Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2018

Discussion relating to 2018 airshows/fly-ins/exercises/other events. Post news before the event and post your photos afterwards! Please create only one thread per event.
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Adam
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Re: Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2018

Post by Adam » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:37 pm

Flying Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 added today! Plus an Il-76 and second S-27 in the static. This is a fantastic update and the first really exciting one for a few weeks. Other additions since I last posted here include:
- Airbus A400M in the flying display, as per
- Belgian F-16 and A-109 officially confirmed flying
- Eight USAF aircraft added to the static, including a B-1B Lancer and B-52H Stratofortress, plus a CV-22 in the flying display
- Six F-16s added to the static on one a single day (from Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands)
- 23 Royal Air Force aircraft added to the static - mostly trainers and light aircraft but a good number of heavies, including the elusive RC-135

The static display is looking very good indeed - I count 28 heavies confirmed so far and something like 85+ aircraft on static in total. Interestingly, that's similar to the last few years, and given the increased RAF support this year that must mean there's actually been a decline in international/civilian particupation, which is very surprising.

Given DBH have spent the last 2+ years negotiating with dozens of far-flung air forces for this show, it's disappointing to see none of that has come to fruition with the possible exception of Canada. Having said that, if the organisers confirm these one-off RAF commemorative displays they say they are "hoping" for, I'll be willing to reverse much of my previous criticism of this show. It's looking so, so much better than six weeks ago.
Last edited by Adam on Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Adam » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:57 am

My "Smoke On" podcast for This is Flight, previewing this year's show: https://soundcloud.com/user-476869953/s ... how-1-2018
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Post by Bingofuel » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:41 pm

Great Summary and Podcast...Although I'm pretty sure Ukraine doesn't own any thrust-vectored SU-27's. Only the SU-30/35 variant has 3D vectoring.

Last year's RIAT display was on a regular stock SU-27.
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Post by Adam » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:24 pm

Bingofuel wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:41 pm
Great Summary and Podcast...Although I'm pretty sure Ukraine doesn't own any thrust-vectored SU-27's. Only the SU-30/35 variant has 3D vectoring.

Last year's RIAT display was on a regular stock SU-27.
Oh arse. Brings my error count up to two, the other being the Belgian A109, which last displayed in 2013, not 2012. 10 points to whoever can find the next error...
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Post by Adam » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:49 am

Just returned from a great week at RIAT. Here's my video of the show:


Arrivals were great. I'd never have believed that aircraft would be allowed to taxy so close to the crowd. Often their wings were overhanging us as they went past. The US Navy E-6 had pods under the wingtips which would have almost taken my head off if someone hadn't pushed me out the way at the last second! I was looking through the viewfinder and hadn't noticed.

The flying display suffered greatly from the loss of two of the three star items at the last minute (ie. MiG-21 and Atlantique) although luckily I at least saw the Atlantique rehearse before it departed home.

So on to the flying... The 8.5 hour daily flying displays had a lot of big names and no filler. There were five national aerobatic teams. I did enjoy Patrulla Aguila and the Royal Jordanian Falcons, and the Swiss PC-7 Team put on a really good show, although the Red Arrows and Frecce Tricolori were in another league. The Frecce really were absurdly good, and the Red Arrows routine was my favourite they've put together in the last few seasons.

Of the Hornets, the Swiss F-18 was superb, the Finnish example was brilliantly aggressive and the Canadian CF-18 had a great scheme, although the display itself was simplistic and formulaic in comparison to the other fast jet demos. Of the F-16s, both the Greek and Polish examples put on solid demonstrations, but SoloTurk and Dark Falcon were in a league of their own with fantastic displays. I must say, though, I thought the Belgian F-16 was had some nicer manoeuvres last year and I also found the Dark Falcon paint scheme wasn't as good in the flesh as I had hoped for, I far preferred the previous special scheme.

There were also two Typhoons; a rather high and distant display from the Italians and a surprisingly solid display from the RAF, which exceeded expectations after I heard poor reviews of it earlier this year. There were two Gripen displays too, with both the Swedish and Czech jets putting on entertaining routines, although the Swedish jet's smokewinders added a dynamic edge which the Czech Gripen was sorely lacking. We also saw the superb French Air Force Rafale C (astonishingly good, as always), Italian M-345 Master (better than expected, but not a highlight by any means) and Ukrainian Su-27, which was fantastic, although I think last year's Su-27 display had more of a 'wow' factor. On the first day the Su-27 was very low on his slow-speed high-alpha pass, and I imagine he got a bollocking for that as he was much higher for the rest of the week.

There were two heavies in the flying display: the A400M was superb as always, but the C-27 was a big let-down. This year all aerobatics were removed from the show to focus on operational manoeuvres and the result was a very ordinary display, rather than the jaw-dropping, award-winning performance we are used to.

The US supported the show with a surprise B-2 flypast direct from Whiteman AFB on the Saturday, although sadly this was a high straight and level pass rather than last year's amazing topside. We also got the F-35 Heritage Flight, which was the only display of the week that I would actually describe as being poor. Actually, poor is an understatement. On the Friday, we were told to expect a heritage flight, the narrator did his mini-demo script (even though it was clearly wrong) and the pilot flew a full demo. Unfortunately, this "demo" mostly comprised of very distant straight passes with a bunt at crowd centre. The gaps between each pass were longer than the gaps between some of the actual display items! On the last two days, we got a heritage flight with a P-51D and Spitfire to celebrate RAF100. The first pass seemed to be at several thousand feet and the second and third passes were so far away that they were a full mile in front of the crowd (I know this because I spent one day in my campsite, which was a mile in front of the crowd, and from there the formation went straight overhead). Then, despite this being a special RAF100 heritage flight being performed in the UK, the commentator still stuck to his US script, thanking the audience for our contributions to American freedom. Git.

