While Britannia once ruled the waves, today it is in the air that Britain reigns supreme, as the Royal Air force celebrates its centenary.
Battle tested and the admired around the world, 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.
From Spitfire dog fights above London's famous landmarks to daring Dambuster raids and F-35 stealth fighter jets, the RAF was born amid the bloodiest war and helped swing the pendulum in the Allied forces favour.
Now, one hundred pictures, marking the one hundredth anniversary of the RAF have been released, highlighting the highs, the lows and the heroism of countless airmen who defended Britain's interests in times of crisis.
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The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team - the Red Arrows - approaching the Mall, towards Buckingham Palace, part of the celebrations for the Queens Birthday in 2016. Crowds lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the red BAE T1 Hawk jets
Beyond aerial combat, one of the RAF's most important roles is often delivering supplies to servicemen and women, as well as ensuring they are removed safely from areas of unrest. This picture captures the moment an advanced guard landed in Malaysia to tackle guerilla insurgents at some point in the early 1950's
A Sycamore helicopter of 103 Squadron based at Nicosia, Cyprus, flying over St Hilarian Castle near Kyrenia on the north of the island in July 1961
De Haviland Mosquito FB.VIs of 248 Squadron attacking a German 'M' Class minesweeper and two trawler-type auxiliaries in the mouth of the Gironde River, off Royan, France. One of the fastest operational aircraft in the world. Mosquito bombers flew high-speed, medium or low-altitude missions against factories, railways and other pinpoint targets in Germany and German-occupied Europe
Reaper MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) preparing for take-off in Afghanistan
Three Fairey IIIFs J9796, J9809 and J9802 of 47 Squadron on the Blue Nile at Khartoum before departing for a series of exploratory flights over Southern Sudan
The Guard of Honour saluting King George V on his arrival at Mildenhall, Suffolk, for the Silver Jubilee Review of the Royal Air Force in 1935
Trainees manhandling a Fairey Battle to a hangar at 2 School of Technical Training at Cosford, Shropshire, in March 1940
Westland Wapitis of 28 Squadron operating from a barren airfield at Gilgit, Kashmir
Aerial view of the aircraft arranged for viewing by HM King George V during the first ever Royal Review of the RAF held at Mildenhall, Suffolk
Training aircrafts in use with Central Flying School at Upavon, Wiltshire, in 1913, including a Avro 500s, a pair of BE.4s, Henri Farman, Short S.27 and two Maurice Farman S.7 Longhorns
AF Nimrod MR2 on patrol in the skies over the North Pole, with two RN submarines breaking through the ice below
Three Fairey IIIFs J9796, J9809 and J9802 of 47 Squadron on the Blue Nile at Khartoum before departing for a series of exploratory flights over Southern Sudan in 1930
de Haviland Mosquito FB.VIs of 248 Squadron attacking a German 'M' Class minesweeper and two trawler-type auxiliaries in the mouth of the Gironde River, off