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Shall we start about the weather….? Ooh the absolute horror RIAT this year had to endure, and it was the same for the photoflights. We managed to fly between showers, for real!! Navigating through the downpour was a new challenge for us, but it was all done in a very safe way. Of course the weather did prevent us from flying the full planning, as many aircraft had a rescheduled arrival time, or had to use the fuel for the photo join-up as additional holding time.

However, long story short, is that despite all these challenges we had another epic edition of RIAT photoflights!! No other project in the entire world will offer so much military variety, and we were truly blessed again to welcome so many friends behind the Skyvan photoship. Our very first join us was the nice Tiger, the AG-5B Tiger to be precise, a sweet civilian aircraft. Followed by our longtime friends of the Jordanian C-130, they came to say hello behind the Skyvan on every edition we have flown since the start!

After 15 airshow seasons we finally got our first 2-ship Tornado, what a sensational view when those jets ‘float’ next to you. It got even better when we had 1 single pass of the German A400M in refueling configuration, joined by the two Tornados. Epic!!

The Spanish Aguilas gave us a short but rare join-up, unfortunately it is one of maybe many teams who’s days are numbered…And always tack sharp on time, our Danish friend TEO with the Danish ‘flag’ F-16.

Another German regular was the NH90, followed by the factory Saab Gripen E 2-ship, a premiere for us. Not the only Gripen, as also the Czech demojet gave us a few minutes between the clouds.
After last years last minute covid cancellation, everyone was super pumped to see the Swedish SK60 on a rare occasion, bringing two jets with smoke in the colours of their long gone team ‘Team 60’. From the Royal Navy Wings, we got the bright yellow Stinson and the immaculate SeaFire….2 seconds of sun included!

On the spot opportunities are cool, and we got one this year with the C-172 in USAF colors, as the aircraft happened to refuel right next to the Skyvan photoship…nailed it!

The German CH-53 has been high on our wishlist for as long as we operate the Skyvan photoship, and we finally got our chance, and not in rain but glorious semi sunset conditions…fielen dank!!!

While the weather on Wednesday was challenging already, on Thursday it was…well far more challenging. But there is always action, lots of it during RIAT photoflights, and our first join-up of the day was already at 07.35 sharp. Two German Eurofighters joined us in what was the most colorful join-up of this project.

The Liberty Wing at Lakenheath will never miss an opportunity to fly with us, bringing again the F-15E models and another 2-ship with the F-35.

The Martin Baker Gloster Meteor took off especially for us, and we are so grateful that we have a unique chance to see this jet airborne, only a few of these still fly in the world.
Photoflights can take a long time, and our next mission would see a record number of guests joining up: all the civilian Italian friends came in one go, starting with 3x the G-46, Falco, 2x Piaggio P-149, a Harvard, Cessna L-126 and the orange SF260.
The Czech Mi-171 came is fantastic special colours, followed rightaway by the Romanian An-26…yes the one from the Expendables movie! Awesome imax view in the sky for us! Unfortunately the Hellenic F-4’s had a technical problem, forcing them to cancel last minute…but we will see them later in the year in full force in Greece.
Biggest surprise for all photographers onboard the Skyvan were the Italian Tornados who came as a 2-ship, so a second 2-ship in the same project. The flew a magical photosession for 20 minutes, with the rainclouds in full downpour action in the background. This was thé highlight for most of us, and one of the photos will grace the RIAT 2025 calendar cover.
Two classic jets is also a rare view, so more happiness for us when the Hunter was accompanied by the Vampire, rainclouds included again! Another ultra rare join-up was the Italian S-208 in spectacular anniversary colours, bringing even a surprise guest in the form of the Italian AW149 heli. The huge S-92 from the Coastguard was supposed to be our final join up, but we got photobombed in the end by the Portugese Epsilon…for the shortest RIAT join-up so far, but it was a sweet minute!

Unfortunately on Friday we could no longer win from the dark low clouds, and we were forced to cancel all the flying for that day. Highlight would have been a final final chance for the Italian AMX, so we look back to last year with even sweeter memories when we got the jet for 20 mins.

Another RIAT in the books, and looking forward already to the next year!! It is promising to be a jet overloaded edition due to the themes they have chosen. We will be very happily celebrate 50 years F-16 from our point of view!!

If you like to join us on the RIAT photoflights, just send a short email to for more information. Check in early, as the project is highly in demand every year…for good reason!

 

 
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