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Gloucestershire Business News

In Pictures: Crowds enjoy feast of flying at RIAT 2019

Organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo have described as "out of this world" the feast of flying served up to bumper crowds over the three-day event at RAF Fairford.

The airshow, whose theme for 2019 was Air & Space: Inspiring the Next Generation Air Force, attracted 170,000 visitors including British astronaut Maj Tim Peake.

In total, 245 aircraft from 39 air arms representing 25 nations took part in the event, including the RAF Red Arrows, whose performance on Sunday marked their final UK public display this year before they depart on their Western Hawk 19 tour of North America.

Over the three days of the airshow, spectacular aerial set pieces were staged including a unique joint flypast by the RAF Red Arrows and a specially-painted British Airways Boeing 747 jumbo jet to mark the airline's centenary.

NATO's 70th anniversary was marked by a commemorative flypast by aircraft from a number of member nations including F-16s from Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway.

They were joined by three RAF Typhoons, F-15s from the US Air Force, a German Typhoon and a French KC-135.

Other set pieces staged during the three days included a joint flypast by the Red Arrows and French aerobatic display team the Patrouille France, plus a rare joint formation by an Airbus A400M and civilian aerobatic team The Blades.

On the ground, visitors were able to see up close rarely seen aircraft including a giant Qatari C-17, the imposing USAF B-52 and rare F-4 Phantoms from the Turkish Air Force.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: "The past three days have been out of this world. We've seen an incredible display of aircraft from around the globe both in the air and on the ground as well as some memorable, unique joint flypasts.

"With the Air Tattoo taking place on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, we've also had the opportunity to inspire our thousands of young visitors who've been discovering some of the exciting ways space will play a part in their future.

"I'd like to thank our title sponsor BAE Systems for their continued and valued support."

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