TO mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force this week was particularly special for Heathrow.

The airport originated in 1929 as a small airfield, Great West Aerodrome, on land south-east of the hamlet of Heath Row, from which the airport takes its name.

Development of Heathrow began in 1944 as a long-distance military aircraft base for the RAF, holding aircraft bound for the Far East.

By the time the airfield was nearing completion, World War Two had ended and the airport was no longer required as a defence base.

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The Government continued to develop it as a civil airport, opening as London Airport in 1946 and renamed Heathrow in 1966.

Tens of thousands watched a flypast over Buckingham Palace, and Heathrow released this iconic photo of the Red Arrows as they flew directly over the airport.

Heathrow’s operations were paused for 20 minutes to manage the fly past.