ROYAL INTERNATIONAL AIR TATTOO 2022 - RAF Fairford / UK
Update: 2022/09/30 by Will Moore / CHK6
After a two year absence due to Covid protection measures the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) made its comeback in style. The three day event held over the weekend of 15th,16th and 17th of July was well worth the wait especially for military fast jet fans. In the background to the event were a couple of factors that cast a shadow on the mood of the show. The weather is always a concern for the organisers, participants and folks attending but not usually for the reason on everyone’s mind this year. The UK was having a heat wave with temperatures in the mid 30 degree range all week, and the forecast for the show days was getting higher raising questions of audience safety particularly for the Sunday. The Meteorological Office predicted temperatures of 40 degrees plus for the Monday with the Government announcing a red alert for all emergency services. Fortunately the heat didn’t peak until Monday and Tuesday with the UK recording its highest temperatures ever recorded on both days, closing down most rail transport and even Luton Airport and RAF Brize Norton due to runway problems. The other spectre on the horizon was of course the war in Ukraine. The organisers paid tribute to the Ukrainian Pilot Col Oleksandr Oksanchenko who was killed in action during the war. In 2017 he won the “As the crow files Trophy” for the best overall display in the Sukhoi Su-27P1M.
The final shadow over the gathering was of course Covid 19 and tributes were made to many people who lost their lives and to the people who acted to protect the public over this period. The overall themes of the show this year were the United States Air Force 75TH Anniversary and the 80th Anniversary of the United States Army Airforce “ The Mighty 8th” . This year there were over 60 international delegations attending and over 300 combined on static and flying displays and with an expected 170,000 spectators over the 3 display days it was one of the biggest in RIAT’s history.