© Bruno Ghils)
Polish Air Force, Poznan Krzesiny air base
(© Philippe Decock)
(© Philippe Decock) (© Philippe Decock)
(© Philippe Decock) (© Philippe Decock)
Eurofighter EF 2000  ALA 14
(© Bruno Ghils)
Spanish Air Force, Albacete air base
(© Philippe Decock)
(© Bruno Ghils) (© Philippe Decock)
Northrop F-5E Tiger II "Patrouille Suisse"  Emmen air base   (© Philippe Decock)
Lockheed Martin F-16C 340 Mira 
Greece Air Force, Soùda air base
(© Bruno Ghils)
Boeing Chinook HC4 18 sqn
Royal Air Force, Odiham air base
(© Philippe Decock)
Eurofighter Typhoon BAE Systems Warton air base
(© Bruno Ghils)
(© Bruno Ghils)
(© Bruno Ghils) Lockheed Martin F-16AM  31 Sqn
Belgian Air Force, Kleine Brogel air base
(© Bruno Ghils)
(© Philippe Decock) (© Philippe Decock)
Boeing AH-64D Apache  301 Sqn  Netherland Air Force, Gilze Rijen air base   (© Bruno Ghils)
Extra EA300L "Royal Jordanian Falcons"
(© Bruno Ghils)
The team is based at King Husein Intl Airport, Aqaba
(© Bruno Ghils)
US AIR FORCE Heritage Flight, certainly the stars of the show  (© Philippe Decock)
(© Philippe Decock) (© Philippe Decock)
(© Philippe Decock) (© Philippe Decock)
(© Bruno Ghils) (© Bruno Ghils)
Th fifth fighter generation 
(© Bruno Ghils)
Be ready to see them in the coming 50 years...
(© Bruno Ghils)
(© Bruno Ghils) (© Bruno Ghils)
Nice "Raptor" isn't it?
(© Bruno Ghils)
Lightning eye protections?
(© Bruno Ghils)
(© Bruno Ghils) (© Bruno Ghils)
(© Bruno Ghils) (© Bruno Ghils)
(© Philippe Decock)
P-51D Mustang "Miss Helen" on duty with the F-35A
(© Philippe Decock)
70 years difference!
(© Philippe Decock)
(© Philippe Decock) (© Philippe Decock)
(© Philippe Decock)
Extra EA330SC
(© Bruno Ghils)
Aude Lemordant, female world aerobatic champion
(© Bruno Ghils)

Polish Air Force, Radom air base
(© Bruno Ghils)
Orlik Aerobatic Team
(© Bruno Ghils)
(© Bruno Ghils) PZL-Mielek 130TC-II Turbo Orlik 
(© Bruno Ghils)
Lockheed Martin F-16C Turkish Air Force  141 Filo, Akinci air base   (© Philippe Decock)
Mikoyan Mig-29A  1.ELT
(© Bruno Ghils)
Polish Air Force, Minsk Mazowiecki air base
(© Bruno Ghils)
Airbus Military A-400M
(© Bruno Ghils)
Factory aircraft based at Toulouse
(© Bruno Ghils)
Red Arrows tribute to the new fighter generation    (© Philippe Decock)
(© Bruno Ghils) (© Bruno Ghils)
(© Bruno Ghils) (© Bruno Ghils)
(© Bruno Ghils) (© Bruno Ghils)
(© Bruno Ghils) (© Bruno Ghils)
(© Philippe Decock) (© Philippe Decock)
Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4
(© Philippe Decock)
(© Philippe Decock)
The Royal Air Force Lightning II ZM137   (© Philippe Decock)
Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey  7th Special Operations Squadron
(© Philippe Decock)
US Air Force, Mildenhall AFB
(© Philippe Decock)
(© Philippe Decock) (© Philippe Decock)
Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet  present by Boeing and the US Navy  (© Philippe Decock)
Agusta Westland Wildcat HMA2  825 Naval Air Squadron
(© Philippe Decock)
Royal Navy, RNAS Yeovilton
(© Philippe Decock)
Dassault Mirage 2000N  Esc 2/4 "Lafayette"
(© Philippe Decock)
French Air Force, BA125 Istres le Tubé
(© Philippe Decock)
(© Philippe Decock) The end of the "Ramex Delta"
(© Philippe Decock)

