Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Farfoird, 14th of July 2007

Report and photos by Stacey Kort

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After hearing many things about this airshow, me and fellow photographer Robbin Stalma decided to go to this airshow. We went with a travel agency called HAT; Holland Aviation Travel. We had to travel from Utrecht to Breda, and via Calais we entered the United Kingdom in Dover. After that it was straight on to Fairford. I didn't get much sleep, so during the airshow I was pretty tired, but not tired enough not to enjoy the show!

After arriving at the coach park, we had to wait several hours te enter the airshow. Luckily I stood near the front of the gate so I could be one of the first to enter the airshow without having to wait. When we were on the showground, we went to search for a spot to spend the rest of the day. We found a pretty empty spot just west of show-centre, meaning that we were lucky to have found this spot.Just before the beginning of the show Robbin bought some folding chairs to sit on during the airshow. This proved to be a very good choice, especially for my friend, he spent some hours sleeping...



About the show, the show-opener was a Finnish F/A-18C Hornet. I didn't wear my hearing protection, because I wanted to hear how loud it was. Let's just say that I wasn't able to hear for 30 minutes. It was a very dynamic display though, and the pilot did a very good job flying his aircraft! Another highlight were the flybys by the B-1B Lancer and F-117A Nighthawk. It was probably the last time I would see a flying Nighthawk, since they will be put out of service soon. And even though the Hornet was loud, the Lancer was by far the loudest. People who didn't wear earprotection were in for an unpleasant suprise.



The Thunderbirds also participated, and for them it was the first time to attend the RIAT. For a first-timer, they did very well! Something that was supposed to be another highlight was the Indian SU-30MKI. The reason why it wasn't a highlight for me, was due to the fact that the plane was very far away, and the demo was very short. Because the pilot wasn't display certified, they didn't do a proper demo, but I'd rather seen a couple of low passes than that. Overall, I had an amazing day! It was also the first time to test my Canon EF 400mm F/5.6L USM, but I am very happy with the results. On to the next RIATs!