On Sunday, 15,000 people visited the Udvar Hazy Center for the Great British Fly-In which saw historic Royal Air Force aircraft, including the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s Avro Lancaster, on display. The future of the RAF was represented by a P-8 Poseidon, an aircraft due to enter RAF service with 120 Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth.
The public met RAF personnel currently serving on exchange in the USA and heard an address by the UK Defence Attaché Air Vice Marshal Gavin Parker on the history of the RAF. The Central Band of the Royal Air Force also performed, and the Queen’s Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force undertook a continuity drill display.
On Monday the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier and General David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, addressed the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, an independent policy research.
Sadly, a flypast over the US Air Force Memorial was cancelled due to some typically British weather. Situated close to the Arlington National Cemetery, the USAF Memorial honours the service of US Air Force personnel and heritage organisations. During World War II many American citizens served with the Royal Air Force including in the Battle of Britain. American men and women also served in the Air Transport Auxiliary which ferried new, repaired and damaged military aircraft across the country.
On 10 July a spectacular flypast of up to 100 RAF aircraft including the Red Arrows will take place over London.
The RAF100 events in Washington DC have been organised by a team at the UK embassy in the US capital. Group Captain Steve Richards, Assistant Air Attaché, said: “We’ve been working on this for 18 months and initially it was to ensure that the RAF personnel here in the US didn’t miss out on the centenary opportunity as it’s their air force.
“We’re advertise our presence to the US public and reinforcing the already strong relationship between our two militaries.”
Other events this week include a joint performance by The Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the US Air Force band. The Royal Air Force Squadronaires will also perform with the Airmen of Note, the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force and the Queen's Colour Squadron of the RAF Regiment will put on a display of drill at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC with the United States Air Force Honour Guard.