Helicopters have been flying over south London ahead of Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK

Eagle-eyed people in north Kent and south London have seen some unusual activity in the skies this afternoon (May 31).

A fleet of Chinooks were spotted flying in formation over the capital from lunchtime

Sandra Kirk asked on Facebook, asked: “Any idea why we are getting assorted helicopters flying in formation overhead today? It’s not Biggin Hill airshow until August, I believe?

One  Twitter  user was a bit wiser to the operation and wrote: “Military helicopters flying west over London this lunchtime,” The Mirror reports .

The D-Day 75 flypast planes that will take to the sky over Kent and Sussex

“Prob a rehearsal for Trump’s visit on Monday. Looked like Marine One followed by a similar chopper, then several Chinooks.”

A Chinook over the skies of London this afternoon
(Image: Twitter/@Battlebridge_)

The striking aircraft took off from Biggin Hill at noon and flew to London Bridge before going to Regents Park, where they are expected to either hover for 15 minutes or potentially land.

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And then at roughly 3.55pm they’ll be back at London Bridge before heading over towards Walthamstow then to Stansted Airport before going back over Regents Park at 4.30pm to 4.40pm, and “possibly” back over London Bridge about 5 minutes later as they head back to Biggin Hill.

The reason for all this activity is unknown but Regents Park happens to be the home of the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, somewhere that will host President Trump on his UK visit next week.

The helicopters are preparing for Donald Trump’s visit to the capital
(Image: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The movements in the sky today could be part of a security rehearsal ahead of the visit – which is expected to be greeted with mass-protests as his last trip to the UK was.

Earlier today Chinook helicopters were used off the coast of Normandy during a rehearsal for D-Day commemorations.

According to the BBC, the president is expected to bring a fleet of helicopters to the UK.

Among them will be Marine One, which, like Air Force One, isn’t a specific aircraft but instead refers to any US Marine Corps aircraft carrying the president.

Marine One usually refers to one of the president’s large Sikorsky VH-3D Sea Kings or the newer, smaller VH-60N White Hawks.

The helicopters are known as “white tops” because of their livery.

As a security measure, Marine One often flies in a group of identical helicopters acting as decoys.

It is also usually accompanied by two or three Osprey MV-22 escort aircraft, referred to as “green tops”.

These tilt-rotor aircraft carry support staff, special forces and secret service agents, who are tasked with dealing with any mid-flight emergency.

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