[Worldkings] Top 50 annual creative events in the world (P. 40) Royal International Air Tattoo (UK): The world's largest military aircraft show


(Worldkings.org) With more than 250 aircraft and over 150,000 visitors participating each year, Royal International Air Tattoo has been recognized not only as the world's largest military air show but also as one the of UK's leading outdoor events.

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually in July, usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. The show typically attracts a total of 150,000 to 200,000 spectators over the weekend.


The first Air Tattoo was staged at North Weald Airfield in Essex in 1971, with just over 100 aircraft taking part. The event was founded by Paul Bowen and Timothy Prince, who were CAA air traffic controllers, and Air Marshal Sir Denis Crowley-Milling. The show became the International Air Tattoo in 1976, and recognition of its unique status was granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996, when the current Royal International Air Tattoo title was adopted.

The show took place at Fairford every two years until it became an annual show from 1993. Due to redevelopment work at RAF Fairford the show was held at RAF Cottesmore, Rutland in 2000 and 2001.

In 2003, RIAT was the world's largest military air show ever, with 535 aircraft participating.


RIAT 2022 saw 266 aircraft from 33 nations on display, as the show returned from an extended hiatus due to COVID-19.

The event has had a number of air show firsts, including the first display and landing of the B-2A Spirit stealth bomber outside the United States of America during the 1997 "50 Years of the USAF" event and in 2008 the first landing of the Lockheed F-22 Raptor in Europe.


The RIAT has evolved into an important showcase for the world's military, taking place the week after the annual Global Air & Space Chiefs' Conference in London and the week before the bi-annual Farnborough Airshow which occurs in 'even' years.

RIAT allows the military aerospace industry to showcase its products to both the general public and customers in a more relaxed environment outside the commercial selling pressure of the Farnborough trade show. The Farnborough show also restricts public attendance, in 2022 this was to a single day with free entry for under 21's to promote aerospace careers/recruitment.


According to Wikipedia

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