RAF flypast in Peterborough to commemorate 50 years of the Puma

An RAF flypast is taking place in Peterborough on Wednesday (July 7) to commemorate 50 years of service of the Puma.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 3:53 pm
A 50th Anniversary Puma helicopter flies over the Oxfordshire countryside on 2nd July 2021. As part of the Puma 50th anniversary celebrations and commemorations, Puma HC Mk 2 XW224 has been re-painted in a unique paint scheme. The aircraft scheme is similar to that which the first aircraft were painted when they were delivered in 1971 but with several notable differences. The engine housing boasts the badges of all squadrons who have flown the Puma, both as a HC Mk 1 and a HC Mk 2. The tail fin is also emblazoned with the union flag. On the cabin door, the standard Royal Air Force logo has been replaced with the bespoke Puma 50 logo and the cockpit door is annotated with the name of the first Squadron Commander who brought the aircraft into operational service.

A flypast of several aircraft over different locations is planned for tomorrow, although the number has yet to be confirmed as this depends on factors such as weather and other taskings.

However, the aircraft are expected to be flying over RAF Wittering at approximately 11:19am.

The first RAF Puma helicopters were delivered into service on January 29, 1971.

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The Puma, a medium-lift support helicopter, has flown on combat and humanitarian operations around the world over the last five decades, including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mozambique and the Caribbean.

The helicopters have also supported Defence in the UK such as providing helicopter lift capability to flood relief efforts and the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2020, the Pumas deployed at short notice to Kinloss Barracks to provide vital transport for personnel and equipment in Scotland and northern England in the early stages of the pandemic, as well as remaining on standby 24/7 to support any task required in the UK.