Look to the skies on Saturday lunchtime (8th June), as a military flypast will pass over central London, followed by the Red Arrows.

The whole thing is for the Queen’s official birthday following the Trooping the Colour at Horseguards Parade in the morning.

Before reaching the Royal Family and massed crowds waiting at Buckingham Palace at 1 pm, the flypast will form up at Southwold, Suffolk and route via Ipswich, passing close to Colchester and Chelmsford and entering London south of Stapleford Aerodrome.

Then they tend to fly over Shoreditch, the City and then Strand before heading along The Mall to Buckingham Palace.

Having overflown the Palace, the Red Arrows will fly south for another display while most of the remaining aircraft will continue past Northolt and Wendover, finally parting ways in the RAF Brize Norton area.

The line up is expected to be:

  • Dakota
  • Puma HC2 helicopter
  • Chinook HC6A
  • Lancaster
  • Spitfire
  • Hurricane
  • Shadow R1
  • Sentinel R1
  • BAe 146
  • Voyager
  • Typhoon FGR4
  • Red Arrows

Note, due to the weather forecast the line up may have to change.

Squadron Leader Ben Smy is the lead planner for the flypast. He said, “This is a complex mission for our aircrew to fly and requires our pilots to have a good handle on maths. By the time the formation reaches Buckingham Palace, each wave of aircraft will be just 30 seconds apart and flying at between 1,000 and 1,200 feet high. However, given the flying speed differences between our modern jets and our World War Two propeller-driven aircraft, the pilots have to plan their run-in down to the second in order to achieve this spectacle for Her Majesty.”


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  1. Ken Jacobs says:

    I’ve heard that the Lancaster may not be taking part, due to the impending bad weather.

  2. j says:

    the red arrows flew over kingston upon thames todayheading south

  3. JP says:

    I’m intrigued by the magic that is ever easier to pass off with a quick smile of recognition unfortunately, each year that goes by.
    As mentioned above it’s a huge mixture of logistics, luck and long hours of experience, not forgetting they who also serve who only stand and wait and/or check the oil level on the dipsticks.
    I’m still fizzing from the memory of all those aircraft in the centenary fly-past too. In traffic just over Hammersmith Bridge, the bus driver was just as mesmerized as his passengers by the experience. Such a short stretch of years from the Wacky Races biplanes (no disrespect meant) through to supersonic fighter jets (and passenger jets, notable by its silence and absence alas) on to, well, infinity et al. Also because it took ages for all the planes to fly over.
    I hope that the organisers are planning ahead for any complaints from the users of runways one, two and eventually three at Heathrow and inevitable conflicts of interest with delivery drones and all the stuff set to fill our skies in the future.

  4. David Evans says:

    The Red Arrows passing over Earlsfield S W London caused my car to create a boom noise which carried on for 5 minutes within the car and it was like a bass box of a stereo unit.I turned the engine and music off and the noise was still there.It eventually went after 5 minutes or so.Anybody else experienced this as it was quite spooky ?

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