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Scene around the UK - Seen something unusual or interesting in the UK? Contact us here and share it with other Air-Scene UK readers!

31 August 2006 - Bruntingthorpe

It's the news we had all been waiting for - XH558 will fly again next year! Despite the warnings of project collapse, significant publicity in the past few weeks has ensured that pledges and donations have achieved the £1.2 million mark to enable the completion to flying condition, not least thanks to Sir Jack Hayward, Chairman of Wolves Football Club, who personally donated £500,000.

XH558 will return into the hangar for the winter with her first post-engineering flight scheduled for Spring 2007. Picture courtesy Damien Burke

30 August 2006 - Waddington

Arriving for a stop-over was Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora 140117, en-route from Nordholz in Germany. Picture courtesy Michael Hind

23 August 2006 - Mildenhall

Return of the WB-57F! NASA 928 returned to Mildenhall tonight en-route to Souda, Greece and operations in the tropics, believed to be to obtain the first high-resolution, high-precision profiles of water vapor isotopic composition across the tropical tropopause. Picture courtesy Matthew Clements

22 August 2006 - Irish Sea

Captured on a refuelling flight over the Irish Sea, Typhoon ZJ699 carries a full simulated weapons load as BAE Systems continues to develop the ground-attack capability of the aircraft. Looking ever-more like a potential Tornado GR4 replacement, the recent news of the sale of 72 Typhoons to Saudi Arabia will almost certainly mean Tranche 3 will go ahead, but maybe now as a two-seat bomber variant? Picture courtesy Duncan Chase

16 August 2006 - Newark

Film set replica returns to Newark Air Museum

The Lee Richards Annular Biplane Replica BAPC.20 has been returned safely to Newark Air Museum.

Based on an original pioneering design, which featured a remarkable annular (circular) wing the Lee Richards Annular Biplane Replica was built as a non-flying replica for the 1965 film 'Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines', where it was one of the ‘aircraft flown’ by the character Harry Popperwell, played by the late-comedian Tony Hancock.

The replica has been restored by members of the Shoreham Airport Historical Association. A recent change of circumstances at Shoreham Airport, in West Sussex meant that the replica might have to be moved outside thereby risking damaging the beautiful work already completed.

After use in making the film the Lee Richards Annular Biplane replica was originally acquired by the Newark Air Museum in late 1967 from Booker, shortly before it was due to be destroyed. The replica was later allocated the British Aviation Preservation Council Number 20.

After initial storage at Abbott & Co in Newark the replica moved to the museum site in the early 1970s where it remained in under cover store awaiting restoration to display standard. In February 2000 the museum placed the replica on loan with the Shoreham Airport Historical Association, who commenced the restoration work.

The Lee Richards Annular Biplane Replica will be reassembled and placed on display in Hangar 1 at Newark Air Museum’s Winthorpe Showground alongside other biplane exhibits including the Mignet HM.14 Pou du Ciel ‘Flying Flea’, the de Havilland Tiger Moth and the MBA Tiger Cub. Courtesy Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


3 August 2006 - Valley

Four Alpha Jets from EAC 00.314, based at Tours, France stopped off for the week at RAF Valley where they flew with the Hawks of 208(R) Squadron. Ecole de L'Aviation de Chasse 314 is responsible for initial fast-jet training for French Air Force pilots in the same way as 208(R) Squadron is for the RAF. These Alpha Jets were captured by Martin Cole on a low-level sortie with the Hawks in the Welsh hills.

2 August 2006 - Mildenhall

Seen departing RAF Mildenhall was EP-3E Aries II 156511 of VQ-1 'World Watchers', based at NAS Whidbey Island. The lineage of VQ-1 can be traced back to two PBY-5A Catalina 'Black Cats' modified for electronic reconnaissance during World War II. The unit was formally established as the Special Electronic Search Project at NAS Sangley Point, Republic of the Philippines, in 1951.

In 1991, the squadron closed its permanent detachment in Atsugi and moved it to Misawa, Japan. That same year, VQ-1 received the first EP-3E Aries II, an upgraded version of the Aries I using modified P-3C Orion airframes. The squadron played a key role in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Today, VQ-1 provides electronic reconnaissance from the east coast of Africa to the US West Coast. Picture courtesy Jason French


2 August 2006 - Coltishall (not quite dead yet)

Some Apaches from Wattisham are on a two-day deployment giving crews and ground crew the chance to try some hot refuelling at the runway 22 end. This is one of many deployments that may follow if the AAC find it was a success for as long as the MoD retains the airfield. Pictures courtesy Matthew Clements

1 August 2006 - Thetford

The Duke of Edinburgh dropped in at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in Norfolk to open a new £1.6m redevelopment that includes a new reception, extra office and archive space, and a library. The centre employs ninety staff and coordinates the activities of more than 30,000 bird watchers across the UK. The Royal Family has had to pay for non-Governmental travel costs since 1 April 1997 and so now charters civilian-registered S76s. Picture courtesy Matthew Clements

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