A huge flypast will take place over central London on Tuesday 10th July to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, and the flight details have now been released.

The flypast will comprise, unsurprisingly, 100 aircraft, making it by far the largest such event in London since the Queen’s Coronation back in 1953.

The flypast will start in the vicinity of The Wash, The North Sea and Southwold, Suffolk and Southend then route from the hold via Swaffham and Thetford and Colchester towards East London to then overfly Buckingham Palace at 1pm.

Note that The Mall and areas around Buckingham Palace will be sealed off as it will be filled with the RAF who are there for their birthday parade.

We ordinary folk will be able to watch the flypast from many other suitable locations. You’ll be pretty much under the flypast if you are on The Strand, and it’ll be easily visible from anywhere with a decent view over the City, so the Southbank of the Thames is going to be a more reliable bet than being in the City where tall buildings might block your view.

A good city location though could be Smithfield meat market, where the low buildings and plenty of space offer a good vantage point (caveat emptor). Elsewhere, the Olympic Park and Shoreditch look like good viewing spots.

If you work in the City, time to tell the bosses to let you onto the roof.

The full flypast line up will be:


Juno, Jupiter, Puma and Chinook

Historic flights

Hurricane, Spitfire, Dakota and Lancaster

Cargo and transport

Shadow, BAe146, Hercules, Atlas and C-17


Tornado GR4 and Typhoon


Prefect, Tucano, Hawk T1 and Hawk T2


Sentinal, Rivet Joint and E-3D Sentry

Air-to-air refulling


…and of course, the Red Arrows.

The flypast over Buckingham Palace will take around 9 minutes to complete, then they disperse heading in three routes over Hendon (RAF Museum), Heathrow/Windsor, and Runnymede.

A full rehearsal will also be taking place on 3rd July.

The rehearsal will start in the vicinity of The Wash, The North Sea and Southwold, Suffolk and Southend then route via the overhead of RAF Marham, Norfolk and overfly RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire. The dispersal will occur over North Lincolnshire and parts of Yorkshire.

The rehearsal will take place on 3 July 2018 but if the weather causes problems then it will take place on either the 4th, 5th or 6th July.

And, finally, there’s will be a display of aircraft in Horseguards Parade from 6th-9th July.


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  1. AlexLondon says:

    What time is the rehearsal?

  2. Kathy Taylor says:

    Thanks for info on the fly past, that should be well worth seeing. I will get myself up to the Sewer Bank at Stratford High Street and watch from there.

  3. Lindsey says:

    As an ex WRAF a colleague and I were intending to find a spot to watch in the Mall. For the avoidance of doubt, given the info above, can you confirm that this is not going to be possible.

  4. Dan says:

    Does anyone know of a good vantage point to watch this in the Manningtree/Colchester area?

    • Ralph White-Robinson says:

      Get down to the Cricketers Arms at Fordham Heath just outside of Colchester. Turn off the A12 for Eight Ash Green and then in EAG turn right down to Fordham.

  5. Philip says:

    Re: “Lindsey says:
    July 3, 2018 at 7:31 am
    As an ex WRAF a colleague and I were intending to find a spot to watch in the Mall.”

    You should be able to watch along the Mall just as people can on the Trooping the Colour days. The Mall is closed for the parade, but you are allowed to stand on either side to view the parade and then usually allowed on to the Mall itself a few minutes after the parade has gone by.

  6. Bryn says:

    Any idea about the time of the rehearsal at Cranwell today?

    • Phill says:

      Not sure of times, but with the weather as it is I’d expect a good turn out.

  7. Howard Batchelor says:

    Same question as Dan.
    Can’t make it to London but would love to be under the flight path if we knew where it will be.
    Does anyone know the route?

  8. Peter says:

    WOW its just flew over our house in PE12 8BX (approx) 13:00 and took a good hour for all the formations to pass in a line) at what seems like a few hundred feet……about a dozen helicopters in formation, all sorts of jets in line and formation etc which was possibly the most stunning experience in flypasts I have ever seen. Priceless. Not sure if video camera could ever capture the experience but its well worth making an effort to see. I also use raderbox tracking radar and it was so weird to then see them all in a line on the radar https://www.radarbox24.com/ – Brilliant and a must see for sure.

    • Hugh says:

      I watched the Flypast rehearsal at RAF Cranwell on Tuesday and it took 9 and a half minutes for it to go by, so I don’t know where an hour comes from as mentioned above.

  9. K. HOGAN says:

    I live in Battersea South London does anyone have any idea where would be a suitable place for me to take my mum who is in a wheelchair?

  10. Heleen Miller says:

    Would you be a leg to see it from West London when they’re flying to Heathrow? And if so where in West London? I live in Chiswick.

  11. Norma Temperton says:

    I live in isleworth. Where is the nearest place i could see it go overhead

  12. Hugh says:

    I watched the Flypast rehearsal at RAF Cranwell on Tuesday and it took 9 and a half minutes for it to go by, so I don’t know where an hour comes from as mentioned above.

  13. Billericay Resident says:

    Does anyone know of a full detailed map between Chelmsford and Buckingham Palace?

  14. War baby grandma says:

    It would be great if schools knew more detail of the route so that the children could be outside to see this amazing and moving event. I could share this info if we knew if Isleworth schools would get a good view. Can anyone help.

  15. Margaret says:

    It would be nice for the rest of the country to see this wonderful event.

  16. Rachel lincoln says:

    I would like to see all the event but I am working

  17. Nicky says:

    Is the fly past likely to go over Tower Bridge?

    • Hugh says:

      Afraid not, it will be further north of Tower Bridge.
      Best way to find out is this:
      Get a detailed map of London. Draw a line along The Mall and extend that line as far to the east as the map allows.
      You will then have the route as far as the London bit is concerned.

  18. Doug Adams says:

    In Windsor, we are after the dispersal point. Any idea how much we will see?

  19. Ann says:

    Hi.. Does anyone know where’s the event take part on 10July?

  20. Roger Rowley says:

    Will the flypast today pass over Chadwell heath in Essex

  21. Jenny says:

    Will it touch anywhere near Southend on Sea Essex??

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