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“The Sky’s the Limit” – the theme for the 2018 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle celebrated RAF100. The show included the history of flight; from birds through balloons to piston-powered flight, jets, rockets and space flight. We were there on one of the five nights when RAF Lossiemouth provided a Typhoon flypast. It was a very special event in a very special year commemorating achievement, courage and sacrifice.

I felt very proud to have known many of the 5BFTS RAF cadets. And knowing how they felt about the generosity of the Americans they met, the evening was made more powerful as the United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team defied gravity with precision and skill during their silent programme of intricate marching with weapon manoeuvres, precise tosses, complex exchanges and a walk through the gauntlet of spinning weapons. And the weapon they hurl and toss around is no lightweight, but an 11-pound M-1 Garand rifle (in service use from 1936-1959)

This edition has many stories about the cadets. All are inspiring – they sure were and still are an amazing bunch of guys! And so were their instructors who made them the pilots that they became. As we head towards RAF200, the motto ‘Per Ardua ad Astra’ – Through Adversity to the Stars - is still as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.

‘Their efforts to preserve the freedom of the world were not in vain and will never be forgotten’



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