If you’re in central London at lunchtime, look to the skies for a large military aircraft flypast including the Red Arrows. It’s the traditional conclusion of the Trooping the Colour, the King’s official birthday parade and will fly over central London a little before 1pm on Saturday 17th June 2023.

The flypast will assemble over Norfolk and Kent and then they line up for a straight run over east London towards Buckingham Palace and then disperse in three directions over west London.

To watch the flypast — the best spot along The Mall, but that’s also usually packed full of people who are attending the parade, so there are plenty of other places to watch the flypast.

It’s visible for some distance on either side and so long as you can see a lot of the sky without buildings in the way, you’re likely to be fine. Ideal locations would include the south bank and the bridges over the Thames.

You can see the flypast from the Olympic Park in Stratford, and the flypast will likely be over the northern end of the park – so be near the Olympic Rings for a good view.

The helicopters will fly over first, followed by a gap, then the faster planes, then a gap to allow for the fighter jets, and finally the Red Arrows.

Note — the Red Arrows usually don’t turn on their coloured smokes until they’re closer to the City, so if you want to see the red white and blue, then central London viewing spots will be best.

The order of the flypast is expected to be:

  • 3 Juno helicopters
  • 3 Wildcat Merlin Mk 2 helicopters
  • 5 Wildcat Apace helicopters
  • 3 Wildcat Merlin Mk4 helicopters
  • 4 Chinook Puma helicopters
  • Lancaster bomber flanked by Spitfire and Hurricane planes
  • Phenom and Texan turboprop training planes
  • 3 C130-J Hercules planes
  • 1 Globemaster C-17 heavy lift transport plane
  • 1 Voyager A400M – an air-to-air refueling tanker
  • 1 Poseidon Typhoon – marine patrol aircraft
  • 6 F-35B Lighting fighter jets
  • 9 Typhoon fighter jets
  • The Red Arrows

(c) RAF


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  1. diamond geezer says:

    Back in May, the Red Arrows turned on their coloured smokes as they crossed the River Lea.

  2. Mike says:

    Being a bit helicopter geeky (a side-effect of a long avionics based engineering career) the descriptions should be more of the form:

    1 x Wildcat & 2 x Merlin Mk 2
    1 x Wildcat & 4 x Apache
    1 x Wildcat & 2 x Merlin Mk 4
    3 x Chinook & 1 x Puma

    based on the silhouettes in the graphic.

    • Andrew says:

      Ah, so that is what a “Wildcat Merlin” or “Wildcat Apache” or “Chinook Puma” might be.

      And further along, the “1 Poseidon Typhoon” would appear to be “1 Poseidon with 2 Typhoons”

    • Jane says:

      Have a day tomorrow looking forward to see the red row and helicopters

  3. Jane says:

    Have a nice birthday Tomorrow

  4. Peter says:

    The helicopters flew low over Biggin Hill this afternoon very impressive and very low

  5. John B says:

    Pleased to catch the Hercs as they flew down Cromwell Road where I was also at the Exhibition Road Festival you prompted. Keep up the good work finding things for me to do Ian.

  6. Meghan Gileye says:

    Whilst the rings were the best spot last summer, the flight path was a little bit more to the north this time around. They flew directly over the bridges between the velodrome and the hockey centre.

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