Flight of Chipmunks to celebrate over RAF Henlow during 100th

The Chipmunk
The Chipmunk

A formation of Chipmunk aircraft will fly over RAF Henlow to commemorate the RAF 100 celebrations this spring.

The spectacle of aproximately 25 planes will be visible from all neighbouring villages and towns as the formation will need a large portion of airspace from Henlow to Biggleswade, Cardington to Shefford, in order to have the time and space to get into formation.

You can look out for this over-flight on the RAF’s 100th birthday, on Sunday, April 1, at 1pm.

Military activity on the site of RAF Henlow pre-dates the formation of the Royal Air Force, to the summer of 1917 when the Royal Flying Corps purchased 226 acres of farmland to support flying operations on the Western Front.

However, on April 1, 1918 the Royal Air Force was formed and RAF Henlow is now only one of a small number of surviving stations from that inception day.

Air activity from the grass airfield continues to this day, over the Bedfordshire countryside, with training flights from Henlow Flying Club and vintage bi-plane flights from the private owners housed in the Grade 2 listed hangar.

The airfield is routinely used, as a way point, by military helicopters from Joint Helicopter Command to train pilots in navigation and operating from grass.

Whilst there have been a multitude of different aircraft types operating from the grass airfield over the last 100 years, an iconic Royal Air Force training aircraft that once operated at RAF Henlow in the 1960’s, the Chipmunk, is still flying in large numbers - albeit on the private register.

In order to recognise the importance of the Royal Air Force 100, its centenary is going to be celebrated with a formation of approximately 25 Chipmunk aircraft over-flying RAF Henlow.

Media communications officer at RAF Henlow, Flying Officer Luke Pearce, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the Royal Air Force to embrace its innovative capability and famous team spirit. It provides the platform to inspire the next generation of airmen, and Airwomen, to embark on a promising career in the RAF by commemorating the RAF 100 celebrations.”