WINGED wonders from across the globe are setting a course for RAF Fairford ahead of the world’s largest military airshow next month.

The three-day Royal International Air Tattoo (July 19-21) features an action-packed range of air and ground attractions and is now firmly established as one of the summer’s must-see events.

Having welcomed 185,000 visitors for the RAF centenary celebrations last year, the Gloucestershire base will host more than 28 military air arms and 20 different nations this time around.

Crowds can look forward to the RAF Red Arrows’ final salute before they fly to North America for their Western Hawk 19 Tour. A real Air Tattoo favourite, the world-renowned team have graced the skies above RAF Fairford for the past three years. This year the airshow will bid farewell as it hosts the Arrows’ last public displays in the UK.

Joining them on the Sunday of the airshow will be an awe-inspiring display from the ‘Three-coloured Arrows’, the Italian Air Force’s Frecce Tricolori Display Team – the largest of its kind in Europe.

Other exciting aircraft taking part in aerial displays at this summer’s airshow include the iconic Spanish Navy Harrier, the Royal Jordanian Falcons, the Swiss F/A-18C Hornet, Italian Air Force’s Typhoon, C-27J Spartan transporter, the Ukrainian Su-27UB ‘Flanker’ and the RAF’s F-35.

There will also be a variety of aircraft on the ground for close viewing.

The impressive static display will feature several full-scale aircraft, including the Austrian C-130K Hercules, two of the Belgian Air Force’s F-16s, the Danish EH-101 Merlin and The Royal Canadian Air Force’s CP-140 Aurora and C-130H Hercules.

In addition to showcasing aircraft from across the globe, this year, the airshow is turning its spotlight to space to celebrate 50 years since the first moon landing on July 20, 1969.

The airshow’s theme, Air and Space: Inspiring the Next Generation Air Force looks at some of the ways organisations are reaching out into space and has attracted a whole universe of innovative exhibitors, including Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and British astronaut Major Tim Peake, who will be visiting for the first time.

He said: “I’ve been wanting to attend the Royal International Air Tattoo for some time and this year’s ‘Space’ theme presented the perfect opportunity. I’m really looking forward to it.”

The Air Tattoo’s Techno Zone® features exciting exhibits designed to stimulate young minds. It hosts a planetarium show and a full-scale ExoMars rover prototype from Airbus Defence and Space.

In between visiting an array of showground attractions – which include an Activity Zone, RAF Experience and Vintage Village – visitors can browse the various food and gift trade stands on offer.

Tickets for the airshow, which is staged in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, can be bought online at or by calling 01285 713456. All accompanied under-18s go free.


This summer’s Air Tattoo takes place on July 19-21 and promises to be one of the Cotswolds’ most exciting outdoor family events of the year.

The Swindon Advertiser has teamed up with organisers of the Air Tattoo to offer readers the chance to win one of 10 pairs of tickets to this year’s event in Fairford, Gloucestershire on Sunday July 21.

If you would like the chance to win a pair of tickets, all you have to do is answer the following question:

Question: In what year did man first land on the moon?

A. 1959

B. 1969

C. 1979

Email your answer, together with your name, age, address and a contact phone number to or post it to us at Swindon Advertiser, Richmond House, Hindle Way, Dorcan, Swindon SN3 3RB. The deadline is noon on Friday, July 5.

Even if you don’t win, you can still purchase an Air Tattoo admission ticket online at General admission to the Air Tattoo is free for all under-18s who are accompanied by a ticket holder.