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Monday, July 22, 2013

Helicopters Dominate RIAT Air Show

By Andrew Drwiega

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) Air Show was held at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, over the past weekend. 
 
 
(A Finnish Army NH90 TTL flies at the RIAT Air Show. Photo, courtesy of Andrew Drwiega.)
 
Perhaps due to the sequestration issue limiting the numbers of U.S. Air Force (USAF) aircraft participating in the show, the ground viewing areas and indeed the flight display had a wealth of helicopters. Flying displays were conducted by an Army Air Corps WAH-64D Apache and Lynx Mk7, Squirrel HT1 from RAF Shawbury and RAF Chinook HC2 (which always conducts aerobatics that most believe an aircraft of that size shouldn't be able to do). 
 
Another amazing performance was delivered by an AH-64D Apache from 301 Squadron, Royal Netherlands Air Force. The number of times the crew looped and backflipped the heavy attack helicopter had their military peers in the crowd stopping and staring. 
 
 
 
One Army Air Corps maintenance officer standing next to me commented that he bet the aircraft's maintainers would have a comment or two to make about the stresses the aircraft had undergone during the flight. 
 
Also appearing for the first time at RIAT was a Finnish Army Aviation NH-90. 

 

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