The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2018

Myself, Cpl Bartlett and Cdt Denton left for RAF Fairford on Saturday 7th July, and when we arrived at RAF Fairford we met with cadets from 2121 and 150 Sqn. We quickly got cracking with the long process of meticulously putting up the 50+ tents required to house over 1000 cadets and staff who would be arriving on the 10th and 11th of July for the main camp. Other duties included “Campsite Maintenance” and going over to the airfield to set up the Showside HQ for the cadet detachment.

Our first taste of the airshow came on Tuesday afternoon when we watched the first few aircraft do their practice displays. The highlight of week one (7th-12th July) was on Saturday 12th July when over 150 aircraft arrived in one day, including Belgian F16s, USAF F35s, British Typhoons, Ukrainian SU27s, Swiss F18s, Swedish Gripens and German Tornadoes, just to name a few! Although the focus of the airshow was the centenary of the RAF, spectators were treated to many aerobatic display teams and solo displays, including the Italian frecce tricolori were back again, as well as a display team I had never seen before, the Spanish Patrulla Aguila.

 

The Airshow was a full weekend of exhilarating flying displays, but the highlight of the actual Airshow was the B2 Spirit stealth bomber making a flypast escorted by two F15s. On Monday 16th July, we had the privilege of watching every aircraft lining up and taking off, it was a day of noise to say the least! We then had the end of camp disco that night, with many favourite songs and much questionable dancing! RIAT 2018 had a diverse mix of cadets from across the globe including cadets from Finland, the USA and Australia as well as cadets from all corners of the country. All in all it was an enjoyable and rewarding camp and I recommend it highly to everybody interested in going.

Cpl G Thomas, 966 (Wallingford) Sqn RAFAC