Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2021 (CANCELLED)

Discussion relating to 2021 airshows/fly-ins/exercises/other events. Post news before the event and post your photos afterwards! Please create only one thread per event.
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Adam
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Post by Adam » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:13 am

RyanS wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:12 pm
Adam wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:41 pm I think the bottom line is that while traditional hotel accomodation within a half-hour drive of Fairford is hard to come by for a reasonable price, if you can stay further afield or if you're willing to stay somewhere a bit less conventional, there are still some feasible and affordable options for smaller groups/individuals just a few weeks before the show.
So what is a good time to show up in the morning, and when would one have to leave by? For an enthusiast, so pretty much first in last out.
Unlike @mstares I have no experience of the FRIAT enclosure, which I imagine gives some extra flexibility, but I can answer from the perspective of a normal ticket holder. I've always tried to be parked up by around 6:30am (gates open at 7:30) to stand a chance ot getting a good spot. Expect to crawl bumper-to-bumper down the smaller country lanes, but the traffic isn't too bad at that point. If you're taking the bus, departures from Swindon start at 6:30am and, like Mark, I found arriving 15-20 minutes before that was early enough to be on one of the first buses (there won't be many train arrivals at that point, especially on Sunday, so you're mainly competing with other people staying around the bus station).

The flying display usually finishes at around 5pm and I don't imagine you'd want to leave before that point. I've generally left at around 6-ish and the event staff do start pointing people towards the exits not long after that. If you're camping or staying in the local area this is all fairly reasonable, but just be aware that if you drift further away in search of cheaper hotels, you're looking at some seriously long days. I've done RIAT from the St. Albans (north London) area a few times for a single day, which has required a 4am wake-up and 9pm return home - that wouldn't be much fun for three or more days in a row.

On that point, if you do stay further away, there are a quite a few coach companies which run a special airshow service from several major towns and cities, and which look very tempting. Don't take one of these!! A friend of mine took one from Plymouth a few years back and was called back to the bus 2 hours before the flying display ended! Because of the (previously unpublished) bus departure time, he had to miss a quarter of the show! Similarly, you might not want to plan on taking the train into Swindon from your chosen place of accomodation and then take the bus from there. This will work fine on Fridays and Saturdays if you're on one of the very first trains, but on Sunday the trains don't start running until around 8:30am. I don't know what the shuttle bus queue is like at that point, and I don't particularly want to find out, but I'd say your chances of getting in before the flying starts are uncomfortably small.

Arrivals days are different, as Mark says, and it also depends where you're watching from. Again, I have no experience of the FRIAT enclosure but I have used both Park & View enclosures. Park & View East gets very busy and you'll probably want to arrive at about 7am, half an hour before gates open. Park & View West is much less crowded, but the trade-off is that you'll probably see less, as many aircraft turn off the runway long before reaching you if they're landing on R27 (which they usually are). I thought this was a gamble worth taking and I spent most of the time in West, which I don't regret for a second. I also observed that there were still some good spots up for grabs all through the day, so you could probably turn up any time and still get a decent view. Both Park & View enclosures close at 5:30pm on arrivals days and 4:30pm for departures, but once you're on-site you'll have a fairly good idea of what's expected to happen during the day, and when. Some days we stayed until the bitter end, and other days we felt we'd seen all the good stuff and were out by 4.
Last edited by Adam on Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Bingofuel » Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:21 pm

I've done both FRIAT and camping. If your intention is to take quality photos or video then you really can't beat the view you get from the FRIAT stand. If you're going to just enjoy the show without photography then stay away. The flightline is extremely long and there's plenty of spots to watch the show from close to the fence.

2018 I did the Viewing Garden, it was excellent. Chairs provided.

Also that year I used the official Tangerine Farms camping. Coming from Canada it was excellent to have a pre pitched tent with blankets and pillows. You cannot beat the proximity to the show from the campground. I'd never go back to the whole shuttle to Swindon technique.
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Post by n33d4sp33d_85 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:34 pm

Tickets for the 2021 Royal International Air Tattoo are now on sale.

https://www.airtattoo.com/airshow/visit ... ow-tickets
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Post by n33d4sp33d_85 » Wed Dec 09, 2020 7:11 am

As it stands out right now, it appears that the A-10 Demo Team will be making an appearance at RIAT.
We shall wait and see and hope that COVID-19 will be under control by then. 🤞 🙏
Last edited by n33d4sp33d_85 on Wed Dec 09, 2020 7:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Adam » Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:01 pm

