ICONIC military aircraft will fly over Essex in a “once in a lifetime” spectacle on their way to London for the RAF100 flypast.

It will be the first time the public see the Lightning, Britain’s newest fighter jet, flying alongside some of famous aircraft in the nation’s inventory from across the decades.

The flypast will leave Ipswich at about 12.45pm on July 10, heading over Colchester, Witham and Chelmsford on their way to Buckingham Palace for around 1pm.

Aircraft due to take part in the flypast include Puma HC2, Chinook HC4, Dakota, Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane, Shadow R1, Hercules C-130J, C-17 Globemaster, BAE146, Sentinel, Voyager, Hawk T1, Hawk T2, Tornado GR4, F-35B Lightning II, Typhoon FGR4 and the world-famous Red Arrows.

More than 1,000 servicemen and women will take part in a parade on the Mall before the historic flypast, which will be the biggest ever undertaken by the Royal Air Force.

Air Chief Marshal, Sir Stephen Hillier, said: “This once-in-a-lifetime flypast will provide an iconic centrepiece for the RAF100 celebrations.

“In our centenary year we are commemorating those that have come before us, celebrating our current personnel and, ultimately, inspiring a new generation to write the next chapters in the RAF’s story.”

This year marks 100 years of the RAF as the oldest independent air force in the world.

The flypast takes place 100 days after its birthday, but there are events happening throughout the summer to celebrate across the country from national aircraft shows and tours.