TATTOO'S TIGER ROAR GETS EVEN LOUDER Mar 5, 2005 9:34:43 GMT
Post by MilitaryAirshows on Mar 5, 2005 9:34:43 GMT
The Royal International Air Tattoo’s Tiger–Roar 05 theme was given a major boost this week following confirmation that more ‘Big Cats’ will be joining the prestigious gathering. Big Cat and Tiger aircraft are those from squadrons that have a feline theme in their crest. In many cases these squadrons decorate their aircraft in bright but stealthy, ‘jungle’ paintwork in a show of Tiger and Big Cat unity. One such squadron is US Navy VAW 125, which will be bringing a rarely seen carrier-based E-2C Hawkeye. This airborne early warning aircraft provides all-weather early warning and command and control functions for the carrier battle group. Additional missions include surface surveillance co-ordination, strike and interceptor control, search and rescue guidance and communications relay.
Also ‘roaring’ into RAF Fairford in July will be the hugely popular Fleet Air Arm aerobatics helicopter team The Black Cats, who will be displaying their wonderful flying skills at the Tattoo after accepting an invitation to join our Tiger gathering. The Black Cats is an offshoot of 702 Naval Air Squadron, the Lynx training unit based at RN air station Yeovilton. Up until last year, the two Lynx helicopters had been making the occasional appearance at shows and displays under the title of the Lynx Pair but with additional support from the Royal Navy and from Agusta Westland, the team took on a new name. This name is of some significance in Naval circles – the 702 badge features a wildcat and the squadron motto is cave ungues felis (beware the cat’s claws), while in Naval parlance a black catter is someone who always tries to go one better. Other Tiger aircraft confirmed are a Lynx AH7 and a Gazelle AH1 from the Army Air Corps. The Tattoo is particularly delighted that the Spanish Air Force display team The Patrulla Aguila will be joining us in July as the team will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. Operating out of San Javier Air Base, the team comprises seven CASA C-101EB Aviojets. They made their debut performance at Jerez de la Frontera on June 14 1985 and their international debut the following year at the Koksijde airshow in Belgium. Also confirmed for static display is a Tornado IDS from WTD 61, the Bundeswehr Aircraft Test Centre. This rarely-seen German Air Force aircraft will be flown by German Naval Reserve Cdr Ruediger Knoepfel, who on April 22, 2003, became the first pilot to take part in the first fully-automated aircraft landing. Describing it as the high point of his career as a pilot, Cdr Knoepfel flew the experimental X-31 and then watched as the aircraft controlled itself to touchdown before he took over control and lifted off again. The X-31 flight was part of ground-breaking research to develop fully-automated aircraft capable of performing extremely short landings.