'Once-in-a-lifetime' RAF flypast to pass over the skies of Suffolk and Essex
PUBLISHED: 22:15 26 June 2018 | UPDATED: 22:30 26 June 2018
A “once-in-a-lifetime” flypast of historic and modern aircraft, which will mark the centrepiece of the RAF’s 100th anniversary celebrations, will pass over Suffolk and Essex.
The RAF 100 flypast – on July 10 – will begin to form up over Suffolk to the west of Ipswich at around 12.45pm skirting to the south of Ipswich itself, travelling in a south-westerly direction towards Colchester.
The formation will pass to the north of Colchester, heading towards Marks Tey, Kelvedon and Witham before passing to the north and east of Chelmsford on its way to London.
The flypast over the capital will be the largest concentration of military aircraft seen over London in recent memory – with the formation passing over Buckingham Palace at 1pm.
The grand display will feature a range of aircraft, marking different eras of the RAF’s 100-year service history, and could include the first opportunity for the general public to see the RAF’s next generation aircraft – the Lightning.
Ahead of the flypast 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 11.25am marching up Horse Guards Road and The Mall towards the palace.
Sir Stephen Hillier, air chief marshal, chief of the air staff, said: “This once-in-a-lifetime flypast will provide an iconic centrepiece for the RAF 100 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 – 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
• Lancaster – the iconic Bomber Command veteran aircraft
• Hurricane – the battle-hardened workhorse of WWII Fighter Command
• Spitfire - the iconic Battle of Britain fighter
• 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
• 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