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RIAT Then and Now

Post information relating to the Royal International Air Tattoo here.

RIAT Then and Now

Postby Cornish-guy » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:45 am

Folks just looking into the differnce between shows at Fairford in the 90's and Now, we have just had a Fantastic show - Thank you to all at RIAT who arranged this and put so much hard work into it :clap:

However I heard comments from folks on the ground who said the airfield was full with no more space left for planes, how is this when this year there was around 130 planes on the field, yet including the fact that the parking areas have been made bigger with more room, far less planes can fit on the base compared to the 90's when over 300 planes - Including many large transporters would fit in (with less space compared to today)

Just seems abit odd - where's all the left over space going - and why did RIAT official say they where full with no space left.


C. :thumb:
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby Stroudy » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:39 am

There was plenty more space at both ends and even a bit in the middle.
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby Unknown74 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:21 am

I can't really comment on recent IAT/RIAT Airshows not having been since 1993, My first was 1991 which I reckon of the 2 was my favourite of the two. Hoping I may get back to Fairford for a RIAT in future.
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:57 am

Been to every show since '79 at Greenham. In the old days at Fairford, most of the tarmac/concrete was used for aircraft parking, and cars were generally parked on the grass. The central-eastern taxiway area usually had a line of 8-12 tankers, including most of the then TDY KC-135's. The western loop often had the bigger transport stuff.

Then 9-11 happened, and all parking was moved off base. In theory this should have freed up the eastern loop for more aircraft. But then the 2008 washout occurred which has forced them to use some of the on-base tarmac for cars - particularly the western loop.

The flying display fighters used to park over on the ramp behind the big base hangars. viewing this from the public area was a PITA and the only real way to do it was from the open top photo busses. Originally these used to run all day long, but after the Mig crash in 1993 it was decided the busses must stop once the flying display started. This meant that spotters had to queue up to get into the show at the crack of dawn, then once the gates opened leg it to the photo bus departure point (eastern end) and hope you got in the queue in time for last departures at about 09:45. After the trip you could relax, get a bacon butty and have a kip in the grass. I don't think the ramp behind the hangars is used anymore - the flying stuff either is parked on the north east loop or southside where it's relatively easy to see it.

So nowadays, no north-side behind the hangar ramp, no western loop, and only partial use of the south eastern loop I think explains the reduced aircraft parking available.

I think I can hear a U2 with the senior citizen fit firing up. :pop:
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby sschofield » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:58 am

My first IAT (wasn't even RIAT back then!) was 1987, and there were a lot more aircraft. Don't forget, back then there majority of the crowdline wasn't taken up with corporate hospitality, enclosures for the public to squeeze some more money out of them etc etc. Don't get me wrong, I think the shows do pretty well these days considering the restraints most air forces work under, but I do fondly recall the good old days!
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby adimale1981 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:02 am

I don't recall RIAT ever saying it was full, static was 'full' if they used last year's configuration (Red and Green pit areas) so opening these out allowed it to have a lot more aircraft into the static park? They were running out of tarmac to put everything on.

I'm also sure that the team (even though it was a great line up) would've welcomed even more and made necessary amendments, like they did for the Israeli C130. There were also cancellations such as C17, E3 and A4 all of which would have taken more space on their initial plans.

We'll see what is in store next year for the RAF 100th, then 2021 for the 50th anniversary of (R)IAT :)




The open top bus tours - what a memory, I'd forgotten about those (but recall one being really close in the crash footage) but if the organisers want to keep stuff exclusively on the North-side (eg the spare airframes), it might be a good idea to reinstate for short periods of time - not that open top buses pass h&S rules nowadays :)
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby Rob666 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:18 am

They did use to have less space between the fighters for example and use more of the ramp space as well, remember a row of F-16's with the wings almost touching.......
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby bizfreeq » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:24 am

The open top bus tours - what a memory, I'd forgotten about those (but recall one being really close in the crash footage)


