AN aerobatic display team that attended the second International Air Tattoo in 1972 is set to return to the UK this summer to mark the 40th anniversary of what has since become the world’s largest military airshow.

Les Diables Rouges (The Red Devils) aerobatic display team, part of the Belgian Air Force, will be taking part in the Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on July 16 & 17.

In 1972, the two-ship team took part in the airshow when it was staged at North Weald airfield.  The pilots flew Fouga Magisters. Five years later, the team disbanded.

However, the Red Devils have now reformed, flying SF-260 aircraft, and they plan to return to the Air Tattoo in the summer to celebrate their historic links with the airshow.

Belgian Red Devils SF260

Belgian Red Devils SF260

A spokesman for the Red Devils said he was delighted the new team would be taking part in the Air Tattoo. He said: “I hope our participation will serve to emphasise not only our historical links but also the enduring relationship that exists between the Belgian Air Force at the Air Tattoo.”

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince, who helped found the airshow in 1971, said the Red Devils would help conjure up a wonderful sense of nostalgia at this summer’s event. He said: “We had some good times at those early shows and I recall the Diables Rouges, with their Fouga Magisters, performed beautifully. It is a great honour to see them return for this special occasion.”

In addition to celebrating its 40th anniversary, this summer’s Air Tattoo will host a gathering of specially-decorated ‘Tiger’ aircraft from the NATO Tiger Association. ‘Tiger’ aircraft come from NATO squadrons that have a Tiger or Big Cat in their emblem and their association marks its 50th anniversary in 2011. The ‘operational’ spotlight STAR 11 will focus on aircraft and equipment involved in the roles of Strike and Reconnaissance.

Tickets are available by visiting www.airtattoo.com or calling 0800 107 1940. All tickets must be purchased in advance. All accompanied under-16s go free.

Belgian Air Force Red Devils at IAT72

Belgian Air Force Red Devils at IAT'72