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Replica Red Arrows jet descends on Downing Street to mark RAF centenary

Theresa May is hosting a reception at Number 10 for personnel and trainees from across all three UK military services.

A life-sized replica of a Red Arrows jet has taken up position outside Downing Street ahead of an event to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Air Force.

It was 100 years ago, on April 1 1918, that the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the RAF – the world’s first independent air service.

To mark the milestone, Prime Minister Theresa May is hosting a reception at Number 10 for personnel and trainees from across all three UK military services, as well as veterans and civil servants from the Ministry of Defence.

Other guests among the 150 invited to the event on Wednesday afternoon include the heads of the RAF, Royal Navy and Army.

A street party, made up of junior ranks from the RAF, Fleet Air Arm and Army Air Corps, will greet those attending, along with the facsimile Red Arrows Hawk which has been parked outside the entrance to Number 10.

The jet’s arrival prompted some surprise.

Gavin Barwell, the PM’s chief of staff, said on Twitter: “Helluva job by the pilot that landed that here.”

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