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With the show getting closer, today we announce the final additions to our RIAT 2023 flying displays! Starting close to home, we're pleased to confirm the Royal Air Force's F-35B Lightning will be seen in the air on Friday, Saturday & Sunday! A special treat for Friday visitors, when the F-35B willl perform a formation flypast with the BBMF's Lancaster to commemoriate the 80th Anniversary of Op Chastise, commonly known as the Dambusters Raid. Whilst the F-35B will not be performing a full aerobatic display, visitors will have chance to see the aircraft flying conventionally and also in V/STOL mode whilst hovering.Another addition to our SKYTANKER23 theme this week, from the 352nd Special Operations Wing based at RAF Mildenhall. On Saturday & Sunday, their MC-130J Commando II will perform a simulated air-to-air refuelling flypast with a CV-22B Osprey. The Osprey will also perform a solo flying demonstration. Examples of both aircraft types will also be available for closer inspection in the static displays.
An exciting addition to the static displays this week, as the Zambian Air Force plan to send their C-27J Spartan to RIAT 2023! This will be the first time we welcome an aircraft from Zambia to the show, and they will become our 58th Nation to participate at the Air Tattoo.
We're very excited to be welcoming SAAB and their Gripen E aircraft for it's UK debut. This impressive combat jet will perform in the flying display on all three days, with another example on static display in our Showcase Area in the centre of the showground. Also on static display, and likely to be a highlight for many aviation enthusiasts, will be their SAAB GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft.
From the US Navy, we welcome their TACAMO aircraft, the Boeing E-6B Mercury. This aircraft will be on static display on Saturday & Sunday.A small update from the Italian Air Force; we will now also have a F-2000A Typhoon on static display in our special ITAF100 area, with the static jet coming from 36° Stormo. In total there will be three Italian Typhoons at RIAT (1x Flying Display, 1x Spare Aircraft for the Flying Display and 1x Static Display). In addition, it is planned that the C-27J Spartan for static display will actually be a YEC-27J JEDI aircraft, fingers crossed!
Finally this week, as the show approaches a number of operators have been forced to sadly withdraw their aircraft from RIAT 2023, due prority operational taskings. These include the Dutch Hercules, French Navy Caïman & Dauphin, German Air Force H145M and Italian Air Force HH-212A. In addition, O-1 Aviation have also withdrawn their Cessna Bird Dog from RIAT 2023.
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