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Scene around the UK

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26 February 2008 - St Mawgan

With just five months to go until the scheduled handover of the airfield from MOD to Local Authority control there are signs that preparations for this are advancing at a quickening pace. In recent months a number of construction projects have changed the look of the airfield, these include the ongoing extension of the Airport Terminal, a new radar tower and new security fencing that will eventually surround the airfield. There are also plans for new ATC facilities and a Fire Station. Three new Rosenbauer Panther 6x6 Crash Vehicles were delivered before Christmas and are currently hangered awaiting crew recruitment/training.

Meanwhile RAF operations continue, 203(R) Squadron are busy training aircrew for the SAR force despite planning for their forthcoming move to RAF Valley. Of particular interest to local spotters is the current two-week detachment by six Typhoons from 29(R) Squadron, RAF St Mawgan has been a popular venue for Operational Conversion Units who usually stay for a fortnight using the relatively quiet airspace over the South West. This is the third (but sadly likely to be the final) occasion that 29(R) Squadron has detached aircraft to Cornwall. Courtesy Peter Mitrovich


24 February 2008 - Newark

Tiger Moth G-MAZY reassembled

Staff and volunteers at the Newark Air Museum have recently reassembled and re-rigged the missing wing set on de Havilland Tiger Moth G-MAZY.

The airframe G-MAZY was rebuilt in a ‘half-covered/half-exposed’ configuration by volunteers at CARG (Cotswold Aircraft Restoration Group) back in the early 1990s. G-MAZY is proving to be an idea teaching aid for the growing number of education visits that the museum is now hosting, as it allows pupils to see both the structural design and covered airframe in the one exhibit.

For the last few years G-MAZY has been displayed with only one set of wings fitted this was due to restricted display space in Hangar 1 at the museum’s Winthorpe Showground site. This situation has now been rectified as the museum expands and continues to develop this area of Hangar 1.

The museum’s wide-ranging education programme has been prepared thanks to significant support from MLA East Midlands staff, local teachers and grant funding from MLA East Midlands, as part of their Learn With Museums programme. In the last three months the museum has hosted education visits from schools in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire. Initially developed for Key Stages 1 and 2 the programme has recently been expanded to cater for BTEC students working at an equivalent of Key Stage 4.

Details of the education and Cubs/Scout activities provided by Newark Air Museum can be found on the Education Page of the museum website. Courtesy Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


22 February 2008 - Mildenhall

What is believed to be the first Elmendorf-based C-17A to visit the UK was 00-0172, named 'Spirit of Denali', the other name for Mount McKinley in Alaska, the highest peak in North America. Picture courtesy Paul Callaghan

18 February 2008 - Mildenhall

Arriving at Mildenhall today was 63-8888, seen wearing the colours of 909th ARS/18th Wing from Kadena AB, Japan. However, according to the markings on the boom, she is being operated by the 141st Air Refueling Wing out of Fairchild AFB, WA - it would seem they haven't got round to repainting the airframe yet, thankfully! Courtesy Matthew Clements

16 February 2008 - Mildenhall

A C-32B from the 227th Special Operations Flight at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, supporting worldwide airlift operations - this aircraft was last seen at Mildenhall in October 2005. Also seen was another Alaskan Air Guard KC-135R. Pictures courtesy Gary Stedman

A visitor later in the day was E-3B 75-0560 from Tinker AFB. Picture courtesy Martyn Coleman


C-17s are quite common at the 'Hall, but not so ANG ones, this one being from Mississippi. Picture courtesy Wayne Button

8 February 2008 - Mildenhall

Cessna UC-35D Citation V 166500 of US Marine Corps, Miramar in transit flying to the Middle East. The aircraft is used primarily to transport senior USMC officers on official business, with at least one deployed to the Middle East on rotation. Note the missile warning receivers on the nose and extreme rear fuselage. Courtesy Bob Archer

7 February 2008 - Heathrow

Greek Air Force C-130s are not very common in the UK and the presence of one at last year's RIAT was a real treat! More recently there have been a series of flights to London Heathrow by Greek C-130Hs on what is thought to be Air Ambulance type missions. Today produced another flight, only this time it was C-130B 303, ex-60-0303, which makes it a rare ocassion for a forty-seven year old aircraft to land at LHR! Courtesy Colin Cooke

6 February 2008 - Mildenhall

A colourful visitor was Israeli Air Force Boeing VC707 272 from 120 Squadron, known as 'The International' squadron. It's unusual to see such colourful markings on an Israeli Air Force aircraft. Pictures courtesy Martin Patch and Roger Cook




5 February 2008 - Mildenhall

The 168th Air Refuelling Wing at Eielson AFB, Alaska has begun to apply tactical-style tail markings to its fleet of Boeing KC-135R Stratotankers. The familiar blue and yellow flash on the tail have been joined by tail code 'AK'. Furthermore the serial is presented as AF 59-1521, with the fiscal year in small black numbers, while the remaining four digits are much larger. The 168th Air Refuelling Squadron is part of the Alaskan Air National Guard, but is administered by Pacific Air Forces, rather than Air Mobility Command, who are responsible for all of the reservist tankers in the lower forty-eight States. The KC-135R is seen returning home to the USA after having rotated to Turkey to support Middle Eastern operations. Courtesy Bob Archer


4 February 2008 - Marham

Canberra PR9 XH169 finally went on display at Marham, with an official unveiling by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The aircraft is a memorial to all the aircrew that served on the Canberra during its service career. Pictures courtesy Bob Franklin

2 February 2008 - Brize Norton

Sporting an '80 years' motif on the tail is Danish Air Force CL-604 C-168 from Esk 721, one of three on strength at Aalborg. Formerly Canadian-registered C-GHRJ, C-168 received its 80th markings last year, presumably the 80th anniversary of the roots of Esk 721. Picture courtesy Ian Older

2 February 2008 - South Mimms

Flying low level through South Mimms service area on the M25/A1(M), ex-Bentley Priory Lightning F1A XM173 rests before tackling the M25, M1 & M6 on its journey to its new home 'oop north' in Preston.

First flown 1/11/60, it went to 56 Squadron at Wattisham, becoming one of the 'Firebirds' display team. The arrival of F3s in 1965 saw a move to 226 OCU at Coltishall. In 1972 it became a Target Facilities Flight machine, first briefly at Leuchars before moving onto Binbrook. Its last flight was on 31/12/73, when the TFF's were disbanded. XM173 was then stripped and parked out as a decoy. During 1975 it was one of the aircraft used in camouflage trials at Binbrook before being moved to Bentley Priory for display in 1976. Courtesy Garry Lakin


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