Following on from Her Majesty's visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo in 2008, we will be joining national and international celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee in summer 2012.
Throughout her 60-year reign, strong links have been forged between members of the Royal Family and military aviation with HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, HRH the Prince of Wales, HRH the Duke of York, HRH the Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry all earning their Wings.
The Air Tattoo, which was granted Royal Status in 1996, will be delivering its own personal salute to our much-loved and respected monarch who has devoted her life to serving the United Kingdom, her other Realms, and the Commonwealth since her accession to the throne on February 6, 1952.
Aviation's heavyweights are being invited to flex their muscles at the Royal International Air Tattoo 2012 by demonstrating their capabilities across a wide range of operational scenarios.
Whether deployed tactically or strategically, the role of giant military transporters and heavy-lift helicopters in delivering troops and equipment quickly and safely is key to the success of combat, peace-keeping and humanitarian campaigns around the world.
The operational theme SkyLift will showcase modern, versatile and long-range aircraft such as the KC-30, C-17 Globemaster III, KC-767, A400M, A330 and Antonov 124 as well as the more venerable types such as the C-5 Galaxy, KC-10, KC-135, C-130 Hercules and Ilyushin II-76 which have been the mainstay of airlift and refuelling operations worldwide for more than 30 years.
Also providing critical frontline support, and equally welcome, are smaller transport aircraft such as the CASA CN-235, Merlin, Ch-47 Chinook and the Alenia C-27 Spartan - whose masterful flying display at RIAT 2011 earned its Italian Air Force crew the Douglas Bader Trophy for the Best Individual Flying Display.