Though not strictly an airshow itself, any retrospective of the 2018 season would not be complete without a reminder of the impressive collection of air power put together over London back in July, to mark the 100th anniversary of the RAF.
The flypast itself saw over 100 individual aircraft take part ranging from the latest training aeroplanes to the Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancaster of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. I watched the spectacle from a park in North East London directly under the flight path and it was a real thrill to see each section appear over the horizon and almost in the blink of an eye disappear over the London skyline.
You couldn’t help but get caught up in the building anticipation as the rotary wing component got airborne from nearby Stapleford and entered a holding pattern in the local area. Just the noise of the assembled helicopters was enough to get those in attendance ready for the main event.
Those helicopters were to make up the first wave of aircraft, shortly followed by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota and then the classic bomber and fighter combination.
Over the next few minutes a wide array of RAF types passed overhead. This included diamond 9 formations of Hawks and Tucanos and an impressive gathering of Tornado GR4s as one of the types last public outings.
Larger types were well represented too with the Voyager, Hercules, Rivet Joint and E3 all being included in the flypast.
Bringing things right up to date were the three latest RAF arrivals. Three F35Bs flew over in tight formation having only arrived in the UK a month prior to the flypast.
The highlight for many then followed, an impressive “100” flew overhead made up of over 20 Typhoons before the spectacle was brought to a close with the Red Arrows.
This flypast is certainly unlikely to be repeated in the modern era and was a great tribute to the forces history and future.