Aermacchi AT-339A
(© Bruno Ghils)
The Frecce Tricolori, Rivolto air base
(© Bruno Ghils)
(© Bruno Ghils) (© Bruno Ghils)
Mc.Donnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II Greece Air Force 339 Mira   (© Jacques Vincent)
Pilatus PC-9M "Krile Oluje"
(© Jacques Vincent)
Mil Mi-171Sh (223) Slovenian Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
Mc.Donnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II Greece Air Force 339 Mira
(© Jacques Vincent)
Lockheed Martin F-16C 340 Mira "Zeus"
(© Jacques Vincent)
Boeing AH-64D Apache  301 Sqn  Netherland Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
Northrop F-5E Tiger II "Patrouille Suisse"
(© Philippe Decock)
Bye...see you next year !
(© Jacques Vincent)
BAE Systems Hawk-T.2  RAF 4 Sqn
(© Jacques Vincent)
Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II VMFAT-501/VMX-1
(© Jacques Vincent)
(© Jacques Vincent)
Airbus A-400M Luftwaffe LTG 62
(© Jacques Vincent)
Transall C-160D Luftwaffe LTG 62
(© Jacques Vincent)
Airbus A-400M Royal Air Force 70 Squadron
(© Jacques Vincent)
(© Jacques Vincent)
Lockheed C-130H "Hercules" Pakistan Air Force
(© Philippe Decock)
Lockheed C-130J C5 "Hercules" 50 years in RAF service
(© Jacques Vincent)
Lockheed C-130J-30 "Hercules" Italian Air Force
(© Philippe Decock)
Lockheed MC-130J "Hercules" USAF
(© Jacques Vincent)
Lockheed C-130H "Hercules" Jordanian Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
Lockheed C-130H "Hercules" Spanish Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
CASA C295M Oman Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
CASA C295M Irish Air Corps
(© Jacques Vincent)
Lockheed C-27J Spartan Italian Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey
(© Jacques Vincent)
Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker Turkish Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) RAF
(© Jacques Vincent)
(© Jacques Vincent) Boeing 757-2K2 Royal New Zeeland Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
Boeing KC-767J Japan Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker USAF
(© Jacques Vincent)
Lockheed P-3C Orion Marineflieger
(© Jacques Vincent)
Lockheed CP-140 Aurora Canadian Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
Dassault Mirage 2000N French Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
Dassault Rafale C French Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
Dassault Breguet Dornier Alpha Jet E French Air Forve
(© Jacques Vincent)
Northrop F-5E Tiger II Swiss Air Force
75 years 19 Staffel
(© Jacques Vincent)
Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon S Luftwaffe 60 anniversary
(© Jacques Vincent)
Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon and Tornado IDS Luftwaffe
(© Philippe Decock)
Tornado IDS Luftwaffe
(© Jacques Vincent)
McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle  USAF
(© Jacques Vincent)
Lockheed Martin F-16AM Tiger 2016 Belgian Air Force
(© Jacques Vincent)
Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4  RAF Solo Display 2016
(© Jacques Vincent)
Hawker Hunter F.58 (ZZ191)
(© Philippe Decock)
BAC 84 Jet Provost T5  (XW324)
(© Philippe Decock)
Slingsby T.61F Venture Mk2  (ZA656)
(© Jacques Vincent)
Beech G18S (N45CF)
(© Jacques Vincent)
De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10  (WK514)
(© Jacques Vincent)
De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10  (WP964)
(© Jacques Vincent)
De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10  (WD286)
(© Jacques Vincent)
De Havilland Canada DHC-1A-1 Chipmunk  (G-AKDN) (c/n 11)
(© Jacques Vincent)
De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10  (WP973)
(© Jacques Vincent)
De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10  (WK558)
(© Jacques Vincent)

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