Queen's Birthday Flypast Saturday 11 June 2016

Her Majesty’s the Queen's official 90th Birthday was celebrated with an impressive display of 15 different types of aircraft, five of which were provided by squadrons celebrating their own 100th birthday.

Starting at 1pm, eight ‘elements’ consisting of between two and nine aircraft each, passed over 30 seconds apart from one another and included helicopters, fast jets, World War II aircraft, the Voyager, a C-17 transporter and the Red Arrows.

The formation was led by helicopters from four squadrons, all of which are marking their centenary, including a Chinook, a Griffin, the Agusta AW109SP and a Puma 2.

They were followed by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Spitfire and Hurricane.

The following three waves consisted of logistical, transport and training aircraft. The first included the C-130 Hercules, in use by the RAF for 50 years now, and the squadron operating it (47 Sqn) is another of those marking its centenary.

The first Hercules was accompanied by two King Airs, which are used as pilot trainers.
These were followed by another Hercules and a four-propeller-engine Atlas, which is a recent replacement for an older Hercules variant and provides a strategic lift and troop transport capability.
The fifth element included the immense C-17, demonstrating the RAF’s ability to transport troops, aircraft or equipment anywhere across the globe, accompanied by its smaller cousin, the BAe 146.

The sixth element contained the RAF’s ‘eye and ears’ with the Sentinel and Airseeker which provide intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities. They were escorted by two Tornados, which have provided the backbone of the coalition air campaign against Daesh over the past year.

The seventh element contained the Voyager, the RAF’s air-to-air refuelling and main passenger transport aircraft.

The Voyager was carrying a group of Air Cadets from around the country as part of the celebration of 75 years of RAF Air Cadets organisation.

The Voyager was escorted by two Typhoons, which have had a busy year over UK skies in its Quick Reaction Alert role, as well as assisting UK allies as part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission.

Closing the flypast was a nine-strong Red Arrows, flying in their iconic ‘Big Battle’ formation in their distinctive red, British-built Hawk jets.

Created By
RAF Media & Comms
Images: MoD

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