- first-ever UK skytyping display commissioned to honour the 75th anniversary of VE Day
- the messages ‘We Will Meet Again’ and ‘Thank You’ were seen from over Henstridge airfield in Somerset this morning, capturing the feelings of the nation
- the phrases serve to commemorate those who fought in World War II, as well as those currently on the frontline and keeping the country going during coronavirus
The Department for Transport granted a special exemption for the first-ever UK skytyping display today (8 May 2020) to honour the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day.
The display over Henstridge airfield in Somerset could be seen for up to 20 miles, and saw the messages ‘We Will Meet Again’ and ‘Thank You’ etched 10,000 feet above the ground. The messages were to commemorate those who served during World War II, and to thank all of those working on the frontline, and keeping the country going during coronavirus.
The display was the first since a recent law change introduced by the Transport Secretary, to allow skytyping and skywriting. Skywriting has a strong British history, after being inadvertently discovered by a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot during World War I, when oil accidentally found its way into a hot exhaust and vapourised, creating a vast and dense cloud of white smoke. British pilots then put the discovery to use, by using it to confuse attacking planes*.
Today’s display was conducted by military veterans from the RAF, French Air Force, British Royal Marines and the Royal Navy.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said:
Victory in Europe Day will always be a landmark in British history and it is an honour to have commissioned the first skytyping display in the UK to mark the occasion.
With its strong British history, stemming from the creation of skywriting, it seems an entirely fitting way to honour all those who fought for our freedom while also thanking those keeping the country moving during this challenging time.