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100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force 2018

Aussie Aviators & Enthusiasts 21 Day Tour – 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE

Itinerary correct as of 29 January 2018:


Land Content OnlyTwin Share: $4,898 per person
+ Single Supplement: $1,950

In conjunction with Ian Allan Aviation Tours (UK) the 100th Anniversary of the RAF tour will one of the most unique and unrepeatable action packed aviation tours ever held in the UK.

We are sorry but this tour is fully booked.


In what is a very historic year for British aviation, 2018 sees the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force: the world’s first autonomous ‘air force’. Our tour visits various aviation places that are part of that history: from the early days of the RFC (Royal Flying Corps) and RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) right up to the present day.

The RAF’s biggest celebration of the anniversary will be at the Royal International Air Tattoo; there will also be a special Airshow at Duxford; and the Shuttleworth Collection’s “Military Pageant” air display: the first covers mainly the modern era of jet-power; the second, WW II with its warbirds; and the third, WW I and the Edwardian age – we attend all 3! During our travels we visit aviation museums and collections large and small; historic places and sites – including the only surviving, original WW I airfield and the ‘birthplace’ of the RAF: Farnborough.

Away from aviation there is also time at leisure in historic places like London, Cambridge, York, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick and Windsor. This is a unique and unrepeatable action packed tour which is already generating a lot of interest – just look at the fabulous itinerary.

Tour commences June 30, 2018

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Tour Itinerary: 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force 2018

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On your arrival at London Heathrow Airport, we will transfer to our superb and historic Hotel in nearby Weybridge, a short 20-minutes’ drive away. We stay one night on a bed and breakfast basis. The remainder of your day is free to relax. This evening, at 19:00, you are invited to informally ‘meet and greet’ your fellow travellers and Global Aviation Tour Manager in the hotel’s bar.


We go by luxury coach into deepest Bedfordshire, to the peaceful, little grass airfield of Old Warden – home to the one and only “Shuttleworth Collection”. Comprising a fabulous collection of vintage aeroplanes, which includes the famous, original de Havilland DH.88 Comet Grosvenor House built in 1934. We spend a full day at their annual “Military Pageant” featuring aircraft from WW1 right through to the present day.


Driving to Hampshire, we arrive in Southampton at the Solent Sky Museum. At the outbreak of the First World War, a small industry was developing in and around Southampton. A dozen or so aircraft manufacturers had set up factories and experimental facilities, many of them taking advantage of the Solent’s existing boat-building industry as a source of labour and facilities.

Most of the aircraft produced during the Great War were, therefore, seaplanes and flying boats, and the mile-long sand bank just outside Southampton, Calshot Spit, became a major focus of seaplane testing and operations. The museum also features exhibits of R.J. Mitchell (designer of the Spitfire) and the world-famous Schneider Trophy Contests.

After lunch, we arrive at the excellent collection of fixed and rotary wing exhibits in the Museum of Army Flying on Middle Wallop.

Mid-afternoon we make the 30-minutes journey to beautiful, historic Salisbury and stay overnight at our Hotel in the centre of town on a bed and breakfast basis. The afternoon is free to wander and explore.


This morning we visit RNAS Yeovilton. We visit the large Fleet Air Arm Museum whose excellent collection of aircraft includes a Concorde as well as a comprehensive range of British naval aviation aircraft including a very rare Fairey Albacore.

After lunch we are on our way to Farnborough and a visit to Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST). We partake of tea, coffee, cake and biscuits in the famous Lord Trenchard’s office! No other single location in the world has contributed so much to the development of aeronautical science over such a long period of time as Farnborough. The FAST Museum’s collection includes an enormous archive of equipment, machinery, photographs, films, reports and books related to this illustrious aviation history.

Early that evening we arrive at our hotel in the centre of London, Earls Court a well-known area of London. We stay 3 nights on a bed and breakfast basis.


A free day in London.


We start the day in north London: Hendon – another famous airfield of early British aviation (and the equally famous “Hendon Pageants”). After the First World War it was famous as a place of pioneering experiments which included the first airmail, the first parachute descent from a powered aircraft, the first night flights, and the first aerial defence of a city. RAF Museum-Hendon, one of the largest (100+) and greatest collections of aircraft in the world.

