Cruising at altitude: Top Gun star touches down at the Royal International Air Tattoo

  • 17th Jul 2022

Saturday 16th July will go down in the history books for RIAT fans as Tom Cruise visited the world's greatest airshow

In a maverick move, one visitor to Gloucestershire-based airshow, the Royal International Air Tattoo, decided against the drive to RAF Fairford and instead arrived in style by flying his Aerospatiale AS350B3 Ecureuil helicopter right into the heart of the action.

Arriving just after 10:00 this morning, Tom Cruise stepped out of his aircraft and into the world's largest military airshow. A firm favourite of many celebrities, the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) can now add another Hollywood A-lister to its long list of supporters.

With the recent release of Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise's visit comes at a time when passion and interest in aviation is at an all-time high. The sold-out airshow plays host annually to enthusiasts, military representatives, and those with casual interest alike, and this year has seen unprecedented demand from both attendees and participants.

Boasting eight-hour flying displays over the weekend, and hundreds of aircraft and interactive exhibits, each summer RIAT turns a quiet corner of Gloucestershire into a global hub of aviation activity and innovation.

Paul Atherton, Chief Executive of the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises, the organising body of RIAT, said:

"Tom's visit is something we've been trying really hard to keep under wraps but keeping secrets like that is hard when they're so exciting! The Top Gun films and Tom's famous passion for aircraft and flying have really helped to catapult aviation into the spotlight, which will help promote and inspire future generations of young people. RIAT is a home for those who appreciate the brilliance and excitement of the aviation world, so I am delighted to be able to welcome Tom to that home."