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Scene around the UK

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30 November 2006 - Brize Norton

Contrasting with the white and red example on 18th, Boeing 707-331B TK.17-1/47-01 dropped in resplendent in its all-over grey scheme (yuk). TK.17-1 is a tanker variant (hence the 'K'), cleared for both day and night operations and can serve most types operating within Europe plus US Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.

Also present at Brize was An-124 RA-82077.

Pictures courtesy Steve Coe

30 November 2006 - Southend

A long-term Southend resident appears to be moving on! With hastily applied serial and flag (Bolivian Air Force personnel were still painting the new marks on the starboard side of the tail as this image was being taken), this BAe 146-100 looks like it's heading to South America. The aircraft began life as G-5-076 in March 1987 and was delivered to the Civil Aviation Administration of China as B-2707 in April of that year. In May 1988 it was transferred to Air China and at some point became B-632L, the registration that it flew into Southend with, still in its basic Air China colour scheme some four or five years ago. The aircraft was registered to Aircraft Holdings Network of Las Vegas as N76HN in December 2003 but these marks were never carried. Courtesy Ken Withers


30 November 2006 - Mildenhall

Landing at RAF Mildenhall for a 'Gas and Go' was P-3 158916/LF-916 from Patrol Squadron Sixteen (VP-16) 'War Eagles' which are stationed at NAS Jacksonville, Florida. Picture courtesy Matthew Clements

28 November 2006 - Newark

As part of a series of integrated moves that are taking place around the Newark Air Museum site the Luscombe P3 Rattler Strike G-BKPG has been moved out of storage in the workshop and placed on display in Hangar 2, which was funded with a grant of £453,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

This move will enable more in-depth restoration work to be undertaken in the on-site workshop during the winter months. The forward canards have already been refitted to the fuselage and the wings will be refitted when some minor repairs have been completed.

Luscombe P3 Rattler Strike G-BKPG was the pre-production airframe and it flew for the first time on 2 November 1983. The aircraft was designed to provide quick reaction close military support and also to be easily dismantled for quick deployment around the battlefield. During the design process advice on the optimum weapons mix was obtained from the Royal Ordnance Factory but it is not known whether any of the proposed weapon systems were ever tested on the aircraft. Weapons being considered were: 7.62 mm chain gun, optional rocket launchers and anti-personnel mine or chaff dispensers.

The Rattler Strike has been positioned beneath the wing of the Vickers Varsity, which is itself once again receiving attention for the museum volunteers. Work is now ongoing in the application of the light grey to the lower fuselage sections and in some places the stencilling and badges are also being applied. Courtesy Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


24 November 2006 - Southend

Awaiting engine repairs and taxi-trials this weekend, Boeing 707 VH-XBA is almost ready to return to the air after a lengthy restoration for the Qantas Foundation Memorial, a group dedicated to the many people who have made air travel one of the safest forms of travel.

VH-XBA was originally VH-EBA City of Canberra, the twenty-ninth aircraft off the production line, first flown on 20 March 1959, and the first Qantas 707, as well as the first foreign sale of the type. It left Qantas service in 1967 and has seen service with several operators, ending up with the Royal Saudi Air Force from September 1987 as HZ-123. It has been stored at Southend since 1999. It will be flown to Longreach, Australia via the USA and is expected to depart on Tuesday. Pictures courtesy Bob Franklin


20 November 2006 - Newark

Saab Viggen Photo Opportunity

The Saab Viggen was moved outside yesterday and is available for photography from Monday 20 November to Sunday 26 November 2006 inclusive.

People should note that on 26 November Saab car owners will be allowed to bring their cars onto the museum site to be photographed alongside the aircraft. This will cost £10.00 per car, which includes the cost of its occupants - this will only be permitted on 26 November.

Once these photo opportunities have been completed the Viggen will be moved inside Hangar 2 to its new display location. Other planned aircraft moves have dictated the location where the Viggen has been positioned, which is slightly unusual but the aircraft is photographable form most angles. If bright sunshine is forecast we recommend that people arrive at the museum from 12 noon onwards to obtain the best conditions for photography.

