Century of naval aviation marked





The Royal Navy has unveiled its plans for celebrations to mark the centenary of British naval air power.

The anniversary will be celebrated throughout the year with a series of flypasts, concerts and other events.

On 7 May, 1909 the Admiralty put aside funds for its first airship, changing the face of warfare to come.

One hundred years later, the navy's Fleet Air Arm can boast more than 250 aircraft and helicopters - a third of the UK forces' air strength.

The news conference to unveil the anniversary was attended by past luminaries of the Fleet Air Arm including veteran 'Jock' Moffat, the pilot whose torpedo crippled the mighty Bismarck during World War II.

But the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, also looked to the future, as he discussed the two new aircraft carriers ordered by the Royal Navy in 2008.

Centenary events will culminate on 7 May with a fly-past of ancient and modern Fleet Air Arm aircraft over the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious.

There will also be a service to formally recognize the sacrifices made over the 100 years of naval aviation at St. Paul's Cathedral on 8 May



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