Embraer ERJ-135LR (CE-02) from the Belgian Air Component (Belgian Air Force) at the RIAT 2019, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
In 2018 the Belgian Air Force 15th Air Transport Wing and its squadrons celebrated their 70th Anniversary. To commemorate this occasion two of its aircraft received a special colour scheme designed by the duo Peter Verheyen and Johan Wolfs, who have been responsible for the vast majority of special schemes in the Belgian Air Force over the last decades. First aircraft to receive a special marking was Embraer ERJ-135LR (CE-02) operated by the Wings 21st Squadron. The squadron main task is the transport of personnel across the globe, with the so called white 'transport fleet'.
The special colours consist of a tail marking showing a Douglas C47 Dakota, the squadrons first aircraft in 1948, next to its current Embraer ERJ-135/145 aircraft. The scheme is completed with the well-known 'Sioux' Indian that also can be found in the Squadrons crest.
This sleek-looking VIP transport aircraft is one of two Embraer ERJ-135s operated by the Belgian Air Component, which has also a pair of the same manufacturer's larger ERJ-145s in service. Each are ERJ-135LR (Long Range) variants, equipped with slightly more powerful engines than the basic model. The Embraers are used for VIP transport, this including members of the Belgian royal family and senior military personnel, as well as more general transport tasks and, if required, medical evacuation flights. The Embraer fleet replaced the 15th Air Transport Wing's long-serving Hawker Siddeley HS 748 and Fairchild Swearingen Merlin IIIA turboprop transports in the early 2000s. To date, close to 1000 Embraer ERJ-135s, ERJ-145s and their brethren have been produced. They include the highly militarised E-99 and ECB-145H AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning & Control) models.
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.