Mass fly over Canberra marks 100 years of the Royal Australian Air Force

Canberrans have been treated to a mass fly over "spectacular", showcasing the history of Australia's air force.

There was a special ceremony at Government House, where the Governor-General presented a new Queen's Colour for the Royal Australian Air Force.

Then it was time for the big show, featuring more than 60 aircraft, above Lake Burley Griffin.

The show drew big crowds, which - along with some road closures - caused traffic delays as Canberrans tried to get the best spot to see the show.

"It's a perfect day in a perfect city and a perfect event," one spectator, Noel Bradfield, said, adding: "And you've got to love living in Canberra."

"The sheer difference between the old-school planes and the new jets is just amazing. It's amazing to see what the air force has achieved in a hundred years," Mr Bradfield said.

Another spectator, Cathy Hamman, said: "I thought it was terrific. It was a really great day out. And very, very impressive to see all the planes and to see so many people in Canberra out commemorating it and celebrating it. Beautiful day. Terrific display."

Air Force Director General Air Commodore Andrew Elfverson said it was an important day to recognise and remember the 350,000 people who had served in the uniform.

"Those are the shoulders we stand on today and it's important to acknowledge and commemorate that, including the 11,191 people who paid the ultimate sacrifice," he said.

"We are trying to present a visual image of what aircraft used to be like and what current aircraft looks like," Air Commodore Elfverson said ahead of the event.

Among the aircraft featured were the well-known Spitfire used in World War II, to the F/A-18A Hornet, which entered the Air Force in 1985 and, after being used in conflicts in the Middle East will be retired at the end of the year.


The 20-minute mass fly over began at 11.15am and culminated in a 12-minute performance by the Roulettes aerobatic team.

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This story 'Spectacular' mass flyover marks air force centenary first appeared on The Canberra Times.