TODAY (July 10th), up to 100 RAF aircraft will perform a flypast on an epic scale over Central London to mark the centrepiece of the Royal Air Force’s 100th anniversary celebrations. Historic aircraft, including Spitfires, will join some of the RAF’s most state-of-the-art aircraft in this unique event.
This flypast will be the largest concentration of military aircraft seen over the capital in recent memory, with the formation passing over Buckingham Palace at 1pm BST*.
The mass display will feature a range of aircraft, marking different eras of the RAF’s 100-year service history, and will include the first opportunity for the general public to see the RAF’s next generation aircraft, the Lightning (to be confirmed).
Ahead of the flypast itself there will be a parade of 1,000 RAF personnel and another 300 lining the route, representing the diverse roles played within the RAF through the generations. The parade will start at 11:25, marching up Horse Guards Road and The Mall towards the Palace.
The planned events mark 100 days since the 1 April anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force and there will be a number of free ways for the public to get involved with this iconic event:
• Experience the celebrations in person with viewing positions along the length of The Mall
• Visit the RAF100 Aircraft Tour on Horse Guards Parade between 6-9 July for the opportunity to view and film an exhibition of aircraft covering the RAF’s history, from WW1 and WW2 through to the modern age
• Watch live coverage on the BBC or stream on BBC iPlayer to watch the events as they unfold live
• Spot the aircraft as they fly over Central London and surrounding areas – see route map for more details
Air Chief Marshal, Chief of the Air Staff, Sir Stephen Hillier, said: “This once-in-a-lifetime flypast will provide an iconic centrepiece for the RAF100 celebrations.
In our centenary year we are commemorating those that have come before us, celebrating our current personnel and, ultimately, inspiring a new generation to write the next chapters in the RAF’s story.
“While the aircraft in the skies on July 10 will offer a striking visual representation of the United Kingdom’s air power throughout the RAF’s existence, it is also important to remember that there is a
large and multi-skilled team behind every aircraft participating. The complex preparations required to deliver this display are made possible by the RAF’s cutting-edge technology and ongoing spirit of relentless innovation.”
The types of aircraft participating in the flypast (all aircraft participation is subject to weather, aircraft serviceability and operational commitments) are as follows:
• Lightning – the RAF’s next generation fast jet
• Puma – the RAF’s advanced medium-sized, medium lift transport helicopter
• Chinook – the twin-rotor heavy lift helicopter
• Juno – the new training helicopter which has replaced the Squirrel
• Jupiter – the new advanced training helicopter which has replaced the Griffin
• Dakota – the Berlin Airlift transporter which helped to move nearly 9,000 tons of essentials every day
• Lancaster – the iconic Bomber Command veteran aircraft; one of only 2 airworthy Lancaster’s in the world
• Hurricane – the battle-hardened workhorse of WWII Fighter Command
• Spitfire – the iconic Battle of Britain fighter. The Spitfire was produced in larger numbers
than any other aircraft before or since
• Prefect – the new Elementary Flying Training aircraft which has replaced the Tutor
• Tucano – the RAF’s long-serving basic fast jet flying training aircraft
• Shadow – the RAF’s advanced intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance aircraft
• Hercules – the workhorse of Britain’s tactical military air transport and humanitarian capabilities. First operational in the RAF over 50 years ago
• Atlas A400M – the RAF’s new, cutting-edge strategic air transport aircraft
• C-17 – the key to Britain’s global strategic air transport capabilities
• BAe 146 – the RAF’s short-range personnel transport and logistical support aircraft
• Sentinel – the RAF’s world-leading battlefield surveillance and intelligence gathering aircraft
• Voyager – the state-of-the-art air-to-air refuelling and global passenger transport aircraft
• Rivet Joint – the mainstay of Britain’s aerial electronic signals intelligence gathering capability
• E-3D Sentry – the battle-proven airborne early warning and command and control platform. An air traffic control system in the sky
• Hawk T1 – the RAF’s advanced fast jet pilot training aircraft
• Hawk T2 – the latest version of the RAF’s long-serving Hawk fast jet trainer
• Tornado GR4 – the RAF’s longest-serving strike and reconnaissance fast jet
• Typhoon – the backbone of Britain’s air attack and quick reaction capabilities
• Red Arrows – the RAF’s elite aerobatic team