B-2 Stealth Bomber Flanked By F-15s Stuns At The Royal International Air Tattoo
Nothing says American airpower like Eagles and a Spirit.
The F-35 made worldwide headlines last year by making its first appearance at the UK's Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), but this year US airpower was showcased in a different but still very impressive manner. Air show goers at RAF Fairford got a special surprise Sunday in the form of America's most prized aerial weapon system—the B-2A Spirit stealth bomber.
The B-2A executed a special set of flybys flanked by a pair of USAF F-15C Eagles. The F-15Cs are based at RAF Lakenheath. Even in videos that are emerging on the net, seeing the two iconic combat jet types flying together is a downright impressive display of America's aerial prowess. Being there to see it in person must have been quite special.
As for those who will decry the massive cost of flying a B-2 from Whiteman, Missouri to the UK just for a couple of air show flybys, forget about it. This is a global power training mission with one main difference—countless people got to appreciate it—including America's enemies. All the same components go into this operation as any other global power mission, including extensive planning, hitting a precise time over target, working with other USAF aircraft and air traffic controllers, tanking and so on. Not just that, but RAF Fairford is one of only two forward operating bases for the B-2 community, so B-2 crews need to get familiarized with flying to and from it.
Beyond the B-2's powerful flyover, the USAF had an especially large presence at this year's RIAT, with the F-22, CV-22, and the USAF Thunderbirds performing. A parade of local USAFE air power was also featured which included F-15C/Es, F-16Cs, a KC-135 and a C-130.
Outside of the USAF displays and the usual UK aerial flare, which included the world famous Red Arrows and the Typhoon demo, probably the most anticipated flying performances were Ukraine's Su-27 solo display and France's outstanding "Ramex Delta" twin Mirage 2000 routine.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com
- RELATEDWhy the B-2 Stealth Bomber Was Used to Strike ISIS Camps in LibyaAmerica's most valuable stealth combat aircraft might have seemed like an odd choice to bomb a target whose air defenses were neutered in 2011. It wasn't.READ NOW
- RELATEDRemember The Fallen With This Chilling "Grumman Cats" Missing Man FormationThe missing man formation is an incredibly emotional display, but this one is especially powerful and unique.READ NOW
- RELATEDThis Is What North Korea’s First Air Show Looked LikeWhile tensions are boiling on the Korean Peninsula, secretive North Korea opened its doors to the world in a fairly spectacular way.READ NOW
- RELATED10 CV-22 Ospreys Flying Low in Formation Sounds Like a Pit of Hissing SnakesThey are loud as hell in hover, but in airplane mode they hiss by.READ NOW
- RELATEDF-35 Gets the “Pot Of Gold” Treatment After Landing in the UK for the First TimeA long-delayed step forward, but not a major triumph.READ NOW