As the final rehearsal for the flypast at King Charles’ coronation has been completed, British authorities have announced how the unprecedented flying display will affect aviation in the London area this upcoming Saturday.
While commercial aviation should experience minimal disruption, smaller, private aircraft will likely be restricted from entering London airspace throughout most of the afternoon. Drones will also be affected by airspace restrictions during the hours before and after the flypast.
The display, set to include more than 60 aircraft, will begin at 2:15 PM when the newly-crowned King Charles’ and the Queen Consort will watch from Buckingham Palace’s famous Southeast Balcony.
After the conclusion of the flypast, the ceremonial aircraft will scatter into the surrounding counties, two of which, East Anglia and Lincolnshire, will also be affected by flight restrictions. Airspace will also be under stricter control in areas of the North Sea during the afternoon of the coronation.
Photo: Royal Air Force
The Red Arrows’ legacy
The Red Arrows, the elite aerial stunt squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF), is set to headline the display. The Arrows are a key part of British national identity and would certainly not be absent from a new leader’s coronation.
The flypast will mark 70 years since the flypast at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, which featured the Arrows flying Gloster Meteor aircraft. Now, the flypast will represent not only a new era for the UK, but will also display the legacy of courage and skill the Red Arrows and their pilots represent.
The Red Arrows have performed for crowds around the world, notably including at the 2021 Dubai Air Show. Last November, the Arrows performed alongside an Airbus A380, a marvelous feat combining the agility of elite stunt pilots and the majestic nature of the world’s largest passenger aircraft.
Not your everyday flying display
While the Red Arrows usually fly alone, during this historic flypast, they will be accompanied by various other aircraft. Eurofighter Typhoons will also play a role in the flying display, symbolizing the prowess of both British and European engineering. An Airbus-built Atlas A400M will also take part in the event.
Many American-built aircraft will also be part of the display, including a squadron of Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II all-purpose fighters and a pair of C-130J Hercules aircraft built by the same company. The presence of American-built aircraft will demonstrate that the strong and cherished connection between British and American aviation will continue under the new monarch’s reign.
Photo: Kev Gregory / Shutterstock
Another notable feature of the flypast will be an Avro Lancaster bomber, a medium-range heavy bomber that served as the linchpin of the RAF’s bombing force during the later years of World War II. The Lancaster, which flew when the last coronation flypast took place, will demonstrate the RAF’s history of loyalty to the British crown.
The flypast will truly be an event to behold, not just helping commemorate a new dawn in British history, but also demonstrating that British aviation remains strong, disciplined, and bold.