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Posted on Nov 26, 2006 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Royal International Air Tattoo 2006

By Phil Royal

If you exclude the Osprey, the show was relatively light on helicopter display participants, but the RAF Merlin and Chinook display teams gave their usual impressive ‘throw it around the sky’ sequences, and a Mil Mi-24V Hind from the Czech Republic provided a slightly more sedate but nevertheless menacing routine. The Royal Navy Black Cat Lynxes also performed their standard balletic display to great effect.

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RAF Merlin display

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RN ‘Black Cats’ Lynx

RIAT shows are usually themed and for 2006 this was ‘Rapid Global Effect’. A number of countries provided examples of heavy lift aircraft for the static display. This included the Pakistani Air Force in the form of a C130 Hercules, which attended the show adorned with artwork portraying the combined rescue efforts of all nations who assisted in the aftermath of the Pakistan earthquake. A fitting way to acknowledge the combined efforts of all involved. 

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Other static highlights included a pair of Greek A-7H Corsairs, and two F4E phantom IIs of the Turkish Air Force – maybe the last time these types will be seen in service. A slightly bulkier presence was in the form of Omega Airs KDC-10 refuelling aircraft.

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KDC-10 from Omega Air

If you like aircraft – particularly more modern types – RIAT 2007 has to be on your list of summer days out. But be warned, if you want to get a ringside seat on the crowd line you need to be in the car park good and early to give yourself time to queue – the gates open at 7,30am by the way. And don’t expect to get home ‘til late (unless you camp near the show site).

No-one ever said an aviation enthusiast’s life was easy…

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