History of the Royal International Air Tattoo:
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. From 1973 to 1983 it was held intermittently at RAF Greenham Common, initially under the title of the Royal Air Forces Association, South Eastern Area, Air Tattoo before moving to RAF Fairford in 1985. 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. Guinness World Records have recognized RIAT 2003 as the world’s largest ever military airshow, with 535 aircraft in attendance. In 2014 224 aircraft from 32 air arms were on display. 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 show is a showcase for the world’s military, and has become an important precursor to the Farnborough Airshow, which takes place a week after RIAT, every ‘even’ year. It allows the military aerospace industry to display and present its products outside the commercial pressures of the Farnborough show. (source Wikipedia).
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