The Royal International Air Tattoo has announced a special flypast as part of its US Air Force 70th anniversary theme at the 2017 show.

USAF aircraft flypast RIAT 17
USAF aircraft special flypast RIAT 17

Five of the main aircraft types currently operated by US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) from bases in the UK and Germany will perform an 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.

Check the list of the confirmed aircraft in the flying display here.

Source: RIAT

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