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RAF100: ‘Once-in-a-lifetime’ July 10 flypast to celebrate Royal Air Force’s 100th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 11:00 08 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:49 13 July 2018

The Red Arrows. Pic: Cpl Tim Laurence/UK MOD/Crown Copyright 2017

The Red Arrows. Pic: Cpl Tim Laurence/UK MOD/Crown Copyright 2017

© UK MOD Crown Copyright 2017 This image may be used for current news purposes only. It may not be used, reproduced or transmitted for any other purpose.

One hundred days after the Royal Air Force’s official 100th birthday, the service is to stage a spectacular one off event.

The Red Arrows. Pic: MoD/Crown copyright 2016The Red Arrows. Pic: MoD/Crown copyright 2016

The celebration on July 10 includes a flypast of up to 100 historic and present-day aircraft along with a parade of 1,300 RAF personnel through central London.

The parade is set to start at 11.25am and will march up The Mall, followed by the flypast over Buckingham Palace at 1pm, though organisers say this will depend on the weather, the condition of aircraft and any operational commitments.

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 RAF 100 celebrations.

Spectators are to line The Mall and surround Buckingham Palace as the aircraft fly overhead. Pic: Cpl Scott RobertsonSpectators are to line The Mall and surround Buckingham Palace as the aircraft fly overhead. Pic: Cpl Scott Robertson

“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, 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,” he added.

The view from the roof of Buckingham Palace as the Red Arrows led a Canberra PR9 from 39 Sqn, RAF Marham, on the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. Pic: Sgt Graham SparkThe view from the roof of Buckingham Palace as the Red Arrows led a Canberra PR9 from 39 Sqn, RAF Marham, on the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. Pic: Sgt Graham Spark

Organisers have confirmed Spitfires, which flew in the Second World War, will fly over central London wowing the crowds below.

The mass display is set to feature a range of different types of aircraft marking different periods in the RAF’s 100-year history.

Some of the aircraft taking part include the Chinook helicopter, Second World War workhorse the Hurricane, a Hercules transporter, Hawks T1 and T2, and Tornado fast jet.

A RAF Tornado from II (AC) Squadron, RAF Marham, flys over the Shard skyscraper building in London during Her Majesty the Queen's 2013 Birthday Flypast over London. Pic: SAC Andy Masson/Crown CopyrightA RAF Tornado from II (AC) Squadron, RAF Marham, flys over the Shard skyscraper building in London during Her Majesty the Queen's 2013 Birthday Flypast over London. Pic: SAC Andy Masson/Crown Copyright

The Red Arrows are also set to participate. While one of only two airworthy Lancaster bombers in the world is set to take to the skies above London.

And the organisers have announced that the flypast might also provide a first glimpse of the RAF’s next generation aircraft, the Lightning, though at the time of going to press this had yet to be confirmed.

Spectators will have the chance to take a front-row seat and experience the celebrations from viewing points along the length of The Mall leading up to Buckingham Palace.

A Royal Air Force CH47 Chinook Helicopter. Pic: POA Sean Clee/MoD/Crown CopyrightA Royal Air Force CH47 Chinook Helicopter. Pic: POA Sean Clee/MoD/Crown Copyright

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 over the generations. The parade starts at 11.25am marching up Horse Guards Road and The Mall towards the Palace.

There will be live coverage on the BBC and on BBC iPlayer. BBC Radio 2 will also cover the historic event.

The RAF100 flypast will form over Suffolk to the west of Ipswich. 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, Essex.

The types of aircraft set to take part in the July 10 flypast. Pic: CROWN COPYRIGHTThe types of aircraft set to take part in the July 10 flypast. Pic: CROWN COPYRIGHT

It will continue in a south-westerly direction, crossing the M25 to fly over Stapleford Abbotts and Hainault Forest and on to central London. The route to the Palace will see the formation pass over Redbridge, Wanstead, Leyton, the Olympic Park, Hackney, Bethnal Green, Shoreditch and the City of London before the lead elements fly up The Mall and over the Palace at 1pm. The organisers have confirmed that the final aircraft in the flypast is expected to soar over Buckingham Palace at about 1.09pm.

On passing over central London the flypast then heads northwards towards Hendon.

But before the main celebrations fans of the RAF can visit Horse Guards Parade to see a display of nine aircraft from the last 100 years of RAF aviation.

The RAF's last remaining Lancaster bomber. Pic: SAC Scott Robertson/Crown CopyrightThe RAF's last remaining Lancaster bomber. Pic: SAC Scott Robertson/Crown Copyright

It will be open from Friday until 9 July from 11am to 6pm.

The free tour offers visitors an opportunity to view historic and modern aircraft up close. Some of the aircraft on show are due to take part in the July 10 flypast.

There will also be interactive exhibits to show young people how science, technology, engineering and mathematics are crucial to the RAF and the service it delivers.The RAF’s celebration looks set to amaze spectators as its service personnel put on an historic display of military might, technical prowess and airborne wonder.

The flypast route. Pic: CROWN COPYRIGHTThe flypast route. Pic: CROWN COPYRIGHT

Visit raf.mod.uk/raf100/news/10-july-centenary-celebrations/ for more details.

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