F-22 joins Air Tattoo's USAF 70th Salute
Published: 09 Mar 2017
One of the world's most advanced fighter jets will be making a welcome return to the Royal International Air Tattoo this summer as part of celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force.
Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor is the latest aircraft to be confirmed for this summer's Air Tattoo, which takes place at RAF Fairford on July 14-16.
Air Tattoo visitors will be able to witness the stealthy, fifth-generation fighter's incredible agility which is achieved thanks largely to its thrust-vectoring engines. The aircraft will join the hugely popular demonstration team the Thunderbirds as part of a special US tribute marking the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force (USAF).
The Raptor entered service with the USAF in December 2005 but it was not until 2010 that the aircraft performed its first UK flying demo - at the Air Tattoo.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said visitors to the airshow this summer should be prepared for an impressive and powerful display from the state-of-the-art fighter.
He said: "Very few aircraft can match the cutting edge capabilities demonstrated by the F-22 so we're really pleased to be able to welcome it back this year. We were the first airshow in the UK to showcase the Raptor and were lucky enough to secure it again in 2016. Its display at both airshows proved hugely popular and I'm confident its display will surpass expectations yet again.
"Without the support of the US Air Force, the Air Tattoo would not be the huge success it is and one way we can demonstrate our gratitude is to stage a fitting salute to mark the air arm's significant anniversary."
Photo credit: Tom Gibbons