In what promises to be one of the most spectacular celebrations of the International Fleet Review to be held between October 3 and 11, more than 35 rotary and fixed-wing aircraft will conduct formation flypasts over Sydney Harbour as a tribute to the Navy’s centenary of service.
Headlining the program will be a massed flypast on Saturday October 5. Aircraft will begin to assemble off the coast of Sydney at 1045, with fixed-wing aircraft gathering between Manly and Longreef and helicopters off Sydney Heads before forming-up to fly down the harbour passing over Fort Denison at 1120 and proceeding west over the Harbour Bridge.
Flying at between 1,000 and 1,500ft, Royal Australian Navy helicopters, RAAF fixed-wing aircraft, Australian Army helicopters and aircraft from the visiting nations will be participating.
Then, between 1415 and 1730 a ‘Salute to Navy’ air display involving Australian naval and military aircraft, supported by civil emergency services and heritage types will showcase Australia’s naval and maritime aviation, past and present. The air displays will be centred between the Harbour Bridge and Shark Island, but will also encompass the entrance to the Harbour from the Middle Head to Bradley’s Head. Aircraft will be flying as low as 500 feet (150 metres) over water giving spectators the closest possible view of more than 50 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.
The centenary celebrations get underway at 0945 on Friday October 4 when the Navy’s Helicopter Display Team and the RAAF Roulettes perform near Bradley’s Head on Sydney Harbour to coincide with the Ceremonial Fleet Entry. Seahawk helicopters will also be flying the White Ensign and the IFR flag to welcome the visiting ships to the celebrations.
The full program and details of participating aircraft are available at the International Fleet Review website.