Crowds watch as spectacular RAF flypast soars over region
- Credit: Archant
People in Suffolk and Essex have been watching the skies as a spectacular flypast of aircraft crossed the skies today to mark the RAF’s 100th anniversary.
There were people standing on the roofs of office blocks in Ipswich, while some had travelled to nearby sites such as Copdock and Nacton to get a good view.
Scores of jets, aeroplanes and helicopters were taking part in the “once-in-a-lifetime” event, spanning the history of the RAF.
Chief Inspector Matthew Rose tweeted a photo of staff on the field at police HQ, north east of Ipswich, hoping for the first glimpse of the flypast.
Will Jackson captured photos of the famous RAF Red Arrows flying over Chelmsford.
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The flypast began to form to the west of Ipswich at around 12.45pm and then swooped to the south of the town before heading to the north of Colchester heading towards Marks Tey and Kelvedon before flying to the north east of Chelmsford.
It was then carrying on over the M25, Stapleford Abbotts, Hainault Forest and on to central London - passing the Olympic Park, Hackney, Bethnal Green and Shoreditch before getting to Buckingham Palace and The Mall at around 1pm.
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It was 100 years ago on April 1, 1918, that the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the RAF - the world’s first independent air service.
This event was the largest concentration of military aircraft in recent memory.
During the flypast, the RAF flew in a difficult formation that displayed the number 100.
Watched by the Queen and senior members of the royal family from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, the spectacle drew awe and applause from the crowd below.
Trails of red, white and blue smoke from the famous Red Arrows was another highlight.
The flypast was a centrepiece of events celebrating the RAF’s centenary, with lines of invited personnel given a prime viewing position directly outside the palace gates.