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December 2007 - Boscombe Down
says farewell with probably last ever UK Jaguar flight
day for aviation enthusiasts - Jaguar T2A XX833, which for the past
six months was the only flying UK military registered Jaguar left
in service, took its last flight, marking the end of an era for
Jaguar flying in UK - the last of the RAF's Jaguars were themselves
all retired earlier this year.
which is operated in conjunction with the MOD as part of the Aircraft
Test and Evaluation Centre (ATEC)* operation by Qinetiq, was undertaking
trials flights, after which the airframe went out of hours. It was
piloted by Sqn Ldr Andy Blythe, and accompanied by Wg Cdr Paul Shakespeare,
both from the Fast Jet Test Squadron (FJTS), based at MOD Boscombe
around 11:30 the aircraft took off from its home base for a medium
level flight, routed via RAF Coltishall, RAF Coningsby and BAE Systems
Warton, locations each with a long Jaguar heritage, plus it overflew
RAF Marham where a number of the engineers that worked on the Jaguar
are now based, before returning to MOD Boscombe Down. Then at around
15:00, XX833 took to the air for the final time with a low-level
flight around Wales prior to an overflight of St Athan, eventually
returning to MOD Boscombe Down for a final flypast before landing
at around 15:45.
was manufactured by BAe at Warton as a two-seat operational advanced
trainer and delivered to the MOD in February 1975. It was transferred
to RAE Farnborough in February 1989, transferring to MOD Boscombe
Down in April 1994 and finally became a QinetiQ asset in July 2001.
retirement, XX833 has flown around 4,700 sorties, clocked up over
5,335 flying hours with more than 7,690 landings. In the twelve
years of service at MOD Boscombe Down it flew 1,070 hours, suffered
five bird-strikes, one lightning strike, consumed nine engines and
carried out over 864 sorties.
manufacture it had a comprehensive instrumentation recording and
telemetry system fitted; this required the removal of the Aden Gun
facility and modification of the ammunition tanks to accommodate
its experimental fits. The aircraft was used as a development test
vehicle for the Jaguar 96/97 updates and had a number of systems
broadly comparable with those fitted to T4 aircraft. A Head Tracker
System (HTS) was provided to give steering and target information
to the Head Tracker System and NAVWASS (Navigation and Weapon Aiming
Sub-System). The HTS was used in conjunction with HMD (Helmet Mounted
Display), Display NVG (Night Vision Goggles), or Integrated Panoramic
NVG (IPNVG) to provide a Helmet Mounted Sight (HMS) facility. Courtesy
Qinetiq/RAF Air Command
December 2007 - Coventry
a shiny new coat of red paint is DC-3 G-ANAF of Air Atlantique.
This was owner Mike Collett's choice after seeing an aircraft land
at Jersey airport with a similar scheme, and he was so taken with
it he instructed the boys in the workshop to do update G-ANAF. The
aircraft is used for pollution-control work and also does mapping/survey.
has an auxilary motor on the right-hand side to power-up all the
electronic kit inside, because the aircraft's
own power is not enough. The equipment installed is quite heavy
and AA needed a good sturdy aircraft - because it's a tail-dragger,
it's ideal as there is very little return on the radar of bits of
the aircraft as the dome is at the very front of the aircraft. Courtesy
December 2007 - Lakenheath
used to be ten-a-penny, but these days even Belgian F-16s stir a
bit of interest in the UK. December was also the times visitors
used to pour into Lakenheath to take advantage of a trip to Harrods
in London, but the tight fiscal environment of today's armed forces
have put a stop to all that...Picture courtesy Mike Kerr
December 2007 - Marham
wearing its Operation Telic scheme from 2003 is Tornado GR4A ZA400,
which has had a distinguished operational career. In the first Gulf
war of 1991 ZA400, then a GR1A, was the personal aircraft of Wg
Cdr R F Garwood in which he flew nineteen low-level night reconnaissance
missions over Iraq and was subsequently awarded the Distinguished
Flying Cross (DFC). Picture courtesy Mike Kerr
December 2007 - Farnborough
Hamilton helps fly2help!
Charity fly2help, based
at Kemble Airport in Gloucestershire, today hosted an event for
a group of very special and brave parents and children from Chase
Hospice, who support families with children who have life-limiting
to the generosity of Bombardier Skyjet International's partners
Cirrus Aviation and Sovereign Air, TAG Aviation, Farnborough TAG
Airport, RAF Odiham and many other contributors, six children from
Chase, three siblings and eleven parents enjoyed an adventure that
will never be forgotten. The
VIP day started with the children and their families being met at
07:00 by Lewis Hamilton at Loseley Park, Guildford, before the group
departed for a thrilling ride on an RAF Chinook Helicopter to Farnborough
arrival at Farnborough Airport, the children were greeted by Father
Christmas and a huge welcoming group, before being whisked off for
breakfast with Lewis Hamilton in the Airport Terminal, where there
was time for all the group to meet and talk to the Formula One star.
