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Iconic fighter planes from past 100 years to go on display in Glasgow this summer as part of RAF100 Aircraft Tour

Published Monday 14 May 2018

The RAF100 aircraft tour

Some of the most iconic fighter planes from the past 100 years are to go on display in Glasgow this summer as part of celebrations marking the centenary of the Royal Air Force (RAF).

The RAF100 Aircraft Tour will visit Glasgow Science Centre over the weekend of Friday, August 31st until Sunday, September 2nd; allowing families and enthusiasts alike to get up close with a selection of full-size aircraft from throughout the RAF's illustrious history.

From the First World War to the present day, visitors will have the chance to see aircraft including the Sopwith Snipe, historic Spitfire, Harrier 'jump jet' and the latest F35 Lightning, complete with crews in period uniform.

The free event will be supported by an interactive Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) exhibition, with a focus on aviation and aerospace activities, aimed at engaging young people. Air Force personnel and industry partners from a variety of specialisms will be on hand to answer questions and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

In addition to Glasgow, the RAF100 Aircraft Tour is also visiting Cardiff, London, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle in Northern Ireland over the coming months.

The RAF celebrated its 100th birthday on April 1st this year, with centenary celebrations and a programme of special events extending until the end of November. The centrepiece of RAF100 will take place on Tuesday, July 10th with a service in London's Westminster Abbey, followed by a parade in The Mall and a spectacular flypast over Buckingham Palace. There will also be an RAF theme at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August.

Welcoming the announcement of the Glasgow event, Scotland's most senior airman, Air Vice-Marshal Ross Paterson, said: "Scotland and its people have made a huge contribution to the Royal Air Force. This event commemorates that history, celebrates the role that the RAF plays in keeping the people of this nation safe and will inspire a new generation to take up careers in military or civilian aerospace."

The Glasgow leg of the RAF100 Aircraft Tour is being delivered in partnership with Glasgow Science Centre and Glasgow City Council.

Dr Stephen Breslin, Chief Executive of Glasgow Science Centre, added: "GSC is delighted to be working with the RAF during their centenary celebrations by helping to bring this iconic event to Scotland. Visitors will have the chance to get up close to a range of aircraft covering the RAF's history from WW1, to WW2, to the Cold War, to the modern age! As well as the display outside GSC, visitors can also explore the world of engineering through an exciting programme of workshops and activities.

"It is vitally important that we ignite an interest in and help young people discover the pleasure and relevance of STEM. This is key to helping them develop the skills they need to create fulfilling and prosperous futures for themselves. The RAF100 aircraft tour is an interactive and engaging way to demonstrate how exciting, varied and rewarding a STEM career can be."

Glasgow's Lord Provost, Councillor Eva Bolander, said: "I'm delighted that Glasgow is involved in the RAF100 celebrations. After all, Glaswegian Lieutenant General Sir David Henderson, an early pioneer of flight, recognised the military value of aircraft while serving as an intelligence officer during the Boer War. This largely forgotten founding father of the RAF led the Royal Flying Corps in World War One.

"I know this centenary tour will attract huge interest from local families and visitors, across the generations, keen to see some of the service's most iconic aircraft up close and personal. It's also a unique opportunity to highlight the history of the RAF and its role today; including the exciting employment opportunities and career paths available to young people interested in the aviation and STEM sectors."   

 For more information, visit and follow #RAFAircraftTour and #RAF100 on social media.

Published Monday 14 May 2018

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