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Do You Remember?

#4: The flypast that never was. Pictures by Gary Parsons

First formation of heavies: TriStar, Nimrods and um, HS125s

The second cell represented the tanker force: VC10s & Victors

As a tribute to those who took part in Operation 'Granby', a flypast was organised in connection with a military parade to honour members of Her Majesty's Forces involved in the liberation of Kuwait. A date was arranged for Friday 21 June at 12:00, with two separate formations, the first involving the helicopter element of the three services which participated and the second involving the fixed wing aircraft representing each of the units which operated in the Gulf.

The first formation of twenty-two aircraft was to comprise 3 x Chinook HC1s, 4 x Puma HC1s (RAF), 4 x Lynx HAS3s, 3 x Sea King HC4/HAS5s (RN), 4 x Gazelle AH1s, 3 x Lynx AH7s plus an Islander AL1 (AAC). All of these operated from Odiham, with the exception of the Islander which flew from and to Middle Wallop.

The second formation of fifty-five fixed wing aircraft was to comprise a Tristar KC1, 2 Nimrods (an R1 & MR2), 2 x BAe125 CC3s, 2 x VC10s (a C1 & a K2), 2 x Victor K2s, 4 x Hercules C3Ps, 16 x Tornado GR1/1As, 4 x Buccaneer S2Bs, 6 x Jaguar GR1As, 12 x Tornado F3s, 4 x Phantom FGR2s. The formations would operate in groups from Brize Norton (BAe125, Nimrod, Tristar, VC10, Victor), Coltishall (Buccaneer/Jaguar), Coningsby (Tornado F3), Lyneham (Hercules) and Marham (Tornado).

The third cell comprised the four squadrons of the Lyneham Transport Wing

Rehearsals were planned for Wednesday 19 June and the helicopter element successfully completed a mock flypast locally. However, due to low cloud, the fixed wing rehearsal at RAF Wittering was cancelled, although most bases put up a few aircraft to practice some sort of bad weather formation. The fixed-wing rehearsal was therefore delayed 24 hours, and was successfully completed on the following day, pictures of which can be seen.

The weather on the actual flypast day, Friday 21 June, was very poor during the morning and the decision was made at 11:00 that the full flypast would not be possible. With the weather clearing rapidly at Odiham, the full helicopter flypast went ahead, but the fixed-wing formation was reduced to a Tristar, two Nimrods and six Tornados. It was perhaps rather ironic that the clouds had completely disappeared by 14:00, with the capital enjoying one of the sunniest afternoons of the year.

Aircraft believed to have been participating 20 June 1991:

TriStar KC1 ZD951, Nimrod MR2 XV258, R1 XW666, Hs125CC2s XX507 & XX508.

VC10K2 ZA140, VC10C1 ?, Victor K2s XH671 & XL162.

Hercules C3Ps XV196, XV205, XV211 & XV306.

Tornado GR1s ZD810, ZD739, ZD890, ZD711, ZA373, ZA463, ZA492, ZA465, ZA371, ZD748, ZD809, ZA365, ZD848, ZD720, ZA447 & ZA472.

Tornado F3s ZE257, ZE729, ZG733, ZE965, ZE258, ZE755, ZE207, ZE757, ZE836, ZE934, ZE983 & ZE199. Phantom FGR2s XV407, XV460, XV464 & XV488.

Buccaneer S2Bs XX892, XX894, XV863 & XV352. Jaguar GR1As XX766, XZ355, XZ375, XZ396, XZ363 & XX725.

Reference the late lamented BARG, June 1991.

Sixteen Tornados in desert camo scheme - never seen before, not likely to be seen again
Twelve Tornado F3s flank four Phantoms from Wattisham - although not in the frontline, the Phantom defended the Island of Cyprus against reprisal attacks
Finally, desert coloured Buccaneers and Jaguars from Lossiemouth and Coltishall

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