Wednesday, August 04, 2010

RIAT 2010 Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford

Hi everyone- well if there’s anyone left out there still reading my blog that is! I hope everyone is keeping well. I’m good, just been a bit busy and not doing much photographing of things lately.

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I have an unusual post (for me, anyway) for you all today. I recently took my Dad for his 50th birthday to the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford (RIAT 2010). We had a really great day and the aircraft on show were quite simply awesome.

We had an issue as the weather was dull, dark and grey, but not raining. This meant with my zoom lens not having a wide aperture, I struggled to pick up a lot of detail on the aircraft. However, after a teeny amount of fixing, it turns out that some of my photos are pretty darn good. Well, I like to think so anyway.

So, here we go. I’ll start with the new Airbus A400M military carrier.

A400M (2)


Now we have the B52 Bomber Stratofortress- one you should all be pretty familiar with. This was one of the planes that I think was used in Vietnam. (Please do correct me if I get any of this wrong, I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on these things!) It is massive!

B52 Bomber

B52 bomber (2)

Here is an Apache helicopter. This one is part of a Dutch display team- a strange team- of an F16 fighter jet and the Apache. I was amazed at what this helicopter could do!

Dutch Apache

And here we have the F16 (Fighting Falcon). I am particularly happy with these shots. Please bear in mind that the jets were flying by at super fast speeds. I think because this is orange my camera found it easier to pick up detail.

Dutch F16

Dutch F16 (2)

Dutch F16 (3)

Dutch F16 (4)

Now we move on to an awesome machine… from the USA… the F22 Raptor. This was absolutely stunning to watch, the noise sent chills down my spine and all my hairs stood up! It was awesome. I am very happy with these shots as this plane was really fast… speed of sound fast… God knows how I managed to get these shots! Some were taking when the aircraft were flying slowly, like they do for shows, but most weren’t.

F22 (4)

F22 belly open

F22 (6)

This last one is my favourite:

F22 (5)

This is our famous Harrier (GR9). The Americans call it a Jump Jet I believe. I think other nations have been struggling to build a craft that is as effective as this for vertical take off and landing for some time. We now have the Joint Strike Fighter jet, well now it is called the F35- Lightning but I really don’t think the Harrier can ever be beaten. This is something we English should definitely be proud of!

The Harrier came on right at the end of the day unfortunately so the light was even worse.

Harrier (2)

Here we have a few photos of the French acrobatic team the ‘Patrouille de France’. They were particularly good but due to the crappy cloud they had to do their ‘intermediate’ routine which was based mainly around formations and nothing more interesting. However, I found it really enjoyable. And, a little factoid, their leader is a woman! And, she is the first and only female leader of a demonstration team in history. Well done Virginie Guyot!

Patrouille de France (1)

Patrouille de France (10)

Patrouille de France (11)

Patrouille de France (8)

Patrouille de France (9)

Oooohhh. Now we have the Tornado GR4. These came on as we were getting ready to go, the light was rubbish at that point so I’m pleased these came out ok. The Tornado is also an awesome piece of kit and I love it!



Tornados (3)

So now we move on to the star of the whole show. An aircraft that has a special place in most Brits hearts- if they know a little about aircraft that is. Here we have the Avro Vulcan. This aircraft has not flown for some time- until the weekend of RIAT 2010. The Vulcan is an absolutely beautiful aircraft from the early 50’s designed to cope with the threat of the strengthening Soviet Union. She is, you could say, a cold war icon. She was only flown in anger once in her career and that was to bomb the runway at Port Stanley on the Falklands in 1982. She hasn’t flown for some time but has been restored and maintained and is now flying again.

Vulcan (3)

Vulcan (4)

Vulcan (1)

Vulcan (6)

Vulcan 1

Vulcan under belly

So, I hope you enjoyed my RIAT photos this week. I’ll be back soon with some photos from my recent trip to France. I have a great macro of a scary spider eating a cricket… nice. Back to my normal type of pictures!

Don’t forget to check out my Flickr page where I keep all my photos. See you soon!