Flypast and chance to sit in cockpit of hawk aircraft at Norwich Airport RAF centenary

Generic views of Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Generic views of Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A weekend of celebration will be hosted at Norwich Airport as part of the centenary celebrations for the Royal Air Force.

Norwich Airport terminal. Picture: Archant Library

Norwich Airport terminal. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant

On Saturday and Sunday there will be a number of military vehicles together with RAF static displays and equipment, an RAF Air Training Corps flight simulator, the chance to build model robots and gliders with the RAF STEM team, a Rolls Royce Derwent engine, climbing wall, Cadet Band and a display of Aston Martin cars.

The star attraction will be a static hawk aircraft right outside the terminal. Visitors at the weekend will have the opportunity to sit in the aircraft cockpit.

Norwich Airport has a long association with the RAF having been first developed as RAF Horsham St Faith in 1939, opening as an RAF bomber station in 1940. It was made available to the United States Army Air Force from 1942 to 1945, and was then operated by the RAF as a front line station until 1963. The first holiday charter flights started in 1971.

Celebrations will kick off on Friday morning with a flypast at 10am by a Tornado aircraft and civic reception hosted by Sir Peter Rigby, founder, Chairman and CEO of Rigby Group Plc, which owns Norwich Airport. Rigby Group is sponsoring and organising similar RAF100 events its other airports which include Coventry, Exeter and Bournemouth Airports.

Passengers about to fly out from Norwich Airport. Picture: Archant Library

Passengers about to fly out from Norwich Airport. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant

Sir Peter Rigby, who is also a Group Captain of 601 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, said the event reflected the themes of the RAF's centenary year: to commemorate, celebrate and inspire.

He said: 'We have organised this RAF 100 celebration in Norwich to reflect the professionalism and capabilities of today's Royal Air Force and to provide a platform to discuss its current role and its important future place in serving and protecting our nation.

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'This is a time of commemoration and celebration, as well as showcasing the opportunities available in the modern RAF to inspire young people to join the service to realise their potential from the world-class training and opportunities which are available.'

Norwich Airport's managing director Richard Pace added: 'Norwich Airport has a long and proud association with the RAF and we are delighted to be supporting the RAF100 centenary celebrations. We hope people will come along for a fun-packed weekend at their local airport.'

For more information on flights from Norwich Airport please visit: