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27 February 2005 - Brize Norton

A couple of international visitors this weekend - the Turkish Air Force arrived with a CN-235 (left) and C-160 Transall, while a more unique sight was Jet Aviation's CFM-engined DC-8 HB-IGH, a charter aircraft for 35 passengers - think about it! See the luxurious interior here. One hopes it wasn't taxpayers' money... Pictures courtesy Mark Rouse.


23 February 2005 - Coltishall

Latest Jaguar to emerge from the Coltishall paintshop is the 2005 display jet, XZ103 of 41 Squadron. Sure to be a favourite at airshows this year, it's the first time in a long while that 41 has provided a display pilot - sadly though it will be its last, as the unit disbands in April 2006. Pictures courtesy Damien Burke.


22 February 2005 - Fairford

Becoming more familiar again at Fairford is Lockheed's 'Dragon Lady', the U-2S. Since it was withdrawn from the Gloucestershire base in the mid-nineties and based at Istres, France, visits have been infrequent, but with the closure of the unit at Istres late last year Fairford is seeing an increase in activity. Pictures courtesy Tony Osbourne.


16 February 2005 - Newark

After the installation of a refurbished ejection seat and the re-fitting of the freshly polished canopy the repaint of Newark Air Museum’s Hawker Hunter F1 WT651 has now been completed.

WT651 has been returned to the markings of its first operational unit, 222 Squadron, which WT651 joined on 21 October 1954 at RAF Leuchars, Fife. WT651 is listed as a National Benchmark airframe on the British Aviation Preservation Council’s National Aviation Heritage Register and the aircraft is displayed inside the museum’s recently completed second Aircraft display Hangar. A building project that was recently completed with a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Picture courtesy Howard Heeley - Down To Earth Promotions.


16 February 2005 - Coventry

Sea Harrier FA2 ZE694 arrived at Coventry's Midland Air Museum (MAM) today. Built in 1988, it was converted to FA2 standard in 1995, and is one of the younger airframes to be retired so far in the draw-down of the Sea Harrier fleet. The MAM acquired it as part of its theme of jet engine technology, complementing the museum's other FAA exhibits. ZE694 is basically complete bar the engine and radar, but the MAM has another engine and some 'hot' nozzles to go with it. The rudder is missing as it is a useable spare and so could not be disposed of yet, but the MAM will fabricate one until it can get hold of a real one. Also the ECM/flare panel behind the airbrake is missing for the same reason. Its current home is the Robin hangar, where it will be fully reassembled and cleaned up, but is viewable as the doors are normally open (if not, ask!). Picture courtesy Damien Burke.

10 February 2005 - Colours at Coltishall

It may be the Chinese new year of the Rooster, but in Turkey-rearing Norfolk it's definitely the year of the Cat. The latest Jaguar to receive a painted fin is XX117 from 16(R) Squadron, fresh out of the paintshops on Monday. It is the second in a series of five, the next being 41 Squadron due before the start of the air display season. It's great to see the RAF returning to the tradition of special markings, something that the French and Germans have certainly beat us at in recent years. It will be a golden summer at Coltishall for aviation photographers as it is understood that the two arctic-coloured examples (see below) will remain in their schemes for some while to come. The aircraft and pilots from 16(R) and 54 Squadrons will be dispersed amongst enlarged 6 and 41 Squadrons, so the general level of activity will remain the same until 41 Squadron is retired in April 2006. A series of photocalls is planned, see the Coltishall website for details. Pictures by Gary Parsons & Mark Rouse.

With thanks to the CCO's staff

7 February 2005 - Somewhere else in Suffolk

Wednesday 12 January saw a team of four members from Bentwaters Aviation Society travel to Llanbedr in Wales, to begin the two-day task of dismantling Gloster Meteor D16 WH453 ready for transportation back to the former USAF base in Suffolk. WH453 arrived at Bentwaters in the early hours of Tuesday 18 January and will eventually be placed on display at the Bentwaters ‘Cold War’ Museum. It is planned to convert WH453 back to an F8 variant and, following extensive restoration, it will be re-painted in 72 Squadron markings – a unit with which it flew in the mid 1950s. The team at Bentwaters will be working closely with the 72 Squadron Association and personnel serving with the current 72(R) Squadron at Linton-on-Ouse to ensure that WH453 is restored as accurately as possible. Pictures courtesy Graham Haynes.


6 February 2005 - Somewhere in Suffolk

A veil of secrecy covers the whereabouts of Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 1342/G-BYDS, currently in the final touches of restoration by a local company. Restored for an American customer, its CAA registration lapsed on 16 November 2004 and hasn't been renewed, so one must assume it won't fly until reaching the USA. Built in 1939, it has been faithfully restored in its 1940 JG 51 markings and is fitted with a Daimler-Benz DB 601A engine, making it one of the most authentic Me-109s in existence. If only it could make that debut at Flying Legends this summer... Pictures courtesy 'Elmo'


3 February 2005 - The end is near for an A1 landmark?

It would seem that time is running out for Lightning F2A XN728, for so long a landmark on the A1 near Newark for many a trucker, salesman and spotter alike. The field in which she sits is up for sale, for either a scrap yard or redevelopment. The site has been cleared around XN728 and she awaits a buyer - one imagines though she won't figure in any landowner's plans for the future. See here for a short history.


Archive - Jan 05, 2004

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