One of them was actually hit by debris, it was very lucky that no one on the bus was injured. The 'shrapnel' embedded itself into the bodywork of the bus rather than through a window or into a passenger on the top deck.
Cheers
Mark



If our airforces are never used, they have achieved their finest goal.
— General Nathan F. Twining
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby Supra » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:26 pm

Having examined the possibility of recommencing airside tours, with all relevant H&S risks established, it was felt that enthusiasts would not be happy with taking Photos through the periscope of the Armoured Personnel Carrier whilst wearing 'Hurt Locker' attire. :roll:
Besides, they couldn't rule-out the remote, but possible chance the APC driver could've gone rogue & driven on the pavement whilst his family were being held hostage by a radicalised pet rabbit with Semtex strapped to it. You can't be too careful, it's a jungle out there! :ninja:
Last edited by Supra on Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby Cornish-guy » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:27 pm

Thanks for all the replies folks - its a real walk down memory lane for me as I went into every IAT/RIAT from 1989 - 2003, I am re creating all my logs as they were destroyed and its amazing looking at what we used to get crammed onto the airfield, "oh yes" the flight line bus remember it well - did that on about 5 trips and loved it :clap: .

The reason I mentioned being told two weeks before this years show was full is - I was in talks with RIAT to bring a Harrier GR3 to the show just for static, but they told me iot wasn't possible as there was no room left to accomodate it (I thought that a bit strange taking in to account the small size of a harrier) next year perhaps ;)


C. :thumb:
Nikon D7100, Nikkor 300 f4 IF ED :-)
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby Supra » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:37 pm

So, picking the bones of several topics you were selflessly going to organise a Harrier GR3 for static, then forego the chance to view it by only spending 10 minutes on the path nearby? What a Legend!
I cannot believe they turned-it down. The humility is over-powering. :halo:
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby Cornish-guy » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:46 pm

Supra wrote:So, picking the bones of several topics you were selflessly going to organise a Harrier GR3 for static, then forego the chance to view it by only spending 10 minutes on the path nearby? What a Legend!
I cannot believe they turned-it down. The humility is over-powering. :halo:



Yep I do some voluntary work for the owners of a few fast jets including said harrier, I was in disscussions between two but transportation by road was one issue, and RIAT not having the room was another.
My personal circumstances getting into the show was a different matter.

It was a shame the harrier could not come as Im sure many would like to have seen her :D

Hopefully next year :D


C. :thumb:
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby Dan213 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:05 am

Cornish-guy wrote:Thanks for all the replies folks - its a real walk down memory lane for me as I went into every IAT/RIAT from 1989 - 2003, I am re creating all my logs as they were destroyed and its amazing looking at what we used to get crammed onto the airfield, "oh yes" the flight line bus remember it well - did that on about 5 trips and loved it :clap: .

The reason I mentioned being told two weeks before this years show was full is - I was in talks with RIAT to bring a Harrier GR3 to the show just for static, but they told me iot wasn't possible as there was no room left to accomodate it (I thought that a bit strange taking in to account the small size of a harrier) next year perhaps ;)


C. :thumb:


I should imagine that they would want to limit the number of museum pieces in the static display unless they had some real kind of relevance to the theme etc.
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Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby turmo » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:32 am

Dan213 wrote:I should imagine that they would want to limit the number of museum pieces in the static display unless they had some real kind of relevance to the theme etc.


That doesn't seem to affect the display of Bruno Stocker's endless parade of light civvie types.

I'm keen on spotting Cherokees at my local airfield, and an Extra 400 would cause a fence-side brawl for photo-position if it appeared here, but they really don't belong at RIAT. However as ever sponsorship money wins.
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Location: East Coast NI

Re: RIAT Then and Now

Postby Redflag17 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:58 am

Would expect that there will be a large number of museum aircraft showing the 100 years of the RAF. Lets face it they dont have much to show now and do not expect to see UAV's . think Duxford but with interesting current stuff from foreign air forces. Sad but true.
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