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USAFE Air Power In Special Flypast

Published: 04 Jul 2017

As the United States celebrates Independence Day on the fourth of July, the Royal International Air Tattoo is proud to announce a special flypast as part of its US Air Force 70th anniversary theme at the 2017 show.

Five of the main aircraft types currently operated by US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) from bases in the UK and Germany will perform this aerial parade on all three days of the show at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire. They are scheduled to comprise:
  • A KC-135R Stratotanker, the ubiquitous air-to-air refuelling platform that has served the USAF since the late 1950s, providing vital support on worldwide operations. This aircraft will come from the 100th Air Refueling Wing/351st Air Refueling Squadron at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk.
  • A C-130J-30 Hercules, the stretched version of the latest derivative of the hugely successful C-130 transport. It is provided by the 86th Airlift Wing/37th Airlift Squadron stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
  • An F-15C Eagle air superiority fighter, one of the most successful combat aircraft in USAF history, as operated by the 48th Fighter Wing/493rd Fighter Squadron from RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk.
  • An F-15E Strike Eagle swing-role fighter, a highly versatile combat aircraft that saw its combat debut in the 1991 Gulf War and has been a mainstay of USAF operations ever since. Like the F-15C, this jet hails from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath.
  • An F-16CM Fighting Falcon, flown by the 52nd Fighter Wing/480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, in both the air-to-air and air-to-ground roles with a focus on the suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) mission.
The flypast makes up one of the largest displays of US Air Force air power seen in the skies at RIAT for many years, backing up displays by the Thunderbirds demonstration team and the F-22A Raptor. With several further USAF aircraft on static display, it will add up to an anniversary celebration to remember.

“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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