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The Royal Air Force (RAF) begins its RAF100 Centenary celebrations on tomorrow and over course of the next few months, some amazing events will be happening around the country to mark the occasion.
Easter Sunday will mark the 100th birthday of the RAF which was formed on 1st April 1918 although RAF100 events actually kick off this evening with a gala concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The concert will be a night of music, comedy, ceremonial drill, screen footage and personal recollections by those who have served, and continue to serve, in the defence of our country.
Sunday will see the start of the RAF100 Baton Relay in which a specially designed baton will set off on a journey around the UK and abroad. The will set off from the Royal Courts of Justice tomorrow and then take in key sites in all the UK Regions along with the Falkland Islands, Afghanistan, Irag, United Arab Emirates, Romania and The USA before returning to London on the 10th July when the RAF100 Parade and special flypast involving 100 aircraft from the RAF will take place.
Elsewhere around the country, the RAF is embarking on an aircraft tour where members of the public will be able to get up close to a range of aircraft covering the RAF’s history, from WW1, to WW2, to the Cold War, to the modern age.
The dates for the Aircraft tour are:
- 17-20 May: Cardiff
- 6-9 July: London
- 10-12 August: Newcastle, Northern Ireland
- 25-27 August: Birmingham
- 31 August-2 September: Glasgow
- 14-16 September: Manchester
The tour will also include an educational zone focussed on aviation and aerospace activities, designed to encourage interest and participation from young people.
No RAF100 celebrations would be complete though without airshows. The Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford has selected RAF100 as its theme for 2018 and RAF100 celebrations will also take place at Yeovilton Air Day.
The Former RAF Duxford, now part of the Imperial War Museums, will also host the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show in September.