Royal Air Force Centenary

April 1st 2018

Our RAF100 programme will salute our Centenary and:

Commemorate.

our achievements and all those who have served

Celebrate.

the RAF of today

Inspire.

our people, and the wider public, about our future

RAF100 will do this through wide-ranging local, regional and national events and activities.

We need you, the RAF Family, to help

This website was launched to tell you about RAF100 and show how you can get involved. RAF100 will have little effect without your support; however you are connected to the RAF.

The RAF Family includes: the Whole Force; veterans; the Air Cadets; the RAF charities; business or industry partners; or indeed anyone associated with the RAF.

We are asking you to play a vital role both in contributing to, or running, RAF100 events and activities, and in acting as RAF100 ambassadors to the rest of our nation.

What we have to celebrate

The RAF is proud of its rich history and achievements. From battle-winning performances high above the skies of Britain in the nation’s hour of need to more recent activities that include:

  • tackling terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan;
  • securing and protecting the skies above the UK;
  • disaster relief around the World;
  • supporting the Civil Authorities in times of national emergency.

In all we do, the RAF continues to make a vital contribution to the security and prosperity of the nation. Always at the cutting edge of innovation and technology, the RAF is equipped to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

But it is not just about aircraft and high-tech equipment. The RAF has always relied on the skill, expertise and, above all, the innovation, of those within the Service and all who play a wider supporting role. With your help, we will commemorate all who have gone before and at the same time inspire current and future generations.

What we want to achieve

RAF100 will:

  • Raise the profile of the RAF across the whole of our nation, enhance our reputation and promote a better understanding of what we do.
  • Showcase our people, our depth of talent, and our diversity.
  • Celebrate our history but also demonstrate why we remain, and will continue to remain, vital to the security and prosperity of the UK.
  • Support fund-raising for RAF-related charities.

Key dates

It may seem a long way away but there is loads to do in preparation for our more public launch. This is scheduled for Autumn 2017, which will coincide with the start of the RAF100 Appeal, run by the four key RAF charities (RAF Benevolent Fund, Royal Air Forces Association, RAF Charitable Trust and the RAF Museum) to raise charitable funds to support the wider RAF100 objectives. In advance of this, the RAF Museum has launched its Centenary Appeal, which will raise funds to support an exciting redevelopment of their site at Hendon in time for the 2018 Centenary.

Things will really ramp up as we prepare for the Centenary itself, which will be marked by special events, activities and other initiatives at local, regional and national level running from 1st April to the end of September 2018.

What’s planned

As you’d expect, there will be some very traditional events, full of ceremonial and historic significance, including:

  • a live broadcast multi-media event from the Royal Albert Hall;
  • a service at Westminster Abbey;
  • a parade of 1500 uniformed personnel up The Mall to Buckingham Palace where Her Majesty the Queen will take the Salute and review a flypast.

Important though these big events are, there is much, much more to RAF100. We will showcase the RAF in lots of different ways - from air shows to festivals; from national, iconic events to local initiatives to reach as many people as we can.

More generally, we are planning a range of special publications as well as television and radio programmes and social media campaigns.

The next generation

We know that our fantastic air cadets already understand who we are and what we do – but we want to connect with an even wider range of Britain’s young people.

We already work a lot with young people, on a variety of STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] activities, to help create the engineers and scientists of the future. We’ll extend this work with tailored STEM packages for schools and colleges which will raise awareness of our history and purpose even as they show how these essential disciplines are woven into the fabric of the RAF and how our future success depends on them.

And we’ll connect with more young Britons through sport, leisure, community activities, music, social media and perhaps video gaming to show them what today’s RAF is about, in a way which is relevant and exciting.