A message today from the CEO of the RAFCTE.
Dear Air Tattoo Supporters,
Thank you for your understanding and patience over the past nine months, particularly those of you that carried over your tickets for the Air Tattoo next year. It's been an interesting time for all of us as we try to navigate the new 'normal' and endeavour to keep a positive outlook as we move towards 2021.
Planning for the 50th Anniversary Air Tattoo next July is well underway and rest assured that safety is our number one priority, as it is every year, but clearly more so for 2021. The RIAT Team has been working with the relevant authorities and is using all of the available guidelines and resources to plan for a professional and COVID-secure event next year. Irrespective of whatever government guidance and restrictions may be in place we will strive to ensure that we can deliver a worthy celebration of a significant milestone in RIAT's history.
However, it is likely that next year's show will take place under different circumstances than normal and there may well be changes to the event in a number of areas as we have to demonstrate compliance with the evolving national situation. Notwithstanding, I am pleased to say we have had a positive response from the world's air arms and aircraft operators, and we will do our utmost to give you an Air Tattoo worthy of your support and commitment.
More information will be forthcoming in the New Year regarding any specific changes once we understand more clearly what and how they may impact our plans for delivery of the event. In the meantime, I would like to thank you again for your continued support, and I wish you and your families a happy and safe Christmas from all of us at the Air Tattoo.
Best Wishes,
Paul Atherton
CEO RAFCTE
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Post by n33d4sp33d_85 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:28 pm

Swiss Air Force's Patrouille Suisse have RIAT on their 2021 provisional schedule.
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Post by n33d4sp33d_85 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:53 pm

Swiss Air Force's PC-7 Team also has RIAT on their provisional schedule. How cool would it be to see both Swiss teams at RIAT. :D
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Post by Adam » Thu Feb 11, 2021 5:23 pm

Excellent start. Has RIAT ever hosted both teams in the same year before? Or, indeed, as any non-Swiss airshow hosted both teams in recent years? I certainly can't think of anything off the top of my head. Stellar support from our Switzerland partners once again.
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Post by Flightline Uk » Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:16 pm

Sadly now cancelled. Back for 2022 hopefully!
This summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo, which was due to take place at RAF Fairford, in Gloucestershire on July 16-18, has been cancelled by organisers, the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises (RAFCTE).

RAFCTE Directors concluded that the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 meant there were too many risks associated with pressing ahead with the airshow. It is the second year running the event has been unable to take place.

Air Tattoo CEO Paul Atherton said he and his team had been working hard during the past six months to explore ways in which the Air Tattoo could take place against the backdrop of the pandemic but, with five months to the event, there still remained too many unknowns.

“If we knew, with some degree of certainty what the situation would be in the summer,” he said, “we’d be able to plan ahead but, the truth is, we simply don’t know. We have reached a point where, to plan further, would involve us committing large sums of money to secure the event infrastructure. Without any insurance being available this year, this money would be lost if the airshow had to cancel nearer the time. It was simply too big a risk to take.

“I know how disappointed all those who are involved in the airshow will be, from our incredible army of volunteers and loyal ticketholders to our valued corporate guests, suppliers, traders and sponsors, as well as the many military air arms from around the globe, but I also know they will understand and support our decision. Public safety is paramount, and we also have a duty to protect the future of RIAT. By making this decision in a timely and controlled manner, we will be in a far stronger position to bounce back in 2022.”

Mr Atherton added that it was particularly disappointing to have to announce the cancellation of the airshow this year, the Air Tattoo’s 50th anniversary.

He said: “Everyone was looking forward to marking the Air Tattoo’s 50th at RAF Fairford in July and we had some great ideas as to how best to celebrate the incredible achievements of this much-loved event since it was first staged in 1971. We remain determined to identify new opportunities to mark this important milestone this year, both by building on the success of last year’s inaugural Virtual Air Tattoo as well as other exciting activities, where possible.”

All ticketholders for this summer’s Air Tattoo will be contacted by the end of February and offered either a refund or the opportunity to roll over their tickets to the 2022 Air Tattoo, which will take place on July 15-17.
Last edited by Flightline Uk on Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Adam » Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:55 pm

Sad, but not in the least surprising. I had expected they might hold on until next Monday for the PM to announce his "road map" out of lockdown, but the chances are that won't add much certainty anyway.

As notices of cancellation go, this is a very good one. Sincere, detailed and apologetic. "We have a duty to protect the future of RIAT." It's hard to argue with that.
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