RIAT Air Tattoo Fairford 2007





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Published on Aug 2, 2007

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military airshow, held annually over the third weekend in July, usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. The show attracts around 150,000 spectators.

The Air Tattoo started in 1971 as an airshow to support the Royal Air Force Association held at North Weald, Essex. It outgrew the small airfield and the show was moved to the United States Air Force operated base of RAF Greenham Common near Newbury, Berkshire in 1973. The Air Tattoo was held at Greenham Common in 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983. When the airfield was selected as a cruise missile base, a new venue at RAF Fairford was found.

The first Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford was in 1985. It became an annual show from 1993. Due to runway repairs at RAF Fairford the show was held at RAF Cottesmore, Rutland in 2000 and 2001.

In 1996 the show was awarded a royal warrant to use the prefix Royal and it became the Royal International Air Tattoo.

The shows have had a number of airshow firsts, including the first display and landing of a B-2A Spirit outside of the United States.

Although the show has been a showcase for the world's military, the show has become an important precursor to the bi-annual Farnborough Air Show held in the following week. It allows the aerospace industry to display and present itself outside of the commercial pressures of the Farnborough show.

In 2006 around 300 aircraft were on display from 24 different countries.



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