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Flypast will mark RAF centenary

A C47 Dakota, which is part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
A C47 Dakota, which is part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

A FLYPAST by a Dakota will form part of a three-day celebration to mark Warwickshire and Coventry's long association with the Royal Air Force (RAF).

The event begins on Friday, 6th July, and is part of the nationwide RAF100 centenary celebrations.

There will be a number of military vehicles, static displays, stands, exhibitions and displays connected with the RAF on display from 9am in Broadgate in Coventry city centre at the event.

A BAE Systems Hawk aircraft positioned in front of the Lady Godiva statue and visitors will have the opportunity to sit in the aircraft cockpit this weekend.

A special-edition red, white and blue RAF100 Aston Martin, RAF100 vehicles manned by military personnel, an RAF Regiment Display, the University of Birmingham Air Squadron, the RAF STEM team and RAF recruitment officers are also expected to draw the crowds.

All stands will be open in Broadgate from 9am to 5pm on Friday and Saturday, and between 10am to 3pm, on Sunday when a Dakota from the Battle of Britain’s Memorial Flight will fly over at 3.20pm.

The event is sponsored by Stratford-upon-Avon based Rigby Group and is among a series of RAF100 events taking place across the UK.

Coventry Airport will also host a static nine-piece aircraft display from 10am to 4pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which will include the Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF.11, Hunting Percival Jet Provost T.3, Dehavilland Venom FB.4, Dehavilland Vampire T.11 and T. 55, Percival Proctor V, Douglas DC3 Dakota, Avro Shackleton AEW.2, Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.1, Scottish Aviation Bulldog T.1 and British Aircraft Corporation Percival Jet Provost T.3.

The static aircraft will be located at the western end of the terminal and visitors are asked to park next to the exhibit area off Bubbenhall Road.

Sir Peter Rigby, chairman and chief executive of the Rigby Group, who is also an Honorary Group Captain of the 601 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, said: “RAF100 is the celebration of 100 years of the first independent air force in the world which is being celebrated by the Royal Air Force across the United Kingdom.

“Coventry and Warwickshire has a long association with the RAF and the RAF100 celebrations are a perfect opportunity to remember and celebrate everyone connected with the service as well as look to the future to inspire the next generation of servicemen and women.

“The flypast from the Dakota will be a memorable way to mark the final day of the celebrations before we head to Coventry Cathedral for a special service of reflection.”

The service is open to the public and takes place at Coventry Cathedral from 3.45pm to 5.15pm.

The RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight operates from RAF Coningsby, a Typhoon and fighter base, in Lincolnshire.

It has six Spitfires, two Hurricane Mk 2Cs, a Lancaster, a C47 Dakota and two Chipmunk aircraft, which are primarily used for training.

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