Fly Navy 100
By Robert Edmonds

This year the Royal Navy celebrates and commemorates 100 years of naval aviation in the RN. It was in May 1909 that the Admiralty took the first steps into the new science of aviation in the maritime sense. In May this year the Royal Navy undertook many varied activities throughout the UK to both celebrate the centenary and to commemorate all those brave and gallant men who have served both in peacetime and war.

HMS ILLUSTRIOUS moored on the River Thames adjacent to the Royal Naval College and supported events, parades and a national thanksgiving service at St. Paul's. These were attended by members of the Royal Family (one of whom was a naval aviator in combat). ILLUSTRIOUS provided thousands of visitors with demonstrations.

A balbo fly past of naval fixed and rotary wing naval aircraft took place up the River Thames at midday on 7th May. Taking part were SeaKings, Lynx, Junglygreen SeaKings (Commando helicopters) Merlins, Jetstreams and Hawks. Sadly a squadron of Sea Harriers could not fly over the capital for safety reasons (although immensely powerful they only have one engine). During a Royal Dinner held onboard "Lusty"  a firework display delighted the crowds.
-Robert Edmonds 2009
© 2009 Robert Edmonds all rights reserved

HMS Illustrious R-06 on the Thames River.
(Photo by LA (Phot) Alex Knot)
Crown Copyright published with permission of the Staff of Naval Base Commander,
HM Naval Base Portsmouth

Page published Aug. 3, 2009