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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!

31 October 2007 - Lakenheath

The 492nd Fighter Squadron, 48th FW from RAF Lakenheath deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar from 11 May to 23 September with fourteen Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles. While deployed, the aircraft were absorbed into the resident 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and were busy conducting offensive strikes against Taiban targets across Afghanistan, using a variety of weapons to destroy their mix of targets.

At least eight of the aircraft returned home with an impressive combat tally displayed below the forward cockpit, on the port side. The Squadron Commander's F-15E 97-0221 has 112 munitions applied, indicating the number that were expended, rather than missions flown. Amongst the symbols carried are 22 x 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) Paveway III laser guided bombs; 23 x Mk84 2,000 lb conventional bombs; 56 x Mk82 500 lb (226.8 kg) conventional bombs (but possibly GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions - JDAM); 2 x CBU-97 1,000 lb (453.5 kg) Sensor Fused Weapons, and four small aircraft-shaped symbols that are GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb drops, SDBs having pop-out wings.

A second with a combat tally is F-15E 92-0364, with 22 x 2,000 lb Paveway III laser guided bombs; 6 x Mk84 2,000 lb conventional bombs; 51 x Mk82 500 lb conventional bombs (probably GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions - JDAM); plus four assumed UAV assists. Others with a weapons delivery tally displayed include 91-0304, 91-0308, 91-0309, 98-0131, 98-0133, and 98-0134.

The F-15E is one of the most versatile weapons delivery aircraft in the USAF inventory, as it is capable of carrying more than two-dozen missiles and bombs. Clearly visible in the images are the twin-podded Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) system. The 494th Fighter Squadron will take their turn to deploy to Al Udeid in the not too distant future. Courtesy Bob Archer & Rob Hewson


28 October 2007 - Brize Norton

Dropping in was the sole An-225 'Cossack', making the first of two visits to the UK in a few days - the next week saw it arrive at East Midlands Airport. Picture courtesy Mark Rouse

28 October 2007 - Derby

The British Aviation Preservation Council celebrates its 40th anniversary in style

The British Aviation Preservation Council (BAPC) held its fortieth Anniversary Conference and 162nd meeting at the Rolls-Royce Learning & Career Development Centre in Derby, over the weekend of 27-28 October 2007.

Originally known as the British Aircraft Preservation Council, this group held its inaugural meeting at the Rolls-Royce Social Centre in Derby on Saturday 28 October 1967, hence why Derby was again selected for this year’s fortieth anniversary conference. The first meeting represented an historic day for the aircraft preservation movement in Britain and the BAPC has come along way since those early days. Several of the people who were at the original meeting back in 1967 were present, including John Kenyon who is recognised as having come up with the idea of forming the BAPC.

This year’s anniversary event was sponsored by Rolls-Royce and was centred at their magnificent Learning & Career Development Centre on Wilmore Road, where delegates briefly participated in the normal Council business meeting, before launching into a series of seminars, workshops, illustrated talks and site visits.

During Saturday’s proceedings a visit was organised to the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust display and storage facility elsewhere on the company’s extensive Derby site, which is normally open by appointment only. Here delegates could not only wander amongst hundreds of aero engines, see the MB339A trainer and Spitfire replica, but they were also treated to perhaps one of the weekend’s highlights – engine running demonstrations!

These engine runs were carried out in the relative confines of the factory yard and featured a Merlin and a Griffon. During several runs the walls literally reverberated with the noise form these two Rolls-Royce masterpieces. These evocative demonstrations were provided by Aero Engine Carlisle – “The WW2 Aero Engine Historical Society”.

During the weekend the seminars and workshops were both wide and varied, with topics covering a diverse range of subjects: from how to make successful applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund, to 40 Years of the BAPC; through to the Falklands Air War and Flying the Harrier to its limits and beyond. On the Saturday evening there was a reception and celebratory dinner at the Midland Hotel, Derby. Courtesy Howard Heeley, Down to Earth Promotions


25 October 2007 - London Colney

More a case of 'Not scene in the UK' - we have been informed of a theft at the Mosquito Aircraft Museum. Someone has stolen the propeller off the memorial to the Second World War crews of the Mosquito, sponsored by the Mosquito Aircrew Association, which was dedicated by the RAF chaplain (Hesketh) on possibly their last ever official reunion. If anyone has any information please contact the museum at www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk

Picture courtesy Garry Lakin

18 October 2007 - Bruntingthorpe

The day that many said would never come - finally, after ten years of dedicated effort, Vulcan B2 XH558 took to the skies on her first post-restoration test flight. It was the culmination of thousands of manhours of engineering, fund raising, toil, sweat and tears - a testament to the VTS team and its unwavering faith that the day would come.

C'mon Richard Branson, now's the time to put your hand in your pocket - let's paint her gloss white, put anti-flash roundels and a Virgin lady on the tail! We'll have a full report on the big day next week...Pictures by Fred Davis


4 October 2007 - Newark

Monospar VH-UTH back at Newark Air Museum

As the Cotswold Aircraft Restoration Group (CARG) prepares to vacate their workshops at RAF Innsworth near Gloucester, arrangements have recently been made for the General Aircraft Monospar ST12 VH-UTH to be returned to Newark Air Museum.

The move was finally completed early on the morning of 3 October when the partially restored fuselage and wings were moved by lorry to the museum’s Winthorpe Showground site in eastern Nottinghamshire.

Like all of the other projects previously undertaken by CARG the standard of work on the Monospar is excellent, with every small detail on the airframe being accurately completed. In recognition of the historical significance and rarity of the Monospar (a National Benchmark aircraft on the National Aviation Heritage Register) many of the original components have been incorporated back into the airframe structure.

There is still some work required to finish off the fuselage, which once completed will allow a start to be made on re-covering the fuselage.

The fuselage and wings have been moved into the museum’s on-site Workshop and work will shortly commence on evaluating what needs to be done to complete the excellent work started by the volunteers at CARG. Working in conjunction with their Restoration Manager the museum trustees aim to draw up a work plan, which will enable the project to be completed as quickly as possible. Courtesy Howard Heeley - Down To Earth Promotions


3 October 2007 - Duxford

Helitech '07 brought an unusual military helicopter to the UK, albeit a Royal Air Force machine, when Griffin HAR2 ZJ703 dropped in. Normally based at Akrotiri in Cyprus with 84 Squadron, this machine is nick-named 'Spades'. Picture courtesy Roger Cook, Pynelea Photo Bureau

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