Skip Navigation

News

Celebration, Commemoration and Inspiration for RAF100 at This Year's Air Tattoo!

Published: 19 Jul 2018


The Royal Air Force (RAF) celebrated RAF100 in style at this year's Royal International Air Tattoo, which took place 13-15 July at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

The airshow, which was the official 'international' celebration of the RAF's centenary, showcased a Royal Review of aircraft and parade from the Queen's Colour Squadron, as well as a series of spectacular flypasts and displays to commemorate the anniversary.

The RAF Charitable Trust's Patron, HRH the Duke of Kent and his brother, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, conducted the review and took the salute for the Queen's Colour.

The Air Tattoo was the first official engagement for the Queen's Colour since being presented to Her Majesty the Queen earlier in the week. The parade also featured music performed by the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.

A special tribute to the legendary 617 'Dambusters' Squadron saw the iconic Lancaster bomber from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fly in formation with the squadron's current aircraft, the Tornado, and the RAF's new state-of-the-art F-35B Lightning II. Another flypast featured nine RAF Typhoons in formation, as part of centenary celebrations.

On the ground, visitors could see past and present RAF aircraft up close and learn more about the RAF in the 'RAF Experience'.

Also within the RAF Experience, were many displays that focussed on promoting the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) subjects, including a Virtual Reality Dome and other interactive exhibits. Information on apprenticeships within the RAF was also on hand.

The RAF100 Relay Baton, which has been carried across the world by RAF personnel, cadets, veterans and members of the many sporting associations that make up the RAF, also made its way into the area and was photographed with many visitors and celebrities.

An Air Tattoo spokesperson said: "A record crowd of 185,000 turned up to celebrate the RAF's centenary with us and we couldn't be more delighted."

Visitor, James Doughty said: "I bought my wife and children to the show as I wanted them to witness a day in history. There is so much to do here and we feel we have walked miles!It's been a great day out and we hope to be back next year."

The Air Tattoo returns next summer from 19-21 July 2019 to celebrate 70 years of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Buy tickets online from September 2018.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show Iíve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

“This is THE best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

Sign up for emails about the Air Tattoo, Concerts and Merchandise