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31 May 2005 - Coltishall

Four Mirage 2000Ds from EC03.003 arrived for a week's stay together with transport C160 R95. The Mirages are expected to fly missions all this week and depart next Tuesday. Pictures courtesy Matthew Clements

29 May 2005 - Mildenhall

Both E-8s left today, 92-3290 seen sporting 'Let's Roll' artwork on the nose. Picture courtesy Matthew Clements

27 May 2005 - Valley

The second Hawk to be painted with the 2005 'flame' display scheme was seen - XX205 joins XX306 for the forthcoming season. Picture courtesy Martin Sykes

27 May 2005 - Mildenhall

Passing through were J-STARS E-8C-20s 97-0201 and 92-3290 from Robins AFB, Georgia. Joint STARS consists of an airborne platform - an E-8C aircraft with a multi-mode radar system and U.S. Army mobile Common Ground Stations (CGSs). The E-8C, a modified Boeing 707, is equipped with a 40-foot long canoe-shaped radome mounted under the forward fuselage which houses a 24-foot side-looking phased array radar antennae. The radar is capable of providing targeting and battle management data to all Joint STARS operators, both in the aircraft and in the CGSs, through secure data links. These operators, in turn, can call on aircraft, missiles or artillery for fire support. With a reported range in excess of 150 miles, this radar can cover an estimated 386,100 square miles in a single eight-hour sortie. The heart of Joint STARS is its advanced multimode radar system. From friendly airspace it can detect, locate, track and classify slow moving ground and waterborne targets, low flying aircraft, and rotating antennas deep behind hostile borders.

The 116th Air Control Wing is the Air Forceís first Total Force wing. It is comprised of nine different categories of personnel from the active duty Air Force, Army, Air National Guard, federal civilian workforce, State of Georgia, and industrial contractors. Picture courtesy Karl Drage


25 May 2005 - Coltishall

Jaguar T4 XX838 now sports 'Jaguar display 2005' and a Union Jack on the fin - one assumes that this will be a spare airframe for when XZ103 is unavailable. Shame '103's tail paint scheme couldn't have been repeated though. Pictures courtesy Guy Harvey

25 May 2005 - Lakenheath

Two Danish F-16s visited Lakenheath today, ET-198 still wearing the special marks applied last year. Look out for it again on the airshow circuit this year. Pictures courtesy Matthew Clements

23 May 2005 - Foxy Lady is Fifty

Delta Jets had a 50th birthday party for their Black Hunter T7, WV318 (G-FFOX). Having had its first flight exactly fifty years ago to the day, it was a fitting tribute to the aircraft that has been the mainstay of the Delta fleet at Kemble since 1996. Originally built as a F4 at Hawker's Kingston plant, WV318 was delivered to 5 MU Kemble on 16 June 1955 and issued to 33 MU Lyneham a month later. Its long operational career began with 14 Squadron, based at Oldenburg in Germany, transferring to 93 Squadron at Jever on 27 March 1956. Whilst with this unit she suffered a flying accident - F/O Johnston was performing some aerobatics when the gear box panel came adrift, damaging the port wing fillet and the starboard fuselage to such an extent that it was shipped back to the manufacturer in England for repairs.

But instead of repairing the aircraft, it was converted to a T7 two seat training aircraft. WV318 was back with 5 MU at Kemble again on 1 June 1959 for storage pending reissue and returned to operational status with 111 Squadron in March 1960, ending the year on the strength of the CFS. In October 1964 it was converted to a T7A and passed to the soon-to-be-equipped Lightning Squadrons of 5 and 74. After 5 Squadron had reformed WV318 became its first operational aircraft for the first ten days until the Lightnings arrived.

In February 1970 WV318 started its long association with the Buccaneer force when it was issued to 12 Squadron, which had just reformed with the type at Honington. WV318 was employed with training new Buccaneer crew and keeping present crews current on type with check flights. It also operated the same role in Germany with 15 and 16 Squadrons. It eventually ended up a RAF Lossiemouth with 208 Squadron, where it saw out its service career. When put up for disposal, '318 was one of the last Hunters to serve with the RAF. Just before it was retired it was painted black along with the other three Hunters at Lossiemouth to commemorate forty years of the type and carried the 111 Squadron (Black Arrows) crest.

