Air Tattoo to serve up aviation feast - virtually!
By David Wood
Whilst the actual Royal International Air Tattoo won't be taking place as planned at RAF Fairford this weekend, airshow organisers are ensuring their supporters will still be able to enjoy plenty of aviation-related thrills and excitement - albeit virtually!
The six-hour, free-to-view, live-streamed Virtual Air Tattoo takes place on Saturday, July 17 from 10am to 4pm and will include exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage, virtual flying displays, live interviews, competitions and special features.
Presented by Air Tattoo commentator and aviation expert Ben Dunnell and filmed from a live studio by PlanesTV, the 2021 Virtual Air Tattoo will build on the success of last year's inaugural event that attracted an audience in excess of one million.
As well as being given exclusive operational access to RAF Coningsby and the Historic Army Aircraft Flight at Middle Wallop, the Virtual Air Tattoo team flew on board a USAF Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker air-to-air refuelling flight from RAF Mildenhall.
In the studio, there will be a number of live interviews including talks with Red 10, Squadron Leader Adam Collins from the Red Arrows and Air Tattoo co-founder Tim Prince.
Air Tattoo head of air operations Peter Reoch said whilst it was disappointing not to be able to welcome aircraft to RAF Fairford there had been incredible support from air arms from around the world who were keen to participate in the virtual event.
Among those represented at the Virtual Air Tattoo will be Austrian, Danish and French, who all participated in the first Air Tattoo in 1971, plus 20 other countries from across the globe.
He said: "We've got lots of surprises planned for the live stream, including virtual flying displays with a special 50th anniversary twist! We'll also be previewing next summer's Air Tattoo by announcing the airshow's themes for 2022. I'm confident that, like the airshow itself, everyone will find lots to enjoy during the day."
As well as celebrating the Air Tattoo's 50th anniversary, the virtual event will also be launching ticket sales for next summer's 'real' airshow, which will take place on July 15-17, 2022. For ticket details and prices, visit www.airtattoo.com
During the event, viewers will have the opportunity to donate to the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the Air Tattoo's parent charity. Text TRUST to 70490 to donate £5 (texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message). Also through Virgin Money Giving: https://bit.ly/rafcharitable
For more information, visit web airtattoo.com/virtual
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