RIAT 2019

For aviation enthusiasts with a military bias the annual trip to the Cotswolds has become something of a pilgrimage. Whilst the Royal International Air Tattoo in 2019 was not blessed with the best of weather the variety and rarity of some displays made it a “must see” event. Topshotfoto.com had a successful stand on all three public days and it was great to meet so many of our regular customers in person.
The Turkish Air Force provided a pair of F-4E 2020 Phantoms for the static display this year and upon arrival they deployed braking chutes. Both aircraft were from 111 Filo and sported colourful tail markings.(below)
If the climb to Axalp from Meiringen for the Swiss live fire exercise in October requires too much exercise the Swiss Hornet display provided a superb display with plenty of “fluff” from the humidity.(seen on Thursday below)
The first public day, Friday, was wet and dark with much of the planned flying affected. Proving that aviation photography doesn’t always need blue skies and the sun on your back the Spanish AV-8B Harrier 11 plus provided some spectacular shots landing just after a downpour. (below)
The crew of the Royal Netherlands Air Force CH-47D Chinook in the static park made the best of the poor weather! (below)
Saturday morning and golden sunlight greeted us as we opened the stand well before normal breakfast time. The lure of the two Phantoms was too much in this light. (below)
With intermittent blue skies the flying display provided some blue sky for the fast jet performances. The Ukranian Su-27P Flanker of the 831st Tactical Aviation Brigade is a large aircraft but it appeared extremely agile in its routine. (below)
The D-Day 75 commemoration this June resulted in this specially marked Belgian F-16 with tail art depicting a Spitfire over the invasion beaches. (below)
The Finnish Hornet solo display was another highlight of the day. (below)
Regular readers of our blog will already know we are massive fans of the British Airways BOAC retro schemed 747. It is simply stunning and to our minds the most beautiful livery for an airliner. If only there was a VC10 still flying to decorate! Here are a couple of pictures…Oh and its with the Red Arrows who were on their last UK show before heading off to North America. (below)
The Airbus A400M provided a sprightly take off for its slot. (below)
…and the next day seen from the east end of the runway prior to landing.
The USAF Viper Demo team F-16 seen on Saturday and also a close up of delamination on the tail horizontal surface which cut its Sunday display short.
Mig-21s have never been a common sight in the west but the Romanian Air Force Mig-21 Lancer C was an undoubted highlight at Fairford. Its close pass was a welcome surprise!
So another RIAT has finished and like Christmas and birthdays we look forward to RIAT 2020. We leave you with a photo from our archives of a SR71A Blackbird arriving at the 1989 event. Whilst the quality of digital photographs has been an improvement over negative film we miss the raw excitement of this blast from the past… until next time.

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