Germans Show Stunning Support
Published: 14 Apr 2016
One of the biggest aircraft contingents participating at the Air Tattoo 2016 will be provided by the German military. Across the flying and static displays, Germany's three services will contribute no fewer than 13 aircraft, depicting most of the major types the country has in current use.
For the first time, the German Air Force - the Luftwaffe - is sending an in-service Airbus A400M transport from Lufttransportgeschwader (Air Transport Wing 62). This impressive machine will be on static display, where it will provide a contrast to the aircraft it's replacing, the Transall C-160D. Another Luftwaffe 'heavy' in the static park is a rarely-seen Airbus A310-304 MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker-Transport), this type being the only dedicated air-to-air refuelling asset in German service. Also in the static area is a Panavia Tornado on the from the Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader (Tactical Air Force Wing) 51.
Exceptional support from the Luftwaffe's front-line Eurofighter force comes in the form of four EF2000s, each from a different unit and resulting in representation of each of the partner nations, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK in the Air Tattoo static display.
Last year the German Army displayed a Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) Bo 105P utility helicopter in the Air Tattoo flying programme for the first time in 30 years. A stunning sequence of tactical manoeuvres by Hauptmann Torsten Möbius from the Army's flying training centre, the Heeresfliegerwaffenschule, won him the Sir Douglas Bader Trophy for the show's best individual flying demonstration. The Bo 105 display returns in 2016, together with a second example for the static exhibition.
German Navy aviation completes the package, with three aircraft in the static park: a Lockheed P-3C Orion maritime patroller, a Dornier 228 pollution control platform, and an Airbus EC135P2+ training helicopter.
Air Tattoo chief executive Andy Armstrong was delighted to announce Germany's extensive involvement in the show. "I know the budgetary pressures many of the world's air arms are under", he said, "so for the German military to commit so many aircraft to the Air Tattoo this summer is fantastic."
Photo credit: Rich Cooper