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Tornado flypast in Norwich to mark 100th year of the RAF

PUBLISHED: 18:00 22 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:17 25 June 2018

Norwich Airport is holding a weekend of celebrations to mark the airport’s long association with the RAF as part of the nationwide RAF100 centenary celebrations. Photo: Lauren De Boise

Norwich Airport is holding a weekend of celebrations to mark the airport's long association with the RAF as part of the nationwide RAF100 centenary celebrations. Photo: Lauren De Boise

Lauren De Boise

A weekend of celebrations at Norwich Airport as part of the centenary of the Royal Air Force has begun with a flypast of two Tornado aircraft from RAF Marham.

Norwich Airport is holding a weekend of celebrations to mark the airport’s long association with the RAF as part of the nationwide RAF100 centenary celebrations. Photo: Lauren De BoiseNorwich Airport is holding a weekend of celebrations to mark the airport’s long association with the RAF as part of the nationwide RAF100 centenary celebrations. Photo: Lauren De Boise

City dignitaries were present to mark the start of two days of celebrations on Saturday and Sunday where 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.

Speaking to those gathered at a breakfast reception, Sir Peter Rigby, founder, chairman and CEO of Rigby Group Plc, which owns Norwich Airport, and also a Group Captain of 601 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, said: “It is only fitting that Norwich should be part of these celebrations given it’s RAF history, including RAF Mousehold Heath, RAF Horsham St Faith and RAF Marham.”

RAF Marham Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, added: “From the Battle of Britain, Second World War, right through to today, the RAF has delivered different types of air power all over the world, not just in combat and defence, but also through humanitarian aid and disaster relief. In Norfolk RAF Marham has helped the community in many ways, including flood relief.

Norwich Airport is holding a weekend of celebrations to mark the airport’s long association with the RAF as part of the nationwide RAF100 centenary celebrations. Photo: Lauren De BoiseNorwich Airport is holding a weekend of celebrations to mark the airport’s long association with the RAF as part of the nationwide RAF100 centenary celebrations. Photo: Lauren De Boise

“This is an airbase that has a history of bomber command so it’s only right Norwich Airport is part of an event that will commemorate our past, celebrate our successes and inspire for our future.”

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.

The free event runs on both days from 10am to 3pm.



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