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On the wings of love...

Roger Cook, Pynelea Photo Bureau, waxes lyrical

The C-130 throbs its confident way across middle England to 19,000 feet in the cool, clear air of an autumn evening. Hercules is on his way to an assignation high over the North Sea and across the airwaves his mistress softly whispers directions to where she is waiting for this rendezvous. From my perch above Hercules' flight deck I see her silhouetted against the glow of the western sky - age has not dimmed her grace or elegance. She has lost none of her seductive charm since she first 'came out' in the early 1960s with the Mae West-like exhortation to 'fly a little VC tenderness'. Although well past the first blush of youth, she is still strikingly beautiful and certainly gets the blood in my veins to flow a little faster.

These two middle aged lovers enter into a gentle foreplay, rising and falling in the smooth air currents until, with a final push, coupling is achieved. The pair then enter into a toboggan ride from 19,000 to 8,000 feet while ten tonnes of juice flows from one to the other. Hercules pulls back to catch his breath and together they climb again to couple once more in the now velvet black of night with only the come hither lights of the VC-10 luring the C-130 forward.

Satisfied, Hercules turns for home while Vicky teases with talk of another liaison with a pair of younger, more agile, suitors in the shape of Tornado F3s. Hussy! We float towards Lyneham on a cushion of twinkling lights and from overhead Milton Keynes I can see the London lights in the south and those of Manchester towards the north. I feel like a peeping Tom, a voyeur to some intimate act but I marvel at the skill of the people who engage in such 'goings on'. Back on the pan the C-130 looks smug and content. Did I catch an envious glance from one of his younger brothers, a J model? Perhaps!

With thanks to Corporal Greening, Corporal Rich Brookes and the 47 Squadron crews, RAF Lyneham.


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