RAF FAIRFORD, Gloucestershire, England, UK - The legendary Red Arrows joined forces with a special British Airways Boeing 747 for a spectacular flypast at the Royal International Air Tattoo on Saturday, marking the airline's centenary.
Visitors to the airshow were treated to an opportunity to witness two icons of British society come together to commemorate the landmark anniversary.
The jumbo jet, one of three specially painted airliners to mark the centenary, was in the livery of British Overseas Airways Corporate (BOAC) and flew a close formation flypast with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team trailing patriotic red, white and blue smoke.
The Red Arrows and the Boeing 747 received a robust round of applause from the gathered crowd whilst they performed two formation passes.
Senior First Officer Tom Perrins was at the controls, while Captain Richard Allen-Williams was in command of the aircraft. They were joined on the flight deck by Captain Simon Scholey and Captain Jonny Lutton.
Also on board was cabin crew member, Julia Lowes, whose brother Flight Lieutenant Dan Lowes is Red 9. Julia, who was in the cabin during the fly-past, waved to her older brother who was flying behind.
"We hope the sight of our BOAC liveried Boeing747 provided a wonderfully nostalgic moment for the Air Tattoo audience today. It was a huge honour for us to fly alongside the Red Arrows at RAF Fairford and to do so in our centenary year is even more special," Captain Allen-William said Saturday.
Squadron Leader Martin Pert, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Red Arrows, added: "Flying alongside this British Airways Boeing 747 is an incredibly memorable moment for our pilots and those watching on the ground. The RAF's own centenary celebrations - marked a year ago - demonstrated the importance of using these high-profile occasions to inspire the next generation and we hope this flypast did exactly that. It was a truly best of British flypast."
This appearance of the BOAC 747 at the Air Tattoo is one of a number of celebratory events organised by British Airways that are intended to provide a vision for the next 100 years of aviation.
Julia Lowes said: "I only joined British Airways four months ago and this is Dan's last year flying in the Reds so the timing couldn't be more perfect. Dan and I have both pursued our dream careers, but to fly together is something I'd never have imagined. It was fantastic watching Dan in action from the BOAC aircraft. Aviation is a very much a family affair as our Dad was a 747 Captain and our younger brother is a First Officer."
British Airways has a long history of displaying in the Air Tattoo and first joined the flying programme in 1985 when Concorde and the Red Arrows flew together in a dramatic display. In the early 2000s several British Airways 747s and 777s performed a fly past, and in 2013, the airline performed with the Red Arrows again.