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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!

17 June 2008 - Waddington

It's rare to catch a P-3 at Waddington - this aircraft arrived on the 13th and spent the rest of the following week on the ground before departing on the 20th. The aircraft is from VX-1 'Pioneers', the test squadron based at NAS Pax River, Maryland. Courtesy Ken Withers


16 June 2008 - Heathrow

'Air Force One' at rest at Heathrow as President Bush makes his last visit to Europe. Picture courtesy Matthew Clements

14 June 2008 - London

The Queen's birthday and RAF 90th anniversary flypast went ahead in fine weather, the biggest flypast since the Jubilee in 2002. Element 1 was the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, with the Lancaster leading two Spitfires and two Hurricanes. The pilot of the Lancaster was Flight Lieutenant Mike Leckey, and one of the Spitfires was being flown by Group Captain Stuart Atha, Station Commander of RAF Coningsby and the Typhoon Force Commander.

Element 2 consisted of a Hercules from RAF Lyneham, accompanied by two King Airs from 45(R) Squadron, based at the RAF College at Cranwell, the first time these aircraft have participated in the Queen’s birthday flypast.

Element 3 was nine Typhoons, representing each of the four squadrons based at RAF Coningsby. The flypast leader was Wing Commander Johnny Stringer, Officer Commanding 29 (R) Squadron.

Element 4 was led by a VC-10 from 101 Squadron flanked by two Tornado F3 fighter aircraft representing 43(F) and 111(F) Squadrons based at RAF Leuchars, closely followed by a Sentry AEW1 simulating in-flight refuelling. The Sentry was flown by Wg Cdr Stu Reid, better known as 'Bomber Leader' with the BBMF, training pilots to fly the Lancaster and the Dakota; this is his ninth season with the BBMF.

Element 5 was a diamond-nine formation of Tornado F3s, led by Wg Cdr Peter Cracroft, OC of 111(F) Squadron.

Element 6 (main pic): One of the RAF’s five C-17 Globemaster llls was flanked by two further Leuchars-based Tornado F3s. A sixth C-17 is expected to join the fleet imminently.

Element 7 was a Nimrod MR2 from from 201 Squadron, RAF Kinloss, escorted by two more Tornado F3s from RAF Leuchars.

Element 8: A Lockheed Tristar from 216 Squadron, based at RAF Brize Norton, was flanked by two BAe 125s from 32 (TheRoyal) Squadron, based at nearby RAF Northolt, Middlesex. Both types have served extensively in the Middle East, the Tristar refuelling other aircraft and transporting troops, and the 125s providing high speed transport for senior military personnel.

Element 9: The final element was a sixteen-strong formation of Tornado GR4s representing all four of the squadrons based at RAF Marham. Among the formation was Air Commodore Phil Osborn, the Station Commander at RAF Marham until the previous day, and his successor, Gp Capt Colin Basnett. Pictures courtesy Bob Franklin


13 June 2008 - Mildenhall

An interesting and rare arrival was this 89th AW C-20C. Although looking like a normal Andrews-based aircraft, this machine is equipped for 'special missions' and was visiting in conjunction with President Bush's weekend visit. On landing the aircraft taxied to the end of the runway and straight into one of the hangars on the southside of the base. Courtesy Ken Withers

12 June 2008 - Lakenheath

Ten F-15s, five A and five C models, from the 122nd FS, 159th FW/Louisiana ANG, arrived en-route to Grafo in Bulgaria to take part in Exercise 'Mako Javelin'.

The unit's nickname is 'Bayou Militia', denoting its base at New Orleans - 'Bayou Country' is most closely associated with Cajun and Creole cultural groups native to the Gulf Coast region, generally stretching from Houston, Texas, to Mobile, Alabama, with its centre in New Orleans, Louisiana. Pictures courtesy Gary Stedman & Gavin Mills



11 June 2008 - Waddington

A welcome 'fast jet' invasion as 208(R) Squadron has decamped en-masse for a week's exercise, rekindling the memories of the good old ACMI days. Picture courtesy Ken Withers

11 June 2008 - Spalding

The planned rehearsal for the Queen's birthday flypast on Saturday went ahead without a hitch, with all formations except the BBMF flying over Waddington, which was playing 'Buck House' for the day.

Most formations flew direct to Spalding from Southwold, where they turned toward the final run-in to Waddington. The exception was 'Albert & King Air' combine, which appeared from the south some ten minutes before the rest of the formation.

Sixteen Tornado GR4s from Marham brought up the rear, proving that rumours of serviceability are wide of the mark!


8 June 2008 - Biggin Hill

Occasional Air-Scene UK contributor, retired fire-fighter and aviation enthusiast Bill Turner sadly passed away suddenly at the Biggin Hill airshow, his young son Wesley at his side. Bill was in his chair next to Biggin's main runway ready for a day's photography when he started experiencing some chest pains. Wesley called the paramedics, who were on scene in a few minutes, but Bill died a short while later.

His funeral service will be held in the Ogden Chapel, Hanworth crematorium, at 14:15 on Monday 16 June. As Bill was not really into flowers, anyone wishing to pay their respects can make a donation there, the money collected will be donated to the Vulcan to the Sky Trust. One of Bill's wishes was to take Wes to Waddington this year to see the old girl back in the air.

Read Bill's article on Concorde here


7 June 2008 - Mildenhall

Signifying the start of the US President's tour of Europe is E-4B 75-0125, as the type is always forward-positioned before the transit of Air Force One. Picture courtesy Michael Lennon

7 June 2008 - Newark

The repainting of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23M 'Flogger' 024003607 /07 at Newark Air Museum has just taken a major step forward with the application of the main Polish national markings.

The work is being undertaken by a group of local aviation enthusiast who are painters by trade, working for a company based in Nottingham. The final phase of the project will see the re-application of the diverse array of smaller stencil markings.

Information received via one of the web-forums seems to indicate this airframe is an early production airframe, which is very difficult to view outside of the former USSR. The aerial fit around the air intakes seems to indicate the airframe used the R-23R (a medium range missile) attached to the fuselage's belly; with pre-launch data being provided by a small antenna on the fuselage. Courtesy Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


5 June 2008 - Norwich

Sentinel R1 ZJ694 fresh from the Air Livery PLC paint shop - the third to be delivered, it signifies the build-up of 5 Squadron is gaining pace with just two more to be delivered later this year. Picture courtesy Keith Bilverstone

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