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Watch the Thunderbirds and Raptor Demo Teams Fly to England Together for RIAT

Both the USAF F-22 Raptor and F-16 Thunderbirds demo teams en route to RIAT 2017 together. Photo: USAF / 100th Air Refueling Wing

Both the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo team and F-16 Thunderbirds squadron recently wrapped up a big trip across the pond, where they performed at The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) this year at RAF Fairford in Gloucestshire, to represent the USAF on its 70th Anniversary.

It’s quite a trip from the states to England to reach the world’s largest military air show, so a KC-135 with the 100th Air Refueling Wing from RAF Mildenhall, England helped make it happen, and provided some pretty cool footage afterwards.

It was their first appearance at RIAT in a decade.

Both teams also conducted flyovers in Paris on July 14 for Bastille Day too, marking the 100th Anniversary of the United States’ entrance into World War I, touring several British landmarks and military bases.

Thunderbirds en route to RIAT 2017. Photo: USAF/Christopher Boitz

We look forward to coming back in the future and performing in front of one of the biggest and best crowds we’ve ever seen,” said the Thunderbirds.

Both French and U.S. presidents were in attendance for that display, along with many other dignitaries, while the teams flew over the Eiffel Tower as part of the oldest and longest military parade in Europe to commemorate the French National Day.

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Written by Mike Killian

Mike Killian

Killian is an aerospace photographer and writer, with a primary focus on spaceflight and military and civilian aviation. Over the years his assignments have brought him onboard NASA's space shuttles, in clean rooms with spacecraft destined for other worlds, front row for launches of historic missions and on numerous civilian and military flight assignments.

When not working the California-native enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, storm chasing, producing time-lapses and shooting landscape and night sky imagery, as well as watching planes of course.

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