Coronation flypast: When is the flypast, what aircraft will participate and will the Red Arrows take part

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The Red Arrows are set to join a line-up of 60 military vehicles flying over Buckingham Palace for King Charles III’s coronation

60 military aircraft are set to make their appearance at the King’s Coronation next weekend as part of the celebrations. The Red Arrows will be joined by some familiar aircraft including Spitfires and the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial flight, which includes the Hurricanes.

On Saturday, May 6, King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla will be officially crowned at Westminster Abbey before making their way back to Buckingham Palace for the flypast. Like most royal celebrations the armed forces are set to play a key role in the coronation.

The six-minute flypast will feature aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force and will fly over The Mall in central London before making their way over the top of the iconic palace. Members of the royal family will stand on the Buckingham Palace balcony to observe the fly past, including The Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children, as well as The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has promised the display will be “spectacular”. He said: “We can be enormously proud of our armed forces as they honour His Majesty, their new commander-in-chief.”

Wallace continued: “From the procession on The Mall, to the flypast over London, with gun salutes at sea and across the country, it will be a spectacular and fitting tribute and a privilege to take part in for all those involved and watching from afar.” Joining the flypast will be nearly 400 armed forces personnel who will be on parade to mark the occasion.

When will the flypast be?

The flypast will take place in the afternoon on May 6, following the coronation of King Charles III. Although a set time is yet to be announced, flight restrictions in the area suggest that the flypast will take place between 2pm and 2.45pm.

Some of the aircraft are set to arrive back at London bases at 2.20pm, with dispersal areas for the aircraft seeing flight restrictions set after 2:20pm, leading to speculation the flypast will begin around 2.15pm - 2.20pm. The timings will be confirmed closer to the coronation.

Which aircraft will feature in the Coronation flypast?

60 military aircraft are set to make their appearance during the Coronation flypast, including the Royal Air Force (RAF) Aerobatic Team - the Red Arrows. The RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will also participate which includes six Spitfires, two Hurricanes, a Lancaster, a C47 Dakota and two Chipmunk aircraft.

The Red Arrows are set to make their appearance during the Coronation flypast in MayThe Red Arrows are set to make their appearance during the Coronation flypast in May
The Red Arrows are set to make their appearance during the Coronation flypast in May | Getty Images

Included in the flypast will be 16 helicopters as well as the RAF’s P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and new Envoy IV CC1 aircraft. Although the full line-up is expected to be announced closer to the time, practice sessions between April 25 and April 27 should give us a rough idea of what planes we can expect to see.

The current featured aircraft are as follows:

  • The Red Arrows
  • 16 Helicopters
  • Spitfires (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight)
  • Hurricanes  (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight)
  • Avro Lancaster  (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight)
  • C47 Dakota  (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight)
  • Chipmunk Aircraft  (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight)
  • P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft
  • F-35B Lightning II jets
  • RAF transport aircraft
  • Envoy IV CC1 aircraft

What routes will the aircraft take during the flypast?

Restricted airspace over certain parts of the UK can give us a good idea as to the route the aircraft will take as they get into formation for the Coronation flypast. A map made by Military Air Shows shows that there are imposed restrictions over the North Sea, East Anglia, Essex and London with the dispersal of the flypast happening over Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Which aircraft have been taking part in the Coronation flypast rehearsals?

Rehearsals for the Coronation flypast have been taking place over the last few days, starting on April 25 and ending on April 27. A variety of aircraft have been flying in formation ahead of the Coronation to practise timings and ensure the line-up is in the correct order.

The aircraft that have been seen participating in rehearsals are as follows:

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