Royal International Air Tattoo 2012 ...
Frankly speaking, it would be irreverent to ask more to see at Fairford next week, than we've already been promised by RIAT's team. Amongst booked participants, there where the Korean air Force and UAE national teams, then the saudis, and then came Colombian Air Force C-130. Then were listed the French Air Force Rafale, RAF Typhoon, F-16s, and a - never granted for - F/A-18 Super Hornet performing a probably high level demo. All jets will meet for the best solo display trophies. The Polish Air Force always superb Mig-29 solo could be the cherry on the cake. Notice it remains true that many enthusiasts may wonder why the russians do not take part to Fairford's flying display with the two Su-27s that will be at Farnborough a few days later, (if not before RIAT will have been launched).
Organisers of next week’s Royal International Air Tattoo 2012 announce today that a Japanese Air Self Defence Force Boeing KC-767 J will land at Fairford on July5th, to take part to the Royal International Air Tattoo 2012 static flightline. It will fly from Elmendorf Air force Base (Alaska), and it will be the first time ever a japanese military aircraft will land on UK soils. not only will it take part to the static display but 26 taiko drummers from the Japanese Air-Self Defence Force will fly with the Boeing's 14 aircrew. they will perform a special exhbition at Fairford during the RIAT event.
The RIAT official statement says : "Capt (Navy) Atsushi Minami, Defence Attache at the Japanese Embassy in London said the decision to send an aircraft to the Air Tattoo was taken following visits to Japan by the RAF's Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton last year and by David Cameron in April. Capt Minami said: "When Prime Minister Cameron paid and official visit to Japan, our two prime ministers agreed in a joint statement to upgrade bilateral defence co-operation in various fields. On instruction from the two Prime Ministers, the Japanese Defence Minister and the UK Defence Secretary signed a Defence Cooperation Memorandum earlier this month (June) ".
Also stated is Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton. He said: "I am absolutely delighted to see the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force participating in this year's Royal International Air Tattoo. During my visit to Japan, late last year, I was particularly keen to secure the attendance of the JASDF for the 2012 Air Tattoo.."
Once again it is a coup for the world's largest military international airshow team. Given the current trend to secure teams coming from as far away as Asia and the Pacific area, and given the current state of good relationships between the Japanese and the United Kingdom's Defence Ministries, I guess it is not forbidden for air enthusiasts to dream for the future RIATs : the JASDF could once agree to send the Blue Impulse national team or a pair of jet fighters to a RIAT...... Why not... Yes it would be irreverent to ask more to see than we've already been promised for at next RIAT's flightline, but as already estimated in this magazine this year's extraordinary international flightline may not be the last of that kind. it just reflects the fact the airshow world is just starting to enter the global world with its long lists of emerging powers taking part in interntational air events : www.sky-lens.com/articles-airshows-europe.php?recordID=112
But few airshows (I guess maybe none others) may show capabilities to gather airplanes from all Continents. Congratulations to the RIAT Airmen and Gentlemen !