A dramatic flypast featuring more than 50 aircraft from the Royal Air Force will provide a stunning aerial set piece to launch RAF centenary celebrations at this summer's Royal International Air Tattoo.
The massed flypast, which takes place at the Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on Friday, July 13, will see many of the RAF's operational aircraft accompanied by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) flying in formation above the crowds at the airshow.
Though still to be confirmed, among the aircraft expected to take part will be RAF Typhoons, Tornado GR4s, an A400M Atlas, the Red Arrows, plus Puma and Chinook helicopters. It is hoped that one of only two airworthy Lancaster bombers in the world will to lead the BBMF formation of Spitfires and Hurricanes.
The flypast will follow a Royal Review of aircraft and a parade by Service personnel from the Queen's Colour Squadron at the Cotswolds' airbase in the morning.
Whilst the massed flypast is scheduled to take place on the Friday only, the Royal Air Force is hoping to stage special RAF100 themed set-pieces during the weekend's eight-hour flying display. On the ground, a large area will be dedicated to the RAF Centenary, where visitors will be able to see aircraft from the RAF's past, present and future as well as meet those currently serving to learn about the variety of roles they perform in today's RAF.
Other attractions include the critically-acclaimed Techno Zone, which is full of exciting hands' on activities designed to stimulate young minds and bring the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) curriculum to life. The Air Tattoo is one of a number of high profile events taking place around the UK over the coming months to mark the RAF's 100th birthday - and will be the focus of international centenary celebrations.
Air arms from around the world are being invited to participate and already, many air arms including from Canada, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Finland, Czechoslovakia and Demark have confirmed they will be attending.
Joining them will be an historic P-51D Mustang and a state-of-the-art, stealthy USAF F-35A Lightning II that will perform a joint display as part of the US Air Force Heritage Flight.
RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises' Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said this summer's airshow provided a great opportunity for people around the country to show their appreciation of the Royal Air Force both in terms of what it achieved in the past as well as the role it is performing today.
He said: "The Air Tattoo is renowned for staging unique and memorable aerial set pieces to mark special anniversaries. The RAF centenary is extra special - so visitors should expect to see something extra special in the skies above RAF Fairford this summer."