We had two two-ship tactical demonstrations, both from France. the Navy sent a pair of Rafale Ms for a display that didn't live up to the hype, but certainly improved through the week and had some nice moments. The Air Force sent the two Mirage 2000Ds of Couteau Delta, who were utterly superb. Plenty of topsides and almost constant afterburner - a real treat to see.

Special mention must also go to the BBMF, with the best display I have ever seen them fly. On Saturday, they flew "Trenchard Plus" formation; three Spitfires, two Hurricanes, Lancaster and Dakota. Following this, two Spitfires performed a synchro pair display with breaks and opposition passes, before the Lancaster and Dakota ran in towards crowd centre for a spectacular break. A superb display worthy of great commendation.

The RAF support was pretty poor in comparison to other air arms in their centenary years. The main 50-aircraft flypast was cancelled due to weather and instead we got a 9-ship of Typhoons and a very nice formation of Lancaster, F-35B and Tornado. Great though that was, there was potential for far more special one-off set pieces just using aircraft at the show. The Red Arrows and Vampires (both flying back-to-back but not together) for example, representing the RAF's aerobatic teams past and present. Gnat, Vampire T.55 and Jet Provost representing past RAF trainers (all present in the static or flying displays), perhaps in formation with a Hawk or Tucano of today. I could go on. Instead we got two off-the-shelf displays (Great War Display Team and Vampire pair) which, while good to see, were not particularly inspiring and dragged on too long.

A shout out to the commentary team though, lead by Ben Dunnell and ably assisted Mark Manwaring. Dunnell has proved once again, in my eyes at least, that he is the premier airshow commentator on the planet, and Manwaring compliments him very well indeed.

So that's RIAT 2018. No doubt it was a great airshow, but was it a fitting RAF100 celebration? I'd argue probably not. Take away the RAF100 stickers and don't listen to the commentary, and the average punter wouldn't have known there was anything special happening. Nonetheless, I still had a great week, and I look forward to doing it all again some time in the future.
Last edited by Adam on Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Bokimon » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:04 pm

Excellent! This years show must of been a blast!! Beats any of the Canadian shows that places safety margins a bit too extreme, 600m+ from the rwy seating to the rwy centerline at Abby for instance.. weak.
I am so glad our RCAF represented very very well over there and a ton of brits must appreciate it, especially the Norad CF188 flybys thru Mach Loop.I hope this will cause the RAF to send their Typhoon demo our way next year in return..
But wait, what about the Sukhoi demo??

I wonder now if the recent rules governing airshow performings have been implemented causing the further than usual flypasts. better not, but we'll see for Farnborough this week.
Last edited by Bokimon on Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Adam » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:13 pm

Bokimon wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:04 pm
Excellent! This years show must of been a blast!! Beats any of the Canadian shows that places safety margins a bit too extreme, 600m+ from the rwy seating to the rwy centerline at Abby for instance.. weak.
I am so glad our RCAF represented very very well over there and a ton of brits must appreciate it, especially the Norad CF188 flybys thru Mach Loop.I hope this will cause the RAF to send their Typhoon demo our way next year in return..
But wait, what about the Sukhoi demo??

I wonder now if the recent rules governing airshow performings have been implemented causing the further than usual flypasts. better not, but we'll see for Farnborough this week.
The RCAF very deservedly got the award for the best overall contribution to the show - and a very good choice it was too. I'm not holding my breath, but I sincerely hope the favour is returned.

Farnborogh has a different ruleset to RIAT as it is governed by the Civil Aviation Authority rather than the Military Aviation Authority and is severely restricted by recent building developments around the airfield. The Farnborough flying display is very tame as a result of those developments, rather than changes to the standard CAA rulebook.
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Post by Chris Smallenberg » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:26 pm

Bokimon wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:04 pm
Beats any of the Canadian shows that places safety margins a bit too extreme, 600m+ from the rwy seating to the rwy centerline at Abby for instance.. weak.
Not to hijack this thread from RIAT conversation, but it should be noted that the runway at Abbotsford is not that far away from the crowd for safety reasons of the airshow audience but in order to keep the homes to the south of the airport out of the airshow box. Unfortunate, I agree, but a necessity for the Airshow's survival.

Now if anyone has photos from RIAT, please share!
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Post by dominicm » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:36 am

Probably the only full size air show I go to but so worth it. This year was no exception. Perfect weather was icing on the cake. I will add videos as I upload. All filmed in best 4K resolution at 60 frames per second.

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Post by RyanS » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:39 pm

dominicm wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:36 am
Probably the only full size air show I go to but so worth it. This year was no exception. Perfect weather was icing on the cake. I will add videos as I upload. All filmed in best 4K resolution at 60 frames per second.

I bumped this post to the existing RIAT thread to keep all of the posts together. Can't wait to see more! Sounds like Adam will have some videos to share with us also
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