2018 is a colossal year for all things aircraft, with it being the centenary year of the Royal Air Force. Those in the East of England and throughout the London area were perfectly placed for the birthday flypast, as up to 100 aircraft including Spitfires and Typhoons made their voyage from Ipswich over Buckingham Palace, and then onto Maidenhead. Those lucky spectators also included staff at our Sunningdale Show Site, who sent in a spectacular shot of their envy-inducing views.
Planned minute-by-minute by Wing Commander Kevin Gatland, Chief of Staff of the Tornado Bomber force at RAF Marham, Norfolk, the event was a huge success with 22 Typhoon Aircraft flying over the mall in the perfect configuration of ‘RAF 100’.
Founded in April 1918, the RAF is the oldest independent air force in the world. Known as the ‘junior service’ because it was the last to be formed out of the 3 services, the RAF fought in every major theatre of the Second World War. Most notably is the Battle of Britain in July 1940, whereby the RAF fought off a hugely superior German airforce, maintaining supremacy over southern England.
The celebratory procession was lead by Puma and Chinook helicopters that began the excitement just after 1pm, which was shortly followed by aircraft including a Lancaster, Spitfires, Hurricanes, the A400M Atlas and 3 F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets.
Were you among the 70,000 viewers out and about in London during this time? Or rather did you watch the airborne procession from your Crane Garden Building with binoculars in hand? However you choose to do it throughout 2018, be sure to take a moment in honour of those who fought and continue to fight for the Royal Air Force, 100 years on from its formation.