GIANT aircraft from the RAF’s air transport and air-to-air refuelling fleets will fill the sky over RAF Fairford next month when they take part in a unique flypast at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

A VC-10, TriStar, A330 Voyager, C-17 and C-130 Hercules from RAF Brize Norton will be joined by Airbus Military’s A400M for a flypast representing the past, present and future of the RAF’s airlift capability.

The flypast will be particularly poignant as it will provide a final opportunity for Air Tattoo visitors to bid farewell to the VC-10 before the fleet is finally retired in March 2013. It was from RAF Fairford that the first RAF Transport Command VC-10 sortie was flown by 10 Sqn in the late 1960s.

The flypast is part of the Air Tattoo’s operational theme Skylift 2012 which will bring together some of the aircraft that help project air mobility around the globe by providing air-to-air refuelling and delivering troops and equipment quickly and safely to support combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian campaigns.
Among the other international military aircraft supporting the Skylift 2012 theme will be a German Airbus A310, a Hungarian An-26, an Italian KC-767, a Polish An-28, an Omani Airbus A320 and a USAF KC-135. Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “This is an incredible opportunity to witness an entire generation of mighty RAF aircraft flying together, as the old and the new combine to perform a unique flypast as well as giving the VC-10 a spectacular send-off.”

This summer’s Air Tattoo will feature aircraft from around the world, including South Korea, Russia, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. The eight-hour flying programme includes the European debut of the United Arab Emirates’ Al Fursan display team, the Red Arrows and the unique MV-22 Osprey.

The Air Tattoo is staged in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. Tickets, priced from £39, are available from or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.