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Helicopter Display Returns to Air Tattoo After 30 Years

Published: 30 Apr 2015

An old favourite at the Air Tattoo will make a comeback at this year's show after 30 years, as the German Army provides a rare display by an MBB Bo105P1 utility helicopter.

Visitors to Air Tattoos at Greenham Common and Fairford in the 1970s and '80s were wowed on many occasions by the rotary-wing aerobatics performed by German Army Bo105s, especially in the hands of legendary display pilot Capt Karl 'Charly' Zimmermann who last performed at the event in 1985. Zimmermann is now retired, but at the Royal International Air Tattoo 2015 a present-day instructor from the Heeresfliegerwaffenschule (School of Army Aviation) based at Celle will demonstrate something of the maneuverability that saw the German Bo105 several times take home one of the Air Tattoo's flying display awards. A second example will be featured in the static park.

The Bo105, designed and originally built by Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (now part of Airbus Helicopters), made its maiden flight in 1967. It is a twin-engined light utility helicopter, its hingeless, rigid main rotor helping afford outstanding agility. The type was bought by the German Army as an observation and attack helicopter; it has also proved extremely popular on the civil market, not least as a police and air ambulance helicopter, and remains in widespread service even with the availability of newer designs.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show Iíve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

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