RAF

RAF Flypast Marks 100th Anniversary Of Donald Campbell's Birth

The British record-breaker died in 1967 attempting a water speed record in a Bluebird K7.

The Royal Air Force has paid tribute to speed record-breaker Donald Campbell on what would have been his 100th birthday.

To mark the anniversary, a pair of Hawk T2 aircraft from IV (AC) Squadron based at RAF Valley in Anglesey flew over a family remembrance ceremony at Coniston Water in the Lake District.

The service was held close to where Mr Campbell died on 4 January 1967 as he attempted a water speed record in the jet-powered Bluebird K7 boat on the lake.

The Bluebird reached the speed of 328mph (528km/h), before it broke in two and plunged into the water.

Mr Campbell's daughter Gina said: "I am touched by the RAF's mark of respect and their act was a fitting tribute to my father who would have been thrilled by the gesture.

"I cannot thank the RAF and the crews who flew today enough for their thoughtful tribute."

Mr Campbell held eight world speed records in the 1950s and 1960s in the Bluebird cars and boats.

Portrait picture of Donald Campbell DATE UNKNOWN used on 230321 COURTESY OF Geoff Hallawell.jpg
Donald Campbell broke eight world speed records in the 1950s and 1960s (Picture courtesy of Geoff Hallawell).

Shortly after his death, an RAF Vulcan from 12(B) Squadron made an impromptu tribute, flying over Coniston Water, conducting a wing wave as a mark of respect.

Flight Lieutenant Eddie Craig, from IV(AC) Squadron, led the flypast and said: "It is a huge honour to continue the RAF tradition of paying tribute to Donald Campbell and celebrate, not only his achievements, but also his spirit of courage and determination."

He added: "Our top speed as we flew up Coniston Water was 480mph which we hope Donald would have approved of."