Online Streaming – £10/month (includes access to all PlanesTV.com content)
Standard Edition – DVD £25 / Blu-Ray £30
Collector’s Edition – DVD £30 / Blu-Ray £35
The Royal International Air Tattoo 2018 was the official international celebration of the Royal Air Force’s centenary. Held over three very full days, the show attracted 185,000 spectators and aircraft from across the globe for static displays and over 24 hours of display flying.
Planes TV once again have produced the official souvenir ‘DVD’ of the event. However the production is available in full HD via Blu-Ray disc or online streaming. Planes TV now have a full online streaming service which is bulging with content including extensive archives. Accessing this is easy via Smart TVs, but older TVs can also enjoy the service through gaming consoles and various other set-top boxes/HDMI sticks. For the purposes of review, we used the streaming service on a laptop connected to a TV via a HDMI cable which worked very well.
The main feature of the 2018 RIAT production is an interrupted two-hour review of the flying display. As you would expect from Planes TV the aviation filming is second to none but overall the feature has some very high production standards with some slick RAF100 graphics and some well-balanced use of music to enhance the viewing experience.
With three days of action to choose from, Planes TV have chosen the best footage from each of the displays to showcase in the production. There’s a great variety of angles on the action too with cameras in the operational areas as well the crowd-line. These capture many of the preparations for the various displays as well as the now familiar shots from the follow me vehicles. Some of the display footage is also accompanied by pilot and crew interviews, notably with the Red Arrows, Couteau Delta, Chinook Display and the Rafale solo.
As ever, there is some superb on-board footage from a number of display acts. The stand out moments include footage from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s superb Trenchard Plus routine. As well as being used in the main feature, the Collector’s Edition features some much more detailed on board footage from a selection of displays.
Further background can be found in the special features on the standard disc with featurettes on the arrival of the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, the RAF100 Flypast over London and a pilot’s view of the Tutor Display. There is a particularly nice piece with the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron which lifts the lid on a participant’s experience of RIAT following them from their arrival through to the Flight Centre. Further material can be found in the Collector’s Edition of the DVD which includes highlights from the arrivals and departures which when combined with the standard DVD features means there is over 6 hours of content!
The RIAT 2018 DVD/Blu-Ray proves there is no substitute for a well put together officially licenced production. The filming is excellent and the whole package strikes a nice balance. Those who want uninterrupted highlights of the flying display will certainly appreciate the main programme while the bonus features more than satisfy those looking for a bit more background.