Plane spotters’ pride as magnificant RAF 100 flypast passes over region’s skies

A view of the RAF 100 flypast from the roof of Orwell Park School Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A view of the RAF 100 flypast from the roof of Orwell Park School Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

It was a once-in-a-lifetime event - and crowds of excited plane spotters across Suffolk and Essex weren’t going to miss it.

A view of the RAF 100 flypast from the roof of Orwell Park School Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A view of the RAF 100 flypast from the roof of Orwell Park School Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A flypast of the country’s best and most historic aircraft - from a revered spitfire to the modern F-35 stealth fighter jet - flew for a stunning formation to display to over London to mark the RAF’s 100th anniversary.

But before arriving in the capital, they could be seen in the region’s skies making their way to their destination, delighting crowds who gathered to watch.

The formation began to form west of Ipswich at around 12.45pm, with workers standing of the roofs of the workplaces to see the planes fly by.

It then swooped to the south of the town before heading to the north of Colchester and to the north-east of Chelmsford - where amazed onlookers took pictures of the planes in a ‘100’ formation.

A view of the RAF 100 flypast from the roof of Orwell Park School Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A view of the RAF 100 flypast from the roof of Orwell Park School Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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Up to 100 planes were involved in the celebration including the new F-35 fighter, Spitfires, and 22 Typhoons.

While Lakenheath and Mildenhall RAF bases were not involved with the flypast, they still participated in the celebrations.

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A statement from the bases said: “The US Air Force and the Royal Air Force share a special bond nurtured over decades of commitment to our shared values of peace, security and prosperity.

“We’re proud to stand alongside our fellow airmen of the Royal Air Force as they recognise a century of accomplishments and success.”

A view of the RAF 100 flypast from the roof of Orwell Park School Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A view of the RAF 100 flypast from the roof of Orwell Park School Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The mayor of Aldeburgh, John Digby, joined dozens of sightseers on the seafront to salute the RAF Centenary flypast.

Mr Digby, who learned to fly in a De Havilland Tiger Moth in the 1960s and has held a private pilot’s licence for many years, watched with admiration and pride as the aircraft flew over.

He said: “They are a magnificent sight. Bit different to my flying days but very, very impressive.”

Ken Stedman, who is an RAF reserve squadron leader, watched the spectacular at Orwell Country Park.

He said: “I thought the fly-by was brilliant they were just formatting up over Ipswich, Nacton and then following down on to the A12 to then go down the Thames and down the mile.

“It was impressive to see 100 aircraft all formatted up all together. Where we stood here was the ideal spot.”

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