In its hundredth year, the Royal Air Force yesterday celebrated both its rich heritage and future, with a magnificent flypast over central London. Formed on 1 April 1918, the RAF was born when The Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the world's first independent air force.
Large crowds gathered across London yesterday to witness almost a flypast of nearly 100 aircraft representing the past, present and future of the Royal Air Force. From the legendary Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster to the new F35 Joint Strike Fighter, the aircraft flew over The Mall and Buckingham Palace, where they were watched by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.
A particular highlight included 22 Typhoons spelling out 100 as they flew in formation over the palace. The flypast concluded with the famous Red Arrows streaming red, white and blue smoke across the skies of the capital, and a large parade of serving RAF personnel.
The head of the Royal Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said:
"It is a hugely important day and the pinnacle of the centenary celebrations. Bringing together that big parade, the new colour and the flypast - this is going to be a tremendous day, and it is about commemorating all of our history, and it is about celebrating what we do today.”
techUK is enormously proud to actively support and participate in the RAF 100 celebrations, which continue later this year with the RAF 100 Dinner at the Imperial War Museum. If you would like to join us to celebrate the RAF at the dinner, you can do so by booking a ticket here.
The graphics below show the list of aircraft that participated in the flypast, as well as its route across the east of England and London. Also shown is a Typhoon, which took part in the special ‘100’ formation over Buckingham Palace: