News & Events

Tornado Tribute for the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT)

A multi-national three-ship formation of Panavia Tornado strike aircraft will be among the highlights at this summer's Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), the world's largest military air show at Fairford, UK.

The aircraft will come from the UK, Germany and Italy, the three nations that collaborated within the Panavia consortium to build the Tornado and the first three countries to operate the type.

Together their air forces established the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment (TTTE) at RAF Cottesmore, Leicestershire, to instruct pilots and back-seaters in the operation of the type. It received its first aircraft during 1980. Examples of the Tornado from the Royal Air Force, German Air Force and Italian Air Force will come together in formation to mark the 35th anniversary of that event, the first time such a sight has been witnessed at a public display for many years.

Complementing the Tornados in the formation flypast will be Tornados from each of the three nations on display in the static park.

The first Tornados for the TTTE were British and German examples, Italian aircraft joining them at Cottesmore a couple of years later. Training began in 1981 and between then and the unit's disbandment in February 1999 it schooled some 3,400 Tornado crew members during the course of 163,000 flying hours. Since 1999, Tornado training has been undertaken at national level, but even now many TTTE graduates are still associated with the Tornado in senior leadership roles.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: "I know the Tornado remains a very popular aircraft with airshow visitors, and I am delighted to be able to provide this increasingly rare chance to see the type in a flying display at RIAT 2015."

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July, usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. The show typically attracts a total of 150,000 to 160,000 spectators over the weekend.

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