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Date added: 19 July 2006

Up, Up and Away! 

The Royal International Air Tattoo graced the skies at RAF Fairford once again, as thousands revelled in the sights, sounds and sun.

Royal International Air Tattoo 2006
Streaking across the Swindon sky:
the Red Arrows once again entertain the RIAT crowd
 with an eye-popping display of acrobatics

It was a scorching hot weekend but it wasn't long before the tranquil blue skies were torn apart by an awe-inspiring display by the Canberrra PR9, which opened the event shortly before it retires from service.
 
The late 1940s aircraft provided a deafening introduction to the electric display, which was this year themed Rapid Global Effect.
 
The need for speed is critical in delivering an effective military response, whether deterring potential aggressors or reacting to a natural disaster and the 2006 Air Tattoo was a jaw-dropping showcase of what is possible in the 21st Century.

Royal International Air Tattoo 2006

Among the highlights of the flying display were the UK debuts of the MiG-29OVT and the V-22 Osprey - a plane and helicopter in one, which can reach speeds of up to 300 knots and an altitude of up to 25,000ft.

And the 150,000 strong crowd didn't have to wait too long before the familiar sight of the RAF's Red Arrows darted through the skies in a breathtaking flypast that has become symbolic of the tattoo itself.
 
Other stunning highlights included a joint flypast by the Patrouille Suisse and the PC-21 and another by the Spanish display team, the Patrulla Aguila and a Spanish Air Force Typhoon.

Royal International Air Tattoo 2006

In total around 300 aircraft participated in this year's airshow from around 24 countries. The crew from the Royal Australian Air Force 707 travelled the furthest: from Richmond, New South Wales.
 
And it wasn't just the scintillating action in the skies that wowed the crowds. On the ground, the enthusiasm and friendliness of the aircrews, in particular the Royal Jordanian Air Force aircrew and the Pakistan Air Force aircrew, won the hearts of many.

Royal International Air Tattoo 2006

Organisers have heralded the event as one of the most successful Air Tattoos in recent memory.
 
Air Tattoo Director and co-founder Tim Prince said there was little more his team of 3,000 volunteers and 44 permanent staff could have done to put on a more spectacular airshow.
 
He said: "Everyone I have spoken to has said what a wonderful time they have had and how much they have enjoyed the day.
 
"Not only do we try and pull out all the stops during our flying display but we have tried to provide a wide range of entertainment on the ground for people to enjoy.
 
"The team has risen to the challenge of improving on last year's Air Tattoo and this has been reflected in the increased attendance for this year."

Royal International Air Tattoo 2006


And those who attended unanimously agreed.
"This was my first time at the event and I really was blown away," said Sarah Wansworth, from Cricklade.
 
"It's difficult to comprehend the sheer scale of it all and the amazing skill of the pilots, especially the Red Arrows.
 
"I'm going to have a sore neck for the rest of the week!"
 
  Royal International Air Tattoo - website
 
  Royal International Air Tattoo - story archive
Royal Internation Air Tattoo 2006 - 19/07/2006
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