Thousands of people will pay their respects in Southsea today (Wednesday) as part of the national D-Day 75 commemorations. Island Echo has all the finalised details on the much-anticipated fly past of RAF aircraft, as well as the departure of MV Boudicca from Portsmouth.
Clear skies with patches of cloud are expected throughout the day, with many hoping for plenty of sunshine this afternoon when more than 26 RAF aircraft are set to fly up the Solent and across Southsea as part of one of the biggest events in the South for decades.
Her Majesty The Queen, US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May will be amongst dignitaries descending on Southsea Common to mark 75 years since D-Day. Thousands of veterans from across the services will also be in attendance.
Flypast over Southsea
Eyes should be set on the skies for between 12:30 and 12:45 this lunchtime as this is when the main flypast is expected to happen. A naval gun salute will take place at 12:45 (approx.) followed by the flypast of both historic and modern RAF aircraft.
However, aeronautical documentation submitted states that the Red Arrows will be coming together over Portsmouth at 12:27, then over South Hayling at 12:30 before returning to Bournemouth for 12:38. To be safe, it will be best to be in position from 12:15 onwards. The best view will most likely be from Ryde or Seaview.
Aircraft expected in the flypast include a Sentinal, 2 Hercules, a Voyager, Typhoon fighter jets, the Red Arrows, Wild Cat and Merlin helicopters, a Spitfire and a Hurricane.
Red Arrows aerobatic display
Following on from the main flypast, the Red Arrows will return to the skies above Portsmouth at 16:15 to put on a breathtaking aerobatic display with all the usual twists, turns and coloured smoke. They are expected to depart from the Solent area to the ‘East of Brading’ at 16:35-16:40, which may give those on Culver Down a good view of the world-famous jets as they transit back to Bournemouth.
As the D-Day 75 commemorations draw to a close, the MV Boudicca will set sail from Portsmouth International Port with 300 D-Day veterans bound for Normandy. HMS St Albans will escort the MV Boudicca, along with 4 smaller Royal Navy vessels, out into the Solent and around the east coast of the Isle of Wight.
Between 20:45 and 21:15, the Boudicca will stand off the coast of Ventnor – a town that played a vital role in the war with RAF Ventnor situated on top of St Boniface Down. Those in the area will hear the ship’s horn blasting, maroons being fired and church bells ringing out across the town. A service will be held on the seafront, as previously reported by Island Echo.
Timetable of events in Southsea
10:50 – US President Donald Trump expected to arrive in Portsmouth
11:30 – D-Day 75 Commemoration event begins
12:28- Queen Elizabeth II will give an address
12:45 – Royal Navy frigate gun salute followed by a flypast
13:00 – Veterans lunch with digniataries
TBC – President Trump will depart from Portsmouth, most likely via helicopter
16:15 – Red Arrows display over Portsmouth
19:00 – MV Boudicca will depart from Portsmouth towards Bembridge and Ventnor
Drone and aircraft pilots are warned that there is a no-fly zone imposed on the Isle of Wight (in its entirety) between 12:00-12:45. A separate no-fly zone is in place covering Portsmouth, the Solent, Ryde, Bembridge, Sandown, Wootton and East Cowes (and surrounding villages) between 07:00-19:00 and a similar radius for the Red Arrows display between 16:15-16:45.
Bembridge and Sandown Airports are closed due to the flight restrictions in place.
Signal jammers are in force which could affect the use of drones and other electronic equipment.
Hovertravel have cancelled a number of crossings between Ryde and Southsea on Wednesday. The 11:45 from Ryde and the 12:00 from Southsea have been cancelled, with the 12:15 from Ryde and the 12:30 from Southsea both departing 10 minutes later than normal.
Pedestrian access will also be limited and will be only be via the coastal footpath (through Clarence Pier). Special arrangements are in place for those with reduced mobility, hospital appointments and accredited veteran guests.
Wightlink are advising customers on their Fishbourne car ferry route and the Ryde Pier Head catamaran route allow extra time to check in for booked sailings.
Those unable to get to Southsea or Ryde seafront on Wednesday can follow the commemorations live on BBC One from 09:00.
The BBC will be filming live from Lane End, Bembridge but there are no presenters or live studio at this location.