The families then had little time before boarding their waiting
Bombardier Learjet aircraft on the tarmac outside and departing
in luxurious style for Disneyland Resort Paris, waved off by Lewis
Hamilton, Father Christmas and the group of helpers.
Disneyland, the group were treated to a VIP guided tour of the resort,
getting the chance to meet all of their favourite characters, enjoy
the rides and having VIP seating to watch the Christmas Parade.
At the end of the day, the groups boarded their jets in Paris and
flew back to Farnborough Airport to culminate a very special day
for all of those involved.
you would like to support the charity, you can find out more and
donate on-line at www.fly2help.org.
Our work, along with the very nature of flying, involves huge costs,
ranging from the fuel expenditure all the way through to the aircraft
themselves; therefore, it really is only through the generous donations
and support of others, that we can fund our ambitious aims and make
such a difference.
December 2007 - Sywell
to look like an aeroplane again, 'Biggles Biplane' BE-2 replica
G-AWYI has now been moved across the aerodrome at Sywell and is
sharing a hangar with a range of other historic aeroplanes while
work starts in the workshops on the rebuild of its wings.
fuselage is steadily becoming complete, with the addition and trial
fitting of engine mounts, cabane struts and undercarriage skids,
not to mention a full set of tail feathers. The next big challenge
will be getting the fuel tank to fit under the front fuselage decking!
glitches have included discovering two of the upper wing spars were
beyond recovery, meaning preparing two more fifteen-foot long Canadian
spruce wing spars, plus of course all the ribs already planned to
thanks go to Sywell residents Paul and Sarah Ford for their help
with the wings, which is keeping the project on track for a 2008
first flight. Courtesy Stephen Slater
December 2007 - Mildenhall
been a long while since we've seen one of these babies in Suffolk
skies - B-1B 86-0135 uses full reheat on departing an overcast and
wind-blown Mildenhall after a night-stop, en-route for the USA from
the Middle East. Also seen was KC-130T 162308 from VMGR-234. Pictures
December 2007 - Luton
exotic visitor to Luton, Gulfstream IV J-755 of the Pakistan Air
Force has undergone work at the Gulfstream facility at Luton, and
now ready to return to Pakistan.
particular aircraft, c/n 1325, was delivered in January 2006 and
is on strength with 12(VIP) Squadron ('Globetrotters'), based at
Chaklala. Its previous identity was N102FM. Courtesy Ken Withers
December 2007 - Newark
Newark Air Museum has just taken delivery of its latest aircraft
project a Ward Gnome, which currently remains un-registered.
to the specification of local designer Mr M Ward of North Scarle
near Newark this example of the diminutive single-seat monoplane
has just been placed on long-term loan with the museum.
project has so far been constructed to a very high standard, but
it still requires a significant amount of work to see it completed.
Hopefully in the coming months some of this work will be carried
out by the museum volunteers and will eventually see it displayed
in Hangar 1 at the museum’s Winthorpe Showground site.
the original Ward Gnome design came out in the late 1960s it was
billed as “the UK’s smallest piloted aircraft”. Courtesy Howard
Heeley, Down to Earth Promotions
December 2007 - East Midlands
anniversaries in the picture
just over four months to go before the Royal Air Force celebrates
its 90th birthday, the Commanding Officers of four of the Royal
Air Force's (RAF) oldest squadrons got airborne to mark the 95th
anniversary of the establishment of their units this year with a
unique formation photo-shoot.
from No 1 (Fighter), II (Army Co-operation), 3 (Fighter) and IV
(Army Co-operation) Squadrons - Harrier GR9, Tornado GR4, Typhoon
F2 and Harrier GR9 respectively - met up off the east coast of England
to fly various formations before flying through their home airfields
of RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, RAF Cottesmore, Rutland, and RAF
formation was led by OC 1(F) Squadron, Wing Commander Andy Lewis.
Wing Commander Andy Hine, OC II(AC) Squadron who flew the Tornado
GR4, said: "For many years the debate has raged amongst some
circles in aviation as to which squadron is the most senior in the
Royal Air Force, and whether that seniority should include service
with balloons as well as fixed wing aircraft. All
claims were put to one side, however, as the Commanding Officers
took to the air for the combined photo shoot," he added.
factor that is not in dispute," he continued, "is the
operational pedigree of these four squadrons, who, from their early
days of existence in the Royal Flying Corps, have been in the thick
of many campaigns, winning numerous battle honours between them."
these squadrons remain very much at the fighting edge of the RAF's
contribution to operations. Both the Harrier and Tornado GR have
been on continuous operations since 1991, most recently for 1(F)
and IV(AC) Squadrons with Harriers in Afghanistan as part of Operation
Herrick, and soon for II(AC) Squadron with Tornado GR4s in Iraq
on Operation Telic.
3(F) Squadron had similar experiences as a previous Harrier unit,
but since converting to the Typhoon, they now form part of the RAF's
Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) for the southern part of the United Kingdom,
whilst also working towards a full air-to-ground attack operational
capability. Courtesy RAF Air Command
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