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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!

28 August 2007 - Brize Norton

One of two Canadian Armed Forces in the UK over the Bank Holiday was this CC-150 from 437 Squadron, based at Trenton in Ontario. The other Canadian aircraft was a CP-140 Aurora, which took part in the air day at Little Gransden in Cambridgeshire. Picture courtesy Mark Rouse

25 August 2007 - Newark

Shackleton 1722 DVD launched at Newark Air Museum

NAM would like to extend a special 'thank you' to all those Shackleton veterans who turned out for the 50th Anniversary celebrations for Shackleton Mk3 Ph.3 WR977 event at the Newark Air Museum this weekend. A particular highlight during the two day event was the official UK launch of the Shackleton 1722 DVD.

Directed and produced by Andrew Schofield in collaboration with the South African Air Force Museum the DVD features “The last flying Shackleton Mk3 in the World.” With a running time of 89 minutes the DVD captures many different aspects of Shackleton 1722, which has been restored at Ysterplaat AFB in South Africa. Through ten chapters the DVD also shows:

- the history of Shackletons in South Africa with 35 Squadron;
- pilot, engineer and historian interviews;
- an air show sequence with 1722;
- a section dedicated to Pelican 1716 survivors and their families (from the aircraft that crashed in the western Sahara in July 1994);
- a visit to WR977 at Newark Air Museum and an interview with Sqn Ldr Brian Withers.

Copies of the DVD can now be obtained from the Newark Air Museum Shop at a cost of £17.75 each; please telephone 01636 707170 or email to reserve your copy.

Produced by Black Eagle Projects - ISBN 978-0-620-38912-9. Courtesy Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


25 August 2007 - Mildenhall

Another unique C-135 variant - this time it's 'Constant Phoenix'. General Eisenhower commissioned the 'Constant Phoenix' program on 16 September 1947 when he charged the Air Force with the overall responsibility for detecting atomic explosions anywhere in the world. Beginning in August 1950, WB-50 aircraft were converted for the air-sampling mission over a two-year period. WC-135 aircraft began replacing the WB-50s in December 1965 and became the workhorse of the atmospheric collection program. The aircraft is a modified C-135B, modifications being primarily related to its on-board atmospheric collection suite, which allows the mission crew to detect radioactive 'clouds' in real time. The aircraft is equipped with external flow-through devices to collect particulates on filter paper and a compressor system for whole air samples collected in holding spheres.

Air sampling missions were routinely conducted over the Far East, Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, Mediterranean Sea, the Polar regions, and off the coasts of South America and Africa. The WC-135W played a major role in tracking radioactive debris from the Soviet Union’s Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster. Currently the air-sampling mission supports the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, which prohibits any nation from above ground nuclear weapons testing. 61-2667 is currently the only WC-135W in the inventory conducting air-sampling operations. Picture courtesy Matthew Clements


22 August 2007 - Lossiemouth

The weather was somewhat better at Lossiemouth than Marham as the Saudi contingent made its way north a couple of hours after landing at Marham. The final two Tornados arrived at Marham in the evening of Thursday 23rd and are expected to make it to Scotland on Friday. Picture courtesy Gill Howie/Squadron Prints

22 August 2007 - Marham

It's not often we get excited about Tornados at Marham, but this afternoon saw the arrival of the Royal Saudi Air Force detachment for Exercise 'Saudi Sword' en-route to Lossiemouth, breaking their journey for a fuel stop. Six Tornados arrived between 1330 and 1430L in fairly atrocious conditions, together with a support C-130H, with two more expected before the evening. The stiff crosswind, low cloud and drizzle are conditions alien to the Saudi pilots, who sadly neglected to bring some Middle Eastern sunshine with them...



21 August 2007 - Newark

Watch out there’s a Gnat out!

After an in-depth restoration programme that has lasted just over six years Folland Gnat T1 XR534 (8578M) has been moved out of the On-site Workshop at Newark Air Museum and onto public display in Hangar 2.

In a series of co-ordinated moves carried out earlier today the main wing assembly was the first item to be moved out of the Workshop. This allowed the fuselage to be briefly rolled out to enable the two ejector sets to be lifted into the cockpit. The fuselage was then briefly moved back inside the Workshop whilst the wing assembly was removed from its support frame and turned over.

