Short Tucano T1 (ZF264) from the Royal Air Force (RAF) at the RIAT 2019, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
The Tucano T1 is a modified version of the Brazilian Embraer EMB-312 Tucano aircraft, and is built under licence by Shorts of Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Tucano T1 is operated primarily from No 1 Flying Training School, at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, to provide basic fast jet flying training to Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy (RN) student pilots. The aircraft handling is similar to that of a jet aircraft and it is fully aerobatic, thus providing an excellent platform for the training of fast-jet pilots in all aspects of military flying. It is used to develop students in a full range of skills, including general aircraft handling, formation flying and low-level navigation and, due to its comprehensive avionics and ice protection packages, it can be flown in all types of weather, by day and by night.
On 14 February 1986, the prototype conducted its maiden flight in Brazil before being delivered to Shorts to be used as a pattern aircraft and modified to meet Royal Air Force requirements and used for trials and demonstrations. The first Short-assembled aircraft flew on 30 December 1986; deliveries to the RAF commenced during June 1988. The final example of the type was completed in 1995. Maintenance and support of the RAF's Tucano fleet was typically outsourced to several private companies. On 25 October 2019, the Tucano was withdrawn from RAF service. It has been replaced by the winner of the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) programme, under which civilian-registered Beechcraft T-6Cs have taken on its training duties. 130 were delivered to the RAF, 16 to Kuwait and 12 to Kenya.
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.