Purchased in early 1996 by Delta Jets, WV318 was subsequently flown to its new home in March to Kemble, a place it had been based at some eight times throughout its long RAF career. After a complete overhaul back to airworthiness its first post-restoration flight took place at Kemble on 2 May 1996. Since then it has, and still does, regularly appear at airshows the length and breadth of the country. Text by Glen Moreman, photo by Alan Fowles


22 May 2005 - Duxford

Taking to the air for the first time since arriving in the UK was The Fighter Collection's Hawk 75. Following an extensive restoration in New Zealand, the rare American fighter was shipped to Duxford earlier this year. Hopefully it will make its airshow debut at Flying Legends. Pictures courtesy Damien Burke

18 May 2005 - Waddington

Vulcan B2 XM607 was placed at her new permanent location adjacent to the A15 today. For so long a migrant across Waddington's vast acres, she has been fixed to a purpose-made hardstand by her axles in an effort to reduce the effects of corrosion - her previous position on the grass by the southern gate caused a lot of condensation to form under the wings, but being over asphalt should prevent this happening. The only downside is that she will no longer be a centrepiece of the static park at the annual airshow.

13 May 2005 - Cambridge

Not something from the forthcoming Star Wars movie but an all-black VC10 - XR807 is undergoing a refit and appeared at Marshalls in Cambridge with an all-over (except for the starboard wing) matt-black paintscheme. It is believed the paint is a new type of IRR primer and the aircraft will be finished off in the usual grey at St Athan. Pictures courtesy Damien Burke


11 May 2005 - Norwich

Fresh out of Sprayavia's hangar is newly painted Nimrod MR4 ZJ518, the first of the updated aircraft to go through the facility. A few problems were encountered, as the MR4 is a few feet bigger than the MR2 - this resulted in the tail housing having to be removed to get it in the hangar, but the operation was successful, as can be seen. For the number-crunchers, ZJ518 has been built using the fuselage of MR2 XV234. Picture courtesy Keith Bilverstone

11 May 2005 - Waddington

First sight of Waddington's future resident, the Sentinel - still in primer, ZJ694 made several approaches to runway 03 around lunchtime, but didn't feel inclined to make a lunchstop. The first resident aircraft is now expected to join 5 Squadron in the early part of next year. Picture courtesy Mark Meades

7 May 2005 - Dublin

Not quite the UK, but near enough - two Japanese Air Force 747-47Cs arrived at Dublin on 7 May. 20-1102 arrived first at 15:30 local as 'Japanese Air Force 001' and 20-1101 arrived at 15:50 as 'Japanese Air Force 002' - both are due to depart on 10 May to Oslo. Pictures courtesy Paul Harvey


4 May 2005 - Yorkshire Air Museum

No less than two Tornados have appeared at Elvington in recent weeks - first GR4 XZ631 arrived from BAE Systems, having been retired from the test programme, and more recently GR1 ZA354 arrived after retirement from active service, lastly with 15(R) Squadron at Lossiemouth. Both aircraft are owned by the North West Heritage Group from BAE Systems. Picture courtesy Andrew Steer

1 May 2005 - Newark Air Museum

Newark Air Museumís Canberra B[I]8 WV787 moved closer to its new long-term home during the Bank Holiday weekend. This particular Canberra airframe has National Benchmark status (the top listing possible) on the National Aviation Heritage Register and it will shortly be moved inside Display Hangar 2, which was funded with a grant of £453,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The final move to under cover accommodation will be completed after three special events have been held at the museum: the Big Band Supper Dance, the Tribute to the Canberra on 21/22 May and the Cockpit-Fest/AEROBOOT aviation and avionics sale on 18/19 June. Picture courtesy Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


Archive - April 05, Mar 05, Feb 05, Jan 05, 2004

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