Once turned, the fuselage was moved back outside and the wing assembly was lowered into position and the wing bolts carefully fitted. Once the reassembly process was complete the aircraft was towed across to its new display position inside Hangar 2. The museum volunteers will now undertake the refitting of the remaining inspection panels and slipper fuels tanks. This work will be completed under the supervision of John Rankin; the museum’s recently appointed Restoration Manager.

The aircraft, which is listed in the ‘Significant’ category of the National Aviation Heritage Register, arrived at the museum in December 2000. The purchase of the Gnat was made possible thanks to 50% grant from the PRISM Fund and a series of donations from museum members and the general public. The PRISM Grant Fund is now administered by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

The Gnat is another niche airframe in Newark Air Museum’s diverse collection of Royal Air Force training aircraft. The Workshop will soon be home to Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF14 WS739, which will undergo a major in-depth restoration programme during the coming months. Courtesy Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


11 August 2007 - Newark

Unveiling the mysterious world of unmanned aviation

The museum trustees are proud that Newark Air Museum is one of two venues in the UK to be selected by the University of Nottingham to help lift the lid on the history, role and future of unmanned flight.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been making the headlines through high profile military deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, they are increasingly being used for civilian purposes.

The temporary exhibition called “The Truth about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” opened in August 2007 will reveal some of the secrets of unmanned aircraft. With the help of model replicas, hands on demonstrations, and an interactive quiz and video these exhibitions will trace the development of UAVs. They will take visitors back to 1849 when the Austrians used balloons to drop explosives on Venice, through to the 1930s and the introduction of the first life-sized radio controlled aeroplane, and on to explore the current role of UAVs in the military, the emergency services, and science.

The exhibitions have been put together by experts from the Institute of Engineering, Surveying and Space Geodesy (IESSG).

Dr Chris Hill, Principal Research Officer at the IESSG said: "The IESSG were keen to try and dispel some of the myths about what UAVs can and can't do currently and to show they can be used to benefit humanitarian and civilian applications, not just high profile military uses".

UAVs are increasingly being used in the civilian world to keep a remote eye on what is happening. They are ideally suited to long term surveillance – drug trafficking and weather monitoring. They can monitor contaminated regions – in the aftermath of disasters such as Chernobyl. They can minimise the risk to human life – by following criminals, or monitoring hostage situations. But the future is even more extraordinary. Researchers are taking inspiration from nature and developing micro UAVs, so small they can land in the palm of a hand. They can be equipped with tiny sensors to retrieve information and send it back to base. These tiny machines can undertake tasks in confined spaces, such as pipe lines and collapsed buildings in disaster areas.

Howard Heeley, Secretary and Museum Trustee at the Newark Air Museum said: “The exciting new display will provide our visitors with a fascinating insight into both the history and future possible developments of UAVs. The museum is very honoured to have been given the opportunity of hosting this display and we are certain it will help people to start understanding the science behind UAVs and their expanding utilisation for new civilian use”.

The project brings together academics from IESSG, experts in the field of sensor and positioning systems and The Department for Aerospace, Power & Sensors at the Royal Military College of Science in Shrivenham, the largest defence-orientated academic institution in Europe. Funding of £69,000 has been awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council as part of their Public Engagement Programme. The programme aims to stimulate a greater understanding about the issues and opportunities that arise from research. Courtesy Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


10 August 2007 - Mildenhall

Making a third return in as many years is one of NASA's WB-57F research aircraft. Flying missions over the weekend of 10/11th, it is not known how long the high-flying bird will be staying. Arriving in support was new-build C-17A 06-6158, sporting 'Let's Roll' nose art. Pictures courtesy Keith Bilverstone

3 August 2007 - Lyneham

More exotic C-130s as visiting were an Egyptian Air Force example (right), a Norwegian plus an US Navy KC-130T. Just to illustrate the range of aircraft transiting through the Wiltshire countryside, also present was a Spanish Air Force CN235. Pictures courtesy Ken Withers

1 August 2007 - Lyneham

Seen departing was Saudi Air Force C-130H 473, one of three that spent a couple of days here - the other two left on 31 July. Picture courtesy Ken Withers

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