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Air Tattoo Welcomes 51st Nation on board


RIAT 2009 The Algerian Air Force will make its Royal International Air Tattoo debut this summer – bringing to 51 the number of countries that have taken part in the Cotswold airshow since it was first held in 1971.

Securing a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft from Algeria is a coup for the 2009 Air Tattoo as it is rare for aircraft from Africa to take part in UK airshows. From the continent, only South Africa and Morocco have sent aircraft in the past.

Rob Windsor, the Air Tattoo’s Head of Aircraft Operations, said Algeria’s participation reflected the excellent reputation the airshow has built up over the years around the world.

He said: “For more than three decades, international air arms have seen the Air Tattoo as a valuable place to meet, build relationships and exchange ideas. It’s particularly pleasing when we have nations joining us for the very first time and it will definitely be something the aircraft enthusiasts will be looking forward to.”

The 2009 Air Tattoo will also be welcoming a number of aircraft that are returning following last summer’s cancellation due to flooding. Among them are Portugal’s aerobatic display team the Asas de Portugal, the RAF Red Arrows plus US Air Force aircraft including the B-1B and B-52 bombers.

Mr Windsor said: “Despite their obvious disappointment, aircraft operators who took part last year appreciated our reasons for having to cancel. During the winter, we have introduced a number of initiatives that we believe will minimise the risk of us having to cancel again and we now look forward to opening our gates once again in July.”
This summer’s Air Tattoo, which takes place on July 18-19, will mark the 60th anniversary of NATO. The focus will also be on international maritime patrol and search & rescue aircraft which will fly in as part of the airshow’s Sea Search theme.
Special cut-price tickets for the Air Tattoo are available until March 31, priced £30.95. Under-16s go free. For details and regular updates on participating aircraft, visit airtattoo.com

Explore Gloucestershire
20 March 2009

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