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10 top tips for a day at Royal International Air Tattoo 2016

PUBLISHED: 13:54 02 June 2016 | UPDATED: 13:54 02 June 2016

MB-339 Frecce Tricolori-RC, in 2014

MB-339 Frecce Tricolori-RC, in 2014

Rich Cooper

Next month’s Royal International Air Tattoo is set to be one the biggest and best family days out in the Cotswolds this summer with more than 150,000 people expected to attend over the three days.

Following a sell-out show in 2015, the Air Tattoo returns to RAF Fairford for a three-day aviation extravaganza on July 8-10 featuring many of the world’s most exciting fast jets, helicopters, transport aircraft and historic warbirds from around the globe.

But there’s so much more to the Air Tattoo than simply aircraft – with a wide range of themed areas and interactive activities for the young – and the young at heart.

Here’s our Top 10 reasons to attend next month’s Air Tattoo:

• You can be the first to say “I’ve seen the future of aviation” when the RAF’s new fighter jet, the F-35B demonstrates its stealthy, state-of-the-art capabilities on its international display debut.

• Witness the gravity-defying moves of the international aerobatic display teams as crowd favourites, the Red Arrows, are joined by their Italian and Swiss counterparts, the Frecce Tricolori and the Patrouille Suisse at the weekend. (2014 MB339 Frecce Tricolori-RC_RCP293: The Italian Frecce Tricolori will be one of a number of aerobatic display teams to take part in this year’s RIAT.)

• Welcome Croatia as the 56th nation to appear at an Air Tattoo when their aerobatic display team Krila Oluje ‘Wings of Storm’, make their first ever appearance in the UK. (Wings of Storm 1: The Croatian aerobatic display team Krila Oluje.

• Visit the highly acclaimed Techno Zone which is packed full of interactive activities to keep our future aviators, scientists and engineers entertained. You’ll learn about the principles of flight, aircraft propulsion systems, the secrets of cyber security and much more through hands-on demonstrations led by industry experts. (RIAT 2015-1365: There are plenty of interactive activities for all ages across the showground)

Activities for all agesActivities for all ages

• Visit on Friday, July 8 and you’ll be able to enjoy a visit to the Air Tattoo’s unique pit area where you’ll be able to get up close to operational aircraft such as the Red Arrows and meet the crews.

• Imagine you’re the next Top Gun as you explore the extensive Static Aircraft Park. Speak to aircrew from around the world, take have a closer look at the aircraft, and maybe even get the chance to sit in the pilot’s seat!

• The showground’s four themed areas are packed full of entertainment. Have a go at high energy activities in the Adrenalin Zone; travel back in time with a visit to the evocative Vintage Village, take in the displays of rare and beautiful classic cars in the Autodrome and meet the service men and women who deliver the UK’s 21st century air power in the RAF Village. (Vintage Tea Ladies 1: Visit the Vintage Village for some old fashioned refreshments)

• Expect the unexpected! Over the years the Air Tattoo has gained a reputation for putting together unique aviation set pieces in the skies above the Cotswolds. From last year’s Vulcan/Red Arrows farewell flypast to the BA A380 formation with the Reds in 2013. What new spectacle awaits in 2016?

• The Air Tattoo is a great place to do some celebrity spotting place. Recent visitors may have bumped into the likes of F1 driver Jenson Button, comedian Eddie Izzard, TV celebrity Carol Voderman, and Harry Potter star, Matthew Lewis. As an Honorary Vice Patron of the Air Tattoo, Del Boy himself, Sir David Jason often makes an appearance. (_MG_2338: Carol Vorderman and Eddie Izzard at RIAT 2015)

• All under-16s go FREE – which makes the Air Tattoo one of the most affordable and exciting family days out this summer!

The Red Arrows alongside an Airbus A380The Red Arrows alongside an Airbus A380

Comfort Breaks

• Enjoy the airshow in style by booking your place in the Cotswold Club, established in association with Cotswold Life, where you can enjoy a relaxed brunch and afternoon tea – but hurry as tickets are selling fast!

• Get into the airshow groove on your way to Fairford by tuning into Air Tattoo Live on 87.7FM. This dedicated radio station begins broadcasting early in the morning and features up-to-date travel information, pilot interviews, music and all the latest show information.

• If you don’t want to bring your own food you can take advantage of one of three ‘service station offering shelter, toilets and free Wi-Fi as well as a wide range of tasty food outlets. The service stations provide the opportunity to relax at any time of the day.

• Don’t forget the essentials! Dress appropriately for the prevailing weather conditions. Hopefully that means a sun hat, sunscreen and bottles of water. Wear comfortable shoes and remember your camera!

• Remember, as well as being exciting, the Air Tattoo can also be a very loud environment so we recommend you bring ear defenders.

For more details about the Air Tattoo and to purchase tickets, visit


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