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Air Tattoo Blog

5,4,3,2,1 Take Off at the Air Tattoo

Published: 22 Mar 2019   updated: 26 Mar 2019

That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for the Air Tattoo. With the show taking place on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, we're expanding our horizons this year!

This month, we were delighted to announce our public theme for this year's show; Air and Space: Inspiring the Next Generation. The Royal Air Force now leads the UK's military space operation and it looks to transform the nation's ability to address growing threats and hazards in the future.

Take a look below to find out about the "out of this world" activities we've got planned for the showground this year and also the fascinating space history of RAF Fairford...

Tim Peake

We're thrilled that Tim Peake will join us at the show on Friday 19 July. He will be at the Techno Zone inspiring the next generation about space and engineering. He was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the International Space Station and is thrilled to attend the Air Tattoo.

"I've been wanting to attend the Royal International Air Tattoo for some time and this year's 'Space' theme presented the perfect opportunity. I'm really looking forward to it"

Techno Zone® 

The Techno Zone® will be back this year with fantastic space activities for all the family to enjoy. Gaze at the stars at our planetarium show and inspire your budding astronauts and engineers with interactive activities. 

Airbus Defence and Space will be at the show with an ExoMars rover prorotype in the Techno Zone®. You'll be able to see a full scale working rover drive across a simulated Martian surface and you'll get to talk to the scientists and engineers responsible for operating it.

Visitors on the Friday will find themselves under the 'microscope' as Airbus DS's Pleiades satellites flies over RAF Fairford taking a photo of the airshow as it orbits the earth. Cloud cover permitting! Let's all keep our fingers crossed for glorious sunshine!

Both the ExoMars Rover and Pleiades gives us amazing access to current and future space exploration at the Techno Zone® this year!

RAF Fairford

Did you know that RAF Fairford was NASA's only UK transatlantic abort landing site for the Space Shuttle? 

If there was a problem between two and a half minutes and around eight minutes after a take off, Fairford would have been the shuttle's landing site! The Fairford crew would have only been notified half an hour before the shuttle would touch down. 

In 1983 the air base hosted a visit by the spacecraft which was secured on the back of a jumbo jet bound for the Paris Air Show.


Half a century after the first Moon landing, an unprecedented feat of engineering, scientific and human endeavour, the Air Tattoo will be the place to celebrate this achievement and inspire the next generation.

Don't forget under 18s go free with a paying adult. It's time for lift off at RAF Fairford!

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