Manchester celebrates RAF centenary with display of classic aircraft and concert

Photo: Corporal Ben Tritta
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The RAF is celebrating its centenary this year, with events around the UK commemorating and celebrating the Royal Air Force as well as inspiring the next generation of servicemen and women.

This weekend the RAF100 aircraft tour arrives in Albert Square, giving you the opportunity to meet RAF personnel and see some iconic aircraft.

You will be able to get up close to a mixture of active, heritage and replica aircraft, all of which have played a major part in the RAF’s 100 year history.

Aircraft include the Sopwith Snipe Biplane, Supermarine Spitfire Mk1A, Harrier GR3, Typhoon Full Scale Replica and Lancaster Front Fuselage.

There will also be an interactive STEM and technology zone, where you can learn more about how the RAF is creating the next generation Air Force.

It’s open to the public from 11am–6pm on Friday 14th, and 9am–6pm on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September.

Then next month, the last official event marking the centenary will feature an entertaining programme of music at The Bridgewater Hall.

Photo: Corporal Ben Tritta

From rousing military marches to toe-tapping big band numbers and timeless classical pieces, accomplished musicians from RAF Swing Wing, College Band of the Royal Air Force and Salon Orchestra are will deliver a rousing finale to the celebration.

The concert will be conducted by the RAF’s principal director of music Wing Commander Piers Morrell and compered by Alan Dedicoat, the voice of Strictly Come Dancing.

“What an amazing year it’s been for the Royal Air Force and what better way to bring the curtain down on the centenary celebrations than with a magnificent musical salute,” said Alan.

“It’s an absolute honour to be appearing once more with the hugely talented girls and boys of the College Band of the Royal Air Force – it’s going to be a great evening!”

The performance will include The Dambusters March and Spitfire Fugue as well as favourites such as British Grenadiers, Home Sweet Home and Saucy Arethusa as well as the big band sound of Glenn Miller’s In the Mood and Keep ’em Flying.

Also taking to the stage will be RAF vocalists Corporal Matthew Walker and Senior Aircraftwoman Philippa Hobbs who will be performing hugely popular songs including Come Fly With Me, Mr Blue Sky and Miss Otis Regrets.

RAF in Concert is at The Bridgewater Hall, Wednesday 31st October, 7pm.

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