In just over four weeks, RAF pilot Flight Lieutenant David ‘Turbo’ Turnbull will be preparing to display at this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo.

With almost 200 aircraft already confirmed, the event has experienced unprecedented demand ahead of next month’s show, with it only having tickets remaining for Friday 19th and Sunday 21st July after announcing it had sold out of tickets for Saturday earlier this month.

In what is his debut season as the RAF Typhoon display pilot, the 32-year-old will be putting his iconic aircraft through its paces in front of 150,000 people at the aviation showcase, which is held at RAF Fairford.

“RIAT is the big one. So many pilots travel from all over the world to take part in RIAT and for me it’s the home match,” he said

“I feel incredibly proud to represent the RAF and UK military at this amazing airshow.”

This year the show is celebrating 100-years of the Royal Canadian Air Force, 75-years of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, 50-years of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, plus their operational theme of ‘Pushing the Boundaries in Air and Space’.

Ahead of this year’s airshow season, the RAF display Typhoon’s new livery was unveiled with it being inspired by a Hawker Typhoon from World War II.

Capable of reaching speeds of 1,550mph, the fast jet makes for exciting viewing and the RAF pilot is looking forward to demonstrating the aircraft’s capabilities in the Cotswold skies.

“The display is going to be fast, aggressive and varied. It is definitely going to wow the crowds as it still wows me”, he added.

The Typhoon is a beast. I have realised that to a much greater extent during the last couple of months working up to perform the typhoon display. It can go from -3G to +9G and it makes it feel so simple. I still remember my first take off in Typhoon, dry power only (without afterburners), and I had never felt acceleration like it. It was on a different level.

Performing this outstanding aircraft to its limits is very rewarding. It is hard work, but incredibly easy to get motivated for, as you can imagine. The step down of heights has made the display physically more challenging at every level, it is a real work out.”

Every week, the event announces more participating aircraft and tickets are selling fast, but to secure your spot visit

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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MikeR (@guest_827789)
8 days ago

I appreciate I am being a cynic, but is the recent uptick in the media about the Typhoon display team a ploy to prepare us for the end of the Red Arrows with the upcoming demise of their Hawk aircraft?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_827821)
7 days ago
Reply to  MikeR

No. The Typhoon display team has had a strong media presence for a good few years now.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_828006)
7 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

….and it does only comprise one aircraft?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_828102)
7 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes. One display aircraft. But a spare jet is always taken to events. The Team, being the pilot, engineers, touring support staff, team manager. It takes a bunch of people to make these displays happen.

Grizzler (@guest_827865)
7 days ago

Is it just me or does anyone else find the americanised nick-names both sycophantic and sympomatic of a certain vomit inducing arrogance.

“Turbo” jesus christ – still I bet he prefers it to “Ginge” I suppose.

Reminds me of the Big Bang episode when Howard tries to manipulate his fellow astronauts to nickname him Rocket Man & ends up being called Fruit Loops instead…

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_827912)
7 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

Nicknames are extremely common in the Force’s. Even among fast jet pilots. And has been the case for many many years.

Bill St Vincent
Bill St Vincent (@guest_828094)
7 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

Well, his name is Turnbull, so Turbo isn’t much of a stretch. BTW, ginge doesn’t really bother him.
Knowing him quite well, as a very calm, modest guy, I’m sure he’s not just on a high octane ego trip.
However, with a ‘company ride’ that he’s got, I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t love the buzz.
Go and watch him throw that thing around the sky – now, that might be vomit inducing, I’m sure I’d barf in my mask!

Mike Barrett
Mike Barrett (@guest_828116)
7 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

There is a security element to their names (call signs). Say for example a pilot/s is shot down in enemy territory and a group claims to hold him, or them. Under the rules of the Geneva convention, a pilot is only required to give their name, rank and serial number, a call sign adds an extra layer of proof. Or if shot down and trying to escape, they would use a ‘call sign’ to keep his identity secret. But agreed Turbo is definitely better than Ginge!