More than 20 Typhoon fighters forming the figure '100' above the velodrome at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (Photo: Centenary News)

100-aircraft flypast celebrates RAF Centenary

Posted on on 10 July 2018
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One of Britain’s biggest flypasts in recent years has taken place over London as the Royal Air Force marked the 100th anniversary of its foundation during the First World War.

100 aircraft swept across the UK capital on July 10 in the centrepiece event of the 2018 RAF Centenary.

Members of the Royal Family gathered with Queen Elizabeth to watch the spectacle from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

The RAF was created on 1 April 1918 by merging the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

Planes old and new took part, from the Lancaster bomber, Hurricanes and Spitfires of the Battle Memorial Flight (above), to the latest Lightning fighters.

The flypast drew thousands of spectators, passing over the site of the 2012 Olympic Games, and the streets of Central London before reaching The Mall, the ceremonial avenue leading up to Buckingham Palace.

It followed a thanksgiving service for the Royal Air Force at Westminster Abbey.

The RAF was founded as the world's first independent air force in the final year of the Great War. It was a move reflecting the growing importance of air power, and the need to control the skies.

100 years ago, the RAF would have an important part to play in  the Battle of Amiens, the series of Allied offensives beginning in August 1918 which would culminate in victory.

Arras Flying Services Memorial commemorates almost 1,000 British & Commonwealth airmen who died on the Western Front and have no known grave. The monument stands in Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras, and is cared for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Report by CN Editor

Images: Centenary News