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31 March 2006 - Cottesmore

A very private affair saw 800 NAS re-form at RAF Cottesmore, taking over the aircrew and aircraft previously operated by 3(F) Squadron. At the same time 3(F) Squadron transferred to the Typhoon, although it will be some time before the unit is fully up to strength and operational at nearby RAF Coningsby.

800 NAS is expected to embark onboard HMS Invincible in the next few weeks, the first time the Fleet Air Arm has solely operated the Harrier GR variant at sea. Pictures courtesy Duncan Chase

31 March 2006 - Liverpool

A rare military visitor for John Lennon Airport was 'Air Force 2' C-32A 98-0001, bringing the American Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice on a visit to the city during a two-day tour of the north-west of England, accompanied by the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. Picture courtesy Martin Sykes

29 March 2006 - Coningsby

41(R) Squadron was much in evidence as the Fast Jet & Weapons OEU prepares to take on the numberplate with the disbandment of 41 Squadron at Coltishall scheduled for Saturday 1 April. The three types flown by the OEU - Harrier GR9, Tornado GR4 and Tornado F3 performed a flypast, all bearing the cross of St Omer, 41 Squadron's traditional emblem. Also transferring from Coltishall is 6 Squadron, the first twelve Jaguars arriving in readiness for flypasts planned for Saturday over its former home. Pictures courtesy Guy Harvey

 

23 March 2006 - Fairford

Fairford briefly burst into life with a deployment of two B-1B Lancers and two B-2A Spirits - the Bones flew in on Monday for a few days while the Spirits made a brief stopover on Thursday night after hitting Wainfleet's bombing range. Pictures courtesy Matthew Clements

 

15 March 2006 - Wattisham

Sea Hurricane XIIa G-KAMM made its 'first' flight today Wednesday from Wattisham airfield. Fully restored by the masters at Hawker Restorations Ltd at nearby Milden, this aircraft was built as BW881 (c/n CCF/R32007).

Marked up as '5429' coded 'Z', the aircraft took gracefully to the air for a brief test flight during the afternoon. A few sedate handling and systems checks were followed by a few slightly more vigorous manoeuvers, finishing off by a high speed flypast then a textbook landing.

It is good to see another classic aircraft restored to airworthy condition in such a superb fashion, however don't expect to see this aircraft remain in the UK for long as it is expected to depart to an overseas owner soon. Pictures courtesy Tom McGhee

 

5 March 2006 - Duxford

The 70th anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire was celebrated at two locations - Carolyn Grace flew her T9 ML407 at Duxford (pictured) in a full display routine and five Spitfires flew from Duxford to Eastleigh in Hampshire, the location for that first flight in 1936. Picture courtesy Steve Carter

5 March 2006 - Mildenhall

Very rare visitor was NASA-operated Gulfstream III N1NA. It operates as a charter aircraft with the FAA while not on NASA duty. Picture courtesy Wayne Button

3 March 2006 - Waddington

Basking in the late winter sunshine is E-3F Sentry 202/36-CB from EDCA 00.036 based at Avord, France. The French Air Force took delivery of a four-ship E-3F fleet in the early 1990s, modification work being performed by Air France Industries, under subcontract to Boeing, at its facility in Le Bourget, France. In early 2005, Boeing announced that the first French E-3F RSIP upgraded under a $133 million Foreign Military Sales agreement was completed successfully ahead of schedule. The other three E-3Fs are scheduled to undergo RSIP upgrade by mid-2006.

Under the Radar System Improvement Program (RSIP) program, carried out by Northrop-Grumman Electronic Systems, the pulse Doppler radar system was upgraded increasing its sensitivity to detect and track smaller targets such as stealthy targets and cruise missiles. The upgrade improves the radar's electronic counter-countermeasures capability to better counter electronic jamming. In addition, radar system availability, maintainability, efficiency and reliability is enhanced. RSIP kits replace the radar's early computer with a new high-reliability multi-processor. New radar software is easier to maintain and enhance in the future. The modification also upgraded the radar's antenna, receivers and transmitters. Picture courtesy Ashley Wallace

 

3 March 2006 - Coltishall

The end is nigh - as Coltishall enters its last month of flying operations, so does 41 Squadron with the Jaguar. Last year's display aircraft, GR3A XZ103 has been re-painted to mark the occasion with 'End of an Era' and 41's Cross of Lorraine on a white background, similar in style to its display circuit scheme of 2005. 41 Squadron will transfer to the Fast Jet & Weapons OEU at Coningsby on 1 April, so staying with 6 Squadron as it too transfers to the Lincolnshire base. Pictures courtesy Michael Hall

2 March 2006 - Yeovilton

Donation to Fly Navy Heritage Trust

AHA Events Ltd. has donated £3,905 to the Fly Navy Heritage Trust. Its mission is to ensure that the unique British collection of aircraft that is the Royal Navy Historic Flight based at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset continues to fly long into the future. Their aim is to preserve the nation's aviation heritage so that future generations can understand the nature of those who built, maintained, operated and fought in Naval aircraft of the past by experiencing them first hand.

"There is a huge expense as well as time and effort involved in restoring, maintaining and displaying these historic aircraft. Without financial aid these aircraft wouldn't be flying", says Ralph Patel of AHA Events Ltd.

"The Sea Fury and Sea Hawk are nearly ready for the forthcoming airshow season after undergoing their off-season servicing. The Swordfish (LS326), famous for disabling the German flagship Bismarck and its attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto harbour during WW2, is hoping to fly again later on this year after an extensive maintenance program. All these aircraft will be on display at this year's Yeovilton Air Day on Saturday 8 July", says John Beattie of the RNHF.

AHA Events Ltd. are based in Barnstaple, North Devon and are contracted by the Ministry of Defence to organise this year's Air Day at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, Somerset, home of the RNHF.

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