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Update from Tom Gibbons, Head of Aircraft Operations

Published: 26 Jan 2017

With 2017 well underway, we can now share with you the nations that have been invited to take part in this year's Air Tattoo. The full list can be seen on our website HERE. As ever, we will communicate updated aircraft participation with you when we receive official confirmation.

Air Tattoo 2016 was a great success with regard to aircraft and the culmination of many years work from all of the team here at Douglas Bader House, a team that I am personally very proud to be a part of. Seeing the F-35 Lightning in the skies over Fairford was, of course, a particular highlight, as was welcoming our 56th nation to the show, Croatia. In total 241 aircraft from 24 nations and 35 air arms participated in the Air Tattoo.

Following the 2016 show, working with the MOD and RAF, we identified the nations that we wished to invite and followed this with formal letters of invitation to the Chief of Air Staff for each country. Throughout October a team from Douglas Bader House then visited a total of 32 embassies in London to meet and discuss aspirations for 2017 with those nations Defence and Air Attaches. As an extension to that visit programme, RAFCTE Chief Executive, Andy Armstrong visited both Washington and Toronto in November to meet with key representatives in both countries.

These talks were extremely positive with the first tangible result in December last when we were able to announce that the USAF Thunderbirds Demonstration Team will take part in the 2017 Air Tattoo as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the USAF. I can assure you this is just the first of many aircraft announcements over the forthcoming months and indications to date are that we will welcome some very interesting and exciting aircraft to RIAT 2017, there's a few that have certainly caught my eye!

Many thanks for your ongoing support, it really does mean a lot to the team who continue working hard to ensure we have a safe and successful Air Tattoo in July. All of us at Douglas Bader House remain committed to ensuring the aircraft are the stars of the show!

Kinds regards

Tom Gibbons

Head of Air Operations

“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, Former Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show I’ve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

“This is THE best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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