Friday, March 25, 2011


Visitors to this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo will have a second chance to view the RAF’s next generation airlifter when the Airbus A400M returns to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire 12 months after making its UK airshow debut.
            The aircraft, which is set to replace the RAF’s Hercules C-130 fleet, will be known as ‘Atlas’ when it enters service in late 2012 or early 2013. It is designed to carry troops, equipment and supplies and can travel further and faster than most current in-service airlifters. It is also far more flexible.
Airbus Military’s parent company EADS gave the go-ahead this month (March) for the first series aircraft to enter production. The first A400Ms should finally roll off the production line later this year.
Airbus’s chief military test pilot Ed Strongman will be at the controls of the A400M when it displays at the airshow, at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on July 16 & 17.
The Air Tattoo’s Sponsorship Development Manager Francesca Heap said: “We enjoy phenomenal support from the aerospace industry and what better way to showcase this than with an exciting new Airbus airframe. It’s good for the Air Tattoo, it’s good for the aerospace industry it’s good for the RAF and it’s good for the thousands of people who will see it display at RAF Fairford this summer.”
In addition to celebrating its 40th anniversary, this summer’s Air Tattoo, on July 16-17, will host a gathering of specially-decorated ‘Tiger’ aircraft from the NATO Tiger Association. ‘Tiger’ aircraft come from NATO squadrons that have a Tiger or Big Cat in their emblem and their association marks its 50th anniversary in 2011. The ‘operational’ spotlight STAR 11 will focus on aircraft and equipment involved in the roles of Strike and Reconnaissance.
Advance tickets, priced from £39, are available by visiting or calling 0800 107 1940. All tickets must be purchased in advance. All accompanied under-16s go free.

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