People wishing to visit the museum during this period can do so at the special discounted rate of £5.00 for Adults and £3.25 for Children. To benefit from this discounted rate you must bring along a print out of this text or quote the phrase “Viggen Photo Opportunity” in the museum shop when you arrive. This special rate cannot be claimed with any other discounted admission offers and is only valid between 20-26 November 2006. For further details please telephone 01636 707170, or contact us via email at newarkair@onetel.com or via the website at www.newarkairmuseum.co.uk

If this Saab Viggen Photo Opportunity is successful the museum trustees may consider organising similar events in the future for other aircraft that are currently displayed inside. Courtesy Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


18 November 2006 - Brize Norton

Making a nightstop was Spanish Air Force Boeing 707 T.19-3 from 471 Escadra, normally based at Torrejon. The air force has a fleet of three aircraft, making them quite a rare sight in the UK. Pictures courtesy Mark Rouse

16 November 2006 - Newark

The trustees of Newark Air Museum have reluctantly taken the decision to terminate the ongoing loan agreement for Auster J/1 Autocrat G-AGOH.

The Auster J/1 Autocrat is a National Benchmark aircraft on the National Aviation Heritage Register (NAHR), originally built as an engine installation prototype and has been on loan from the Leicestershire County Council Museums, Arts & Records Office.

The aircraft is expected to leave the museum’s Winthorpe Showground site early in 2007. The space created in Newark Air Museum’s Display Hangar 1 will give the museum greater flexibility in the under cover display of several other NAHR listed airframes in the National Benchmark and Significant categories.

The Auster Autocrat was produced at the end of the Second World War as a more economical civil adaptation of the highly successful wartime Auster air observation / communications aircraft. It features the standard Auster welded tube fuselage frame and tail surfaces, with wings of light aluminium alloy ribs on two wooden spars braced to the fuselage with streamlined steel tube struts. The whole airframe is covered with doped fabric.

G-AGOH was first used by Blackburn Aircraft Ltd, at Brough near Hull, for development flying their Cirrus Minor II engine. It was sold in the early 1950s, moving to Leicester Airport (Stoughton). Three owners later it was brought in 1969 by the Leicester City Museums, as an example of a Leicestershire built product for its growing industrial collection.

It was placed in storage in 1993 after 24 years as a flying museum exhibit. In 1995 the aircraft was loaned to the museum, flying into Winthorpe Airfield on 12 July 1995. Whilst on display the aircraft ensured that the Auster Company’s important contribution of around 3,870 aircraft produced for a worldwide market, between 1939 and 1970 was fully recognised. Courtesy Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


13 November 2006 - Mildenhall

Making a rare visit to RAF Mildenhall were these two USAF Sentrys from the 552nd ACW based in Oklahoma. While the second one is landing in less than favourable conditions it would appear by the tail band that the 965th AACS (yellow) has been deactivated. Pictures courtesy Jason French


11 November 2006 - Bedworth

The local Armistice day parade in Bedworth, near Coventry, had Dakota KK116 from Air Atlantique making two poppy drops over the day's parade at 11:05. Picture courtesy Rich Blencowe

11 November 2006 - Coningsby

Flypast fortnight continued with 29(R) Squadron performing the Rememberance Day flypast over London at 11:00. Three T1s (ZJ812/BK 'Triplex 1', ZJ813/BL 'Triplex 2' and ZJ808/BG 'Triplex 4') and a singleton F2 (ZJ920/BX 'Triplex 3') repeated the flypast over Coningsby on return to the airfield.

9 November 2006 - Mildenhall

A long way from home was KC-135R 63-8030 of the 203rd ARS, part of the Hawaii Air National Guard. Normally based at Hickam AFB, it was well outside its normal Pacific area of operations. Picture courtesy Gary Stedman

9 November 2006 - Coningsby

More formation flying as a practice was held for Saturday's flypast over Hyde Park Corner to mark the dedication of the New Zealand Memorial by HM the Queen. Visiting Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 N7571 is believed to be operating from Coningsby for the weekend. Unfortunately it looks like the diamond-nine of the 3rd was a one-off as the Lord Mayor's parade flypast in the morning will consist of four Typhoons. Picture courtesy Tony Lowther

8 November 2006 - Leuchars

On delivery to the Polish Air Force were two F-16Cs, 4043 and 4044. Block 52 aircraft, these aircraft are fitted with the latest avionics (including the ALE-50 Towed Decoy System) and provisions for Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFTs). Poland has ordered 48 aircraft comprising 36 single-seat C and 12 two-seat D models, so hopefully there'll be more chances to catch them as they cross the 'Pond'. Pictures courtesy Berry Vissers/Squadron Prints

3 November 2006 - Coningsby

The first mass flypast of Typhoons to be seen happened about 1530 as nine F2s from 29(R), 17(R) and 3(F) Squadrons flew over the airfield. It is thought that it was a practice for the Lord Mayor's parade on 11 November. Pictures courtesy Gary Stedman and Mike Hall

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