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Commemorating 100 Years of the Royal Air Force

By Hal Bryan, EAA Senior Editor

July 22, 2018 - The U.K.’s Royal Air Force (RAF) was born in the smoldering final act of World War I, the “war to end all wars.” Military aviation had existed in the U.K. since 1911, but the RAF, formed by the consolidation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, didn’t come into existence until April of 1918.

The RAF centennial will be commemorated during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 with historic aircraft, flyovers, and special programming. The RAF’s 100th anniversary will be celebrated throughout the week, with a primary focus on the centennial this evening and tomorrow.

The aircraft on static display and/or flying during the air show will include an array of World War I and World War II aircraft, including a restored Sopwith Snipe, a full-scale Sopwith Camel replica, and multiple Supermarine Spitfires, in addition to trainers and support aircraft like the de Havilland Tiger Moth, a rare Fairchild 24 with RAF history, and more. An original RAF Gloster Meteor, the Allies’ first operational jet fighter, is scheduled to be on display and flying as is a de Havilland Vampire. Later trainers like the de Havilland Canada Chipmunk and a Jet Provost, among others, will also be in attendance.

Programming at EAA’s Theater in the Woods, sponsored by M&M’s, will commemorate the RAF centennial tonight at 8 p.m. That same night, the Airbus Fly-In Theater will host the North American premiere of the feature documentary film Spitfire starting at 8:30 p.m.

As we celebrate the centennial in honor of one of our nation’s closest allies, we salute the Royal Air Force and its first 100 years of proud and honorable service, just as we do all of our veterans — not just at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, but all year long.

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