» Major Tim Peake takes to the skies with the Red Arrows
THE three-day Royal International Air Tattoo attracted around 170,000 visitors to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.
While appalling weather meant some flying displays were cancelled on Friday, there were two clear days for aerial displays.
The airshow, whose theme for 2019 was Air & Space: Inspiring the Next Generation Air Force, attracted 170,000 visitors including British astronaut Major Tim Peake who flew with the Red Arrows.
Speaking about his flight Maj Peake said: “It was truly incredible, I felt like I was living the dream.
“I have watched them since I was a young land and I feel like this has been a boyhood dream fulfilment.”
Maj Peake dedicated most of his visit engaging with young people in the critically acclaimed Techno Zone.
In total, 245 aircraft from 39 air arms representing 25 nations took part in the event, including the RAF Red Arrows, whose performance on Sunday marked their final UK public display this year before they depart on their Western Hawk 19 tour of North America.
Over the three days of the airshow, spectacular aerial set pieces were staged including a unique joint flypast by the RAF Red Arrows and a specially-painted British Airways Boeing 747 jumbo jet to mark the airline’s centenary.
NATO’S 70th anniversary was marked by a commemorative flypast by aircraft from a number of member nations including F-16s from Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway.
They were joined by three RAF Typhoons, F-15s from the US Air Force, a German Typhoon and a French KC-135. Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “The past three days have been out of this world. “We’ve seen an incredible display of aircraft from around the globe both in the air and on the ground as well as some memorable, unique joint flypasts.
“With the Air Tattoo taking place on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, we’ve also had the opportunity to inspire our thousands of young visitors who’ve been discovering some of the exciting ways space will play a part in their future.
“I’d like to thank our title sponsor BAE Systems for their continued and valued support.”
Major Tim Peake with the Red Arrows Picture: Andrew Matthews/pa Wire
The Red Arrows in action
US Air force B-52 on show, and below, a Boeing Chinook HC4/6A
A Spanish Navy Mcdonnell Douglas EAV-8B Harrier II Pictures: Andrew Higgins - Thousand Word Media