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AN air battle royal took place at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire as six members of the Air Training Corps took to the (simulated) skies for the chance to fly-off against a pilot from the Breitling Jet Team.

The cadets - two glider pilots, along with four Qualified Aerospace Instructors - each had to fly a circuit on the Air Training Corps' customised flight simulators, both of which are available for visitors to try out themselves at the Air Tattoo this weekend.

With Bernard Charbonnel, Christophe Deketelaere and Frederic Schwebel from the Breitling Jets looking on as judges, the cadets took turns to fly a perfect take-off, barrel-roll circuit and landing in the legendary World War II fighter, the P-51 Mustang.

Cadet Flight Sgt Julian Caithness of 73 (Huntingdon) Squadron emerged as the winner and was then given the chance to pit his flying skills against Christophe "Douky" Deketelaere. While the P-51 Mustang is very different from the L-39 that "Douky" normally flies, and the Vigilants and Grob Tutors used by the Air Training Corps, the fly-off was an exciting one, and saw Julian declared the winner by virtue of a perfect landing.

"Douky" said: "It was great fun and it's always good to play aroundon simulators, although I think I am clearly unable to fly the P-51! It is important that we give young people the chance to learn about aviation though, and the Air Training Corps here in the UK does that and a lot more too."

Sqn Ldr Philip Jones, HQ Air Cadets, said: "It was great to see the Breitling Jet Team visit the Air Training Corps at TAIR//irT and to get so involved with our flight sim fly-off. The Air Tattoo is the biggest single event of the year for the Air Training Corps, with two exhibition stands, three gliders and more than 600 Cadets helping to run the airshow."

He added: "We look forward to welcoming visitors over the weekend so we can tell them more about the ATC, where they can find their local squadron, have a close look at the gliders,and try the flight simulators for themselves."

July 8, 2012

“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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