RIAT 2014 by Nick

The Royal International Air Tattoo is billed as the largest airshow in the world. Over 100,000 visitors visit each day to see the world’s finest military aircraft on display and it didn’t disappoint.

This year Jane, David and myself decided to visit on both Friday and Saturday. Each day after an early rise, and a hundred mile drive we joined the queue with thousands of other people waiting to get in.

We had all brought trollies to carry out kit which was just as well as the site is vast, over 2 miles long of static aircraft on display and crowd centre, our destination, was half way. When the gates were opened, the great ‘trolley dash’ began…

On the Friday it was Red Arrows pit day where we could get up close to the Hawk’s with their newly decorated tail fins to celebrate their 50th display season - happy birthday to the Reds. We then wandered around the static aircraft and finally in the afternoon we were treated to a 4 hour flying display including the Red Arrows and a multitude of helicopters and fast jets.

Saturday was the full display, lasting from 10am to 6pm with constant action, one display after another, all perfectly orchestrated and barely time to put your camera down. There were too many aircraft to mention, Apache, Chinook, F16, Gripen, Lancaster, Spitfire with amazing displays from the Patrouille de France and Italian Frecce Tricolori aerobatic teams and of course the Brietling Wingwalkers – totally mad to stand on top of the wing but confirmed insane to leave the harness and stand on the fuselage ! All to a running commentary and rousing music – what more can you ask for ?

The weather was almost perfect and we didn’t even have a single drop of rain. Here are some of the highlights of the display.