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A Very British Flypast

Published: 20 Jul 2019   updated: 22 Jul 2019

The legendary Red Arrows joined forces with a special British Airways Boeing 747 for a spectacular flypast at the Royal International Air Tattoo today, marking the airline's centenary.

Visitors to the airshow were treated to an unrivalled opportunity to witness two icons of British society come together to commemorate this landmark anniversary.

The jumbo jet, one of three specially painted airliners to mark the centenary, was in the livery of British Overseas Airways Corporate (BOAC) and flew a close formation flypast with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team trailing patriotic red, white and blue smoke.

The Red Arrows and the Boeing 747 received a warm round of applause from the gathered crowd whilst they performed two formation passes.

Captain Richard Allen-William, who was in command of the British Airways aircraft, said: "We hope the sight of our BOAC liveried Boeing747 provided a wonderfully nostalgic moment for the Air Tattoo audience today. It was a huge honour for us to fly alongside the Red Arrows at RAF Fairford and to do so in our centenary year is even more special."

Squadron Leader Martin Pert, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Red Arrows, added: "Flying alongside this British Airways Boeing 747 is an incredibly memorable moment for our pilots and those watching on the ground. The RAF's own centenary celebrations - marked a year ago - demonstrated the importance of using these high-profile occasions to inspire the next generation and we hope this flypast did exactly that. It was a truly best of British flypast."

This appearance of the BOAC 747 at the Air Tattoo is one of a number of celebratory events organised by British Airways that are intended to provide a vision for the next 100 years of aviation.

“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, Former Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show I’ve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

“This is THE best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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