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A rare Russian-built helicopter never before seen in the UK is among the first aircraft to confirm participation in next summer's Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

The Polish Navy will be sending one of its Mi-14 'Haze' helicopters, which are used in Anti-Submarine Warfare and Search and Rescue, to the Air Tattoo on July 7-8 along with a maritime and reconnaissance variant of the Soviet-made Antonov An-28.

Both Hungary and Latvia have also confirmed they will be sending Russian-built aircraft, the former sending an Antonov An-26 transport aeroplane and the latter an Mi-8 helicopter. This performs a search-and-rescue role as well as transporting troops and supporting Special Forces. Other aircraft from Brazil and France have also been confirmed for the Air Tattoo.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: "Russian-built aircraft are very popular among UK enthusiasts because of their rarity on these shores. To have one making its UK debut is a real coup and one the enthusiasts will look forward to seeing.

"With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics taking place in the UK next year, I think there's a feeling that this is the place to be in 2012. Although it is still early for most international air arms to confirm their participation we are already hearing whispers from Asia that might see some extremely rare and exotic aircraft heading for Fairford next summer. It's very exciting."

Next summer's Air Tattoo, which is staged in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, will see the airshow join forces with the RAF to stage a special Diamond Jubilee celebration in honour of Her Majesty The Queen.

A limited number of special Super Earlybird tickets, priced £29, are available until January 4 by visiting the ticket page or by calling 0800 107 1940. All Air Tattoo tickets must be purchased in advance. All accompanied under-16s go free.

December 19, 2011


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