The Queen watches RAF's biggest fly-past since 1990 as she presents its new colours


Blackleaf
#1
The Queen watched in awe earlier today as the RAF staged its biggest fly-past in 18 years to celebrate its 90th birthday.

The monarch also awarded some new colours to the service.

The fly-past was the RAF's biggest since 1990 when it commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Queen watches biggest RAF display for two decades

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
11/07/2008
The Telegraph


The RAF has managed to stage its biggest air display in two decades, despite fighting wars on two fronts, as a 35 mile long procession of aircraft flew past the Queen.



The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh presented the new Queen's Colours to the Royal Air Force

The Queen's taking part in celebrations to mark the ninetieth anniversary of the Royal Air Force. Hear Her Majesty's speech to the troops.

For almost 10 minutes the Queen looked up at what amounted to one sixth of the Air Force cruising past the royal stand at RAF Fairford as part of the Service's 90th anniversary celebrations.

At precisely 2.31pm the first of the RAF's lumbering Chinooks, that provide vital logistic support in Afghanistan, flew past at the start of a formation that had gathered from all over British bases.

The flypast was the biggest since 1990 when the RAF assembled 168 aircraft to fly over Buckingham Palace to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh presented the new Queen's Colours to the Royal Air Force to raise the curtain on the world's largest military air show at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

The royal couple was met by Air Chief Marshal Sir Glen Torpy, the Chief of the Air Staff and were watched by more than 5,000 invited guests.

The presentation ceremony included a drumhead blessing service for the new Colours and a march past by 800 RAF airmen.

In a speech the Queen said the RAF could be “proud” of its “considerable successes” achieved over the past 90 years.


In a speech the Queen said the RAF could be “proud” of its “considerable successes” achieved over the past 90 years

“You continue to be an outstanding example to other Air Forces, whether defending the skies over the United Kingdom or protecting the Nation’s interests overseas.

“I have been enormously impressed with the professionalism, skill, determination and courage with which the men and women of the RAF serve, often in the most challenging and dangerous circumstances.

She added that the Service could be “immensely proud” of the achievement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“However, I am also deeply conscious that this success sometimes comes at great cost to the Service, individuals and their families.”

Presenting new Colours to the RAF Regiment she said the men carried out the “vital and dangerous task” of protecting the airfields in Basra and Kandahar, Afghanistan.

“Sadly, these operations carry a high risk and seven members of the Corps have paid the ultimate price of service in the last year,” she added.

After lunch the royal guests met RAF personnel from every decade of the 90 years of the Royal Air Force.

The flypast began with the slowest aircraft first, including Merlin, Sea King and Puma helicopters – all of which are currently used on operations.

The rotor wing section was then followed by the Battle of Britain Memorial flight of a Lancaster bomber, and the war-winning Hurricane and Spitfire.

Motorists stopped and crowds gathered at the roadside to watch the planes fly in a straight line from Northleach in Gloucester, past Swindon and over the M4 breaking off at Albourne, Wilts,

Fast jets boomed over the royal enclosure with nine of Eurofighter Typhoons leading the way alongside Tornado bombers, Harrier jump jets and finally the Red Arrows aerobatic display team.

The event, which has been planned for a year, included 27 different makes of aircraft and its organisation was described as a "game of high altitude chess".

"The biggest headache is that all these different aircraft move at different speeds, so you need to get the slow ones at the front and out of the way quickly before the fast ones turn up," said Squadron Leader 'Gaz' Littlechild, 34.

"You get a great sense of pride doing something like this in front of the Queen," added Sqn Ldr Mark Ponting.

The air show will open to the public on Saturday.


The RAF staged its biggest air display in two decades, as a 35 mile long procession of aircraft flew past the Queen


For almost 10 minutes the Queen looked up at what amounted to one sixth of the Air Force cruising past the royal stand at RAF Fairford as part of the Service's 90th anniversary celebrations


The flypast began with the slowest aircraft first, including Merlin, Sea King and Puma helicopters – all of which are currently used on operations


The rotor wing section was then followed by the Battle of Britain Memorial flight of a Lancaster bomber, and the war-winning Hurricane and Spitfire


Fast jets boomed over the royal enclosure with nine of Eurofighter Typhoons leading the way ...

[img]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/00687/tornadoes_687066n.jpg
[/img]
...alongside Tornado bombers...


...and finally the Red Arrows aerobatic display team


The event, which has been planned for a year, included 27 different makes of aircraft and its organisation was described as a "game of high altitude chess


Earlier, the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh presented the new Queen's Colours to the Royal Air Force


In a speech the Queen said the RAF could be “proud” of its “considerable successes” achieved over the past 90 years


She added that the Service could be “immensely proud” of the achievement in Iraq and Afghanistan


After lunch the royal guests met RAF personnel from every decade of the 90 years of the Royal Air Force


The Queen met Henry Allingham, 112, the oldest surviving veteran of The Great War. Mr Allingham, the joint second-oldest man in the world, said it was the ninth time the Queen had met him - so he was not overawed

telegraph.co.uk
 
darkbeaver
#2
You owe me money on that fight Blackleaf, that drunken moron couldn't beat the head of a beer.
 
Scott Free
#3
Didn't our media just $hit all over Russia for doing a similar military display recently?

I think the headline should read: Queen participates in propaganda campaign reminiscent of the cold war.