The Few – the Royal Air Force turns 100

Celebrations are underway across the United Kingdom to commemorate the centenary of the formation of the Royal Air Force, the world’s first independent air force.

The RAF was formed on April 1 1918 with the merger of the British Army’s Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

The anniversary was marked by a gala concert at Royal Albert Hall in London on Saturday night, and on Sunday a church service, cake, and the launch of a baton relay, which will visit 100 sites with a connection to the RAF over 100 days.

But the “pinnacle” of RAF100 celebrations is set to be a flypast of up to 100 aircraft over the Mall and Buckingham Palace in London on July 10.

To mark the centenary  the BBC has produced this excellent documentary featuring Ewan McGregor and his RAF pilot brother Colin, combining history and wonderful flying sequences to explore 100 years of pioneering and special missions.

The celebrations could also represent something of a preview for the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force in 2021.


  1. greg says

    Slight correction, Colin McGregor is an ex-RAF pilot who left the RAF around 10 years ago. He flew Tornados in the Middle East. Currently he is training RAF pilots on sims.

    The doco was very good and showed the rapport between the McGregor brothers and the old pilots. Unfortunately some of the old fliers had passed away since the recording of their previous doco.

  2. Richard Bradfield says

    I am very proud o have been part of the RAF. I was a RAF Locking apprentice, the technical training was second to none and after leaving the air force there was never a problem getting a job. Industry knew the calibre of ex RAF tradies