Thousands of people lined The Mall to watch the spectacle, with the Queen joined by working members of the Royal Family.
The formation had been kept a guarded secret so it was a surprise for the Queen and she clearly appreciated it.
Seventy-two aircraft led by Jim Calvert, Officer commanding 29 Squadron at RAF Coningsby, joined up off the east coast in Suffolk before heading to London.
Crews of the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), two Spitfires, two Hurricanes, and the sole airworthy Lancaster in Europe also played a starring role in the proceedings.
There was also a display by the Red Arrows.
According to RAF Coningsby Spotters Group they are expected back over East Kirkby at 1.34pm and 3.19pm.
Station Commander at Coningsby, Group Captain Matt Peterson said, “Our Sovereign has served our country and Commonwealth in a truly unique way over the last 70 years, seven decades of service is an astounding achievement. Alongside all of our service colleagues we are delighted to be paying tribute to Her Majesty today. ”
Squadron Leader Mark Sugden, Officer Commanding the BBMF said, “We are very proud to be participating as we celebrate the Queen’s reign. Every time you fly for BBMF it is a privilege, when you take part in important state occasions it is even more so, and the magnitude of today’s event, reflecting her Majesty’s astonishingly dedicated period of service, makes it a momentous, ‘once in a lifetime’ occasion.”