Mid-afternoon we arrive at Salisbury Hall in London Colney: home of the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre incorporating the Mosquito Museum. Among the many fascinating aircraft on display is the world famous “jack of all trades – and master of them all!” — W4050: the D.H.98 Mosquito I prototype which was built here in total secrecy during World War 2. Also, the fuselage of a Mosquito FB6 – the only survivor of the most numerous sub-type to be preserved in Europe and the fuselage of the last surviving square-windowed de Havilland Comet 1, the world’s first jet airliner. It is the largest museum solely devoted to one manufacturer in the UK.

We arrive back at our hotel in London early evening.


This morning we drive to the east of London to Maldon in Essex, to Stow Maries – an original, untouched, RAF airfield dating back to before the First World War: here time seems to have stood still.

After midday we leave Essex and head for Cambridgeshire, arriving in the famous university city of Cambridge. We stay the next 2 nights at our Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis. Overlooking the River Cam and Jesus Green Park, the historic centre with its colleges, shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightlife is but a short walk away.


We drive to RAF Wyton and visit the Pathfinder Collection: a memorial and testimony to the airmen of No 8 Pathfinder Group of RAF Bomber Command during World War II: the RAF’s only officially recognized ‘elite’ force.

At midday, we set off to one of the most famous fighter airfields of the Second World War: Duxford.

This afternoon you are free to wander at your leisure to the various museums located here: the Imperial War Museum, 8th US Air Force Museum, the Land Warfare Museum (tanks AFVs etc), the Airborne Museum and the classic civil airliners belonging to the Duxford Aviation Society. Last but not least, the warbird restoration and display hangers

Alternatively, spend the whole day in Cambridge to enjoy as you wish.


We depart for the old town of Newark, to the Newark Air Museum located on the ex-RAF Winthorpe airfield. In the Second World War it was a heavy Conversion Unit training up pilots on Lancaster Bombers. The Museum’s large and amazing collection of some 70+ civil and military aircraft

We then continue north, into Yorkshire, and the old RAF airfield of Elvington: home to the Yorkshire Air Museum and its huge range of exhibits and collections spanning the entire history of flight: from the early pioneers of aviation, through both world wars, right up to the Cold War era. Today there are over 60 historic aircraft and vehicles and its ‘Post World War II’ collection is one of the most comprehensive in the UK: from the 1853 Cayley Governable Parachute through to the current GR4 Panavia Tornado, the Museum represents the history of aviation in Britain.

We depart the Museum and arrive in the historic medieval city of York. We stay 2 nights in the middle of the city at our Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis, perfectly located only a short walk from most of the city’s major attractions.


We set of for East Kirby home of the Lincolshire Aviation Heritage Centre and their Avro Lancaster “Just Jane”. The airfield was built in 1943 as a Bomber Command Station and used by both No 57 Squadron and No 630 Squadron from 1943 until the end of the war.

After lunch we travel 15 mins across the countryside of Lincolnshire to the busy operational front-line station of RAF Coningsby.

We begin our guided tour of the battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s (BBMF) at 14:00 a fascinating 90-minute guided tour of their hanger where most, if not all, of their collection of 6 Spitfires, 2 Hurricanes, 1 Lancaster, 1 Chipmunk and a DC-3 will be present.

The BBMF includes Spitfire Mk IIA (P7350), the oldest airworthy Spitfire in the world and the only ‘Spit’ still flying to have actually fought in the Battle of Britain!


A free day to enjoy some of the famous attractions of York.

Alternatively, return to RAF Coningsby this morning to witness the launch and recovery of 27 or more Typhoon and Tornado fighters as they participate in the RAF 100 Anniversary Flypast over Central London. Rather than return to York you will will go to the hotel in nearby Woodhall Spa. Estimated price of this option is $80 per person.

At 15:00 we travel a short drive to the small, peaceful village of Woodhall Spa. Here we check-in for one night and a dinner, bed and breakfast basis at a very special hotel: the Petwood. This hotel is a very famous and historic aviation site: it is the original Officers’ Mess of No 617 “Dambusters” Squadron! The original 617 Squadron bar of WWII is untouched and in order to preserve access is by prior permission only, which we have received! Also, throughout the hotel, there are many interesting items of memorabilia of 617 Squadron on display.

Tonight before dinner, Squadron historian Jim Shortland will give a 1-hour presentation on “Lincolnshire’s Lancaster Firsts”.


