Show Report

Royal International Air Tattoo 2003

RAF Fairford

Show details
Date 15th - 21st July 2003
Weather Variable
Comment Not a classic RIAT but enjoyable all the same. The changeable weather provided both some good and frustrating lighting conditions from a photographic point of view.


PLEASE NOTE: I retain copyright to all photographs on this site. Should you require to use any then please contact me first. Thank you.

The following photos were taken on Friday 18th July 2003

Eurofighter Typhoon

The two seater RAF Eurofighter Typhoon put up an impressive and very tight display that used a remarkably small amount of sky compared with many other fast jets.

Fouga Magister

It was good to see the Belgian Air Force display this Fouga Magister still in the markings of the 70's aerobatic team, 'Les Diables Rouges'.

Fouga Magister

The Belgian Air Force Fouga Magister completes its display to land.

Avro Lancaster

The RAF BBMF Avro Lancaster arrives in style.

Alpha Jet

Patrouille de France

The Patrouille de France aerobatic display team arrive at the tattoo in their 50th anniversary year. Note the celebratory tail markings.


RAF 1It was good to see the two seat version of the SEPECAT Jaguar displayed by the RAF for a change, as this 16(R) Sqn T4 taxies in after completing its display.

Nimrod MR2

Proof if it were needed that interesting photos can be obtained when conditions are marginal (for both flying and photography!), as this RAF Nimrod MR2 cuts short its display rehearsal as the weather deteriorates. Here the camera lens aperture is opened right up to use what available light there was. Accurate focussing and a good 'panning' technique are also required to get a decent shot, especially when using 100 ISO slide film and 1/125 second exposure as here. Here

Frecce Tricolori

Frecce Tricolori

As usual, a lot of the best flying came from the Italian Air Force 'Frecce Tricolori' aerobatic display team.

Junkers JU-52

The historic Junkers JU-52 arrives for the tattoo to take part in the huge static display celebrating 100 years of powered flight.

Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk

At the more advanced end of the spectrum, the Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk 'Stealth Fighter' performs an overshoot during its display rehearsal.

Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle

More American muscle arrives in the shape of a 48th Fighter Wing Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.

Airbus A330 Tanker

Bringing things right up-to-date, is the Airbus demonstrator for the proposal based on the A330 airliner to meet the future strategic transport and flight refuelling tanker needs of the RAF and other European air arms.

Airbus A330

The A330 returns with two German Navy Tornado's in tow that would be typical of the aircraft the new tanker variant would need to supply fuel for.

The following photos were taken on Monday 21st July 2003

Panavia Tornado F3

A nice departure from Fairford by two RAF Tornado F3's, the nearest from 43 Sqn and the farthest from 111 Sqn, both based at RAF Leuchars. This type of photo opportunity is over in a split second, so if you're not ready you'll miss it!

Lockheed P-3C Orion

A nicely marked U.S. Navy Lockheed P-3C Orion keeps low on take off.

Dassault-Breguet Mirage IVP

A French Air Force Mirage IVP departs Fairford and probably for the last time before these impressive jets are finally retired.


PLEASE NOTE: I retain copyright to all photographs on this site. Should you require to use any then please contact me first. Thank you.