I mentioned this briefly a while back, but as the deadline is approaching it’s worth reminding people that it is possible to request your very own flypast by the RAF for your village fete or school event, or other suitable thing you are organizing.
Amazingly, the flypasts are completely free of charge.
The only birthday they’ll turn up for is The Queen’s so unless Her Maj is reading this blog post, don’t bother applying for birthday parties. Almost anything else is worth trying for though.
The most likely flypast you can request is by a Spitfire operated by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), but they also have larger aircraft such as the Lancaster Bomber for special occasions.
Rather less likely, but worth trying — because you never know — is a flypast by the Red Arrows.
Requests for next year need to be sent in by the end of this month.
Generally, unless you are a military venue, or somehow linked to a major event, your chances of a flypast are going to be based on whether there is a plane in the air nearby visiting such a venue – therefore the more flexible you are in requesting a date, the greater the chance of the plane making a slight detour to visit you.
For example, the BBMF flies over London a couple of times a month during the summer – mainly over the RAF Museum, so if you could say “any Saturday afternoon in June” and plan your event around their availability, your chances are much higher than requesting a specific date.
Likewise for the Red Arrows, although they very rarely visit London, so you might have a better chance if you try to synchronize your request with something else happening in the South-East that the Red Arrows are likely to be visiting. Such as the Airshows at Southend (4th June?), Farnborough (9th-15th July), Clacton (23rd-24th Aug) or Eastbourne (9th-12th Aug), or the Goodwood Festival (early July).
It is just the effort of filling in a simple request form, and you never know, they might just say Yes – and won’t that look good on your event poster.
The Red Arrows’ display season generally begins in May and finishes in September, while the BBMF runs between April and October.
For Spitfires and Lancaster Bombers – click here
For the Red Arrows – click here