In the morning we arrive at Bruntingthorpe airfield to view the fabulous Cold War Jet Collection: the collection includes a Victor, Hunter, Canberra, Comet, 2 Lightning’s, Starfighter, Mystere, Sea Vixen, 4 Buccaneers, 4 Jet Provosts, Super Guppy, Iskra, an RAF Jaguar, Nimrod MR2, Sea Harrier and an ex-Boscombe Down 2-seat Jaguar. The airfield has one of the longest runways in the UK (over two miles long) The USAF located their largest nuclear bombers at the field which were deployed as part of the Cold-War defence of the Western world against perceived threats from the Soviet Bloc.

Continuing to Coventry, we visit the very interesting 30+ aircraft in the collection of the Midland Aviation Museum, incorporating The Sir Frank Whittle Jet Heritage Centre. For those who wish – to take an optional lunch in the nearby “DC-6 Diner”. This vintage DC-6 airliner featured in the James Bond film “Casino Royale” but since 2010 has been a very unique restaurant.

Continuing our east to west journey across the middle of England we arrive in Telford, where we stay overnight at our Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis.


We depart to the huge collection of aircraft in the RAF Museum Cosford with over 70 aircraft housed in 3 wartime hangars and the National Cold War Exhibition building. The world’s oldest Spitfire and a Lincoln Bomber, are just 2 of the highlights in the ‘War in the Air Collection’.

This is the only place in the world where you can see all 3 of Britain’s V Bombers: the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant!

Early afternoon we depart for Swindon, and stay the next 2 nights at our Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis. Located in the city centre, it is ideally located for those going to The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT).

The big advantage is that travel to and from RIAT will be on the special shuttle bus service from nearby Swindon Bus Station. This is the quickest way in and out of the airshow.


A full day at the world’s largest Airshow – the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force. Expect 400-500+ military aircraft and a number of national aerobatic teams from around the world.

Admission is by advanced purchase ticket only and the tour price includes 1 day’s standard admission ticket. There will be various optional upgrades published on the RIAT website towards the end of 2017. If you would like an upgrade please let us know and we will purchase them – or you can do it in person online.


Depart for a visit to Warwick Castle one of the most intact castles anywhere and can trace its history back to 914 A.D. and the daughter of King Alfred the Great!

Just after lunch we leave for Stratford-upon-Avon the birthplace of William Shakespeare and steeped in culture and history, the town is set in the beautiful rural Warwickshire countryside, on the banks of the lovely River Avon. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole of the UK. Here you can wander through the historic streets and get a taste of Olde England.

Later that afternoon we depart for Cambridge, arriving early evening and check-in at our Hotel located on the edge of the city centre but only a 10-minutes stroll away from Kings College. On-site facilities include restaurant and bar and the well-equipped rooms include tea/coffee making machines.

Alternatively, a second day at RIAT. Again using the special shuttle coach service to & from the airshow. On your return to Jury Inn hotel you will board your specially chartered coach which will transfer you all the way to Cambridge. Estimated cost of the coach charter is $100 per person depending on how many people take up the option.


We depart for a full day at one of the most famous and well-known Airshows in the UK, in Europe, in the world! The 2018 Flying Legends Airshow at Duxford featuring around 100 mainly classic and historic piston-powered warbirds (with only a handful of modern jets).
The finale is the famous ‘balbo’, a massed-formation, 15-20 minutes, tail-chasing finale featuring many of the aircraft which have taken part in the flying display, this is unique to the Flying Legends Air Show and a world-renowned spectacle. Admission is by advanced purchase tickets only and the tour price will include a standard admission ticket.
When the flying display finishes, around 18:00, we will board our coach for the return transfer to our hotel.

Alternatively, you are free to spend the day as you wish in Cambridge.


Depart for our 2hour 45minute trip to Windsor famous for its Castle. The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror. Windsor Castle is the preferred weekend home of Elizabeth II and today more than 500 people live and work there, making it the largest inhabited castle in the world. Explore the charming town of Windsor situated on the banks of the River Thames, go inside the Castle grounds and even take a tour of the Royal Apartments.

Mid-afternoon we depart for central London and check-in to our Hotel at Earl’s Court on a bed and breakfast basis.

A Farewell Dinner will be a fitting finale. We are offering an optional evening social occasion. There is no more appropriate or perfect a venue than the very prestigious Royal Air Force Club at Number 128 Piccadilly, in Mayfair! We have been given special permission to hold the dinner in the Battle of Britain Suite incorporating the Spitfire Room and the Hurricane Room.

Please enquire about this optional Farewell Dinner Finale at this prestigious venue.


Transfer to Heathrow Airport and check-in for your return flight to Australia.


Arrive in Australia.