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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!

29 October 2008 - Mildenhall

Making a stop-over was Israeli Air Force KC-707 264 - the IAF has a total of five 'Re'em' ('Antelope') tankers, acquired between January 1983 and November 1999. Picture courtesy Wayne Button

21 October 2008 - Coningsby

Second-generation Typhoon arrives

The RAF took delivery of the first two of ninety-one 'Tranche 2' Typhoons, ordered four years ago. The new Defence Equipment and Support Minister, Quentin Davies, was at RAF Coningsby to witness the arrival of these second-generation Typhoons. He said “Typhoon is delivering a world-class capability to the RAF and is the cornerstone of the UK’s air defence capabilities. Today’s arrival of the second Tranche is an important milestone delivering to the RAF an aircraft with more powerful computer systems and the ability to carry heavier weapons – the next generation of Typhoon."

Tranche 2 production of Typhoon will maintain 16,000 direct jobs within UK’s defence industry, through its principal contractors BAE Systems on its sites in Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire and Rolls Royce in Bristol. Other key suppliers include Selex Galileo in Edinburgh.

The RAF expects to take delivery of six rising to twenty Typhoons every year for the next seven years under the Tranche 2 contract. The first two, ZJ946 and ZJ947, will undergo acceptance trials with 17(R) Squadron before being released to 11(F) and the fledgling 6 Squadron in January 2009. Tranche 2 aircraft have more powerful computers and a strengthened airframe to enable carriage of heavier weapons, which will enhance its capability in the ground-attack role. 6 Squadron is expected to stand up at RAF Leuchars in April 2010 and will be the first fully Tranche 2-equipped unit.


21 October 2008 - Mildenhall

NC-135W 61-2666 was modified to test systems and equipment used on RC-135V and W Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft. It is an occasional visitor to Mildenhall, last noted in July last year. Picture courtesy Martin Patch

18 October 2008 - Mildenhall

Stuck fuel line? No problem, just jettison it over the airfield, as MC-130P 69-5832 proved at Mildenhall. Picture courtesy Andy Court

17 October 2008 - Cottesmore

Seen out for an air test was ZD461/51A, one of the latest GR9A conversions, still wearing its Operation 'Herrick' mission markings. Pictures courtesy Gary Stedman

13 October 2008 - Lossiemouth

Catching many spotters on the hop were five F-16s from the Hellenic Air Force, routing from Elefsis via Istres, Lossiemouth and Keflavik on their way to Red Flag. A second batch of five is also expected soon. Pictures courtesy Gill Howie/Squadron Prints


12 October 2008 - Mildenhall

Out for a Sunday jaunt was NASA WB-57F N926NA, resident at Mildenhall for a few weeks (it is believed). It arrived on the 8th, two days after its sister N928NA, which quickly departed for pastures new. No, we don't know if it's heading back anytime soon!

10 October 2008 - Kinloss

Exercise 'Neptune Warrior', part of the 'Joint Warrior' series of exercises, saw two French Navy Atlantiques and a solo Xingu descend on Kinloss. Pictures courtesy Bill Cardno

8 October 2008 - Fairford

Dragons' gathering

Although Exercise 'Crown Condor' was in full swing, spotters at Fairford were amazed to see no less than four U-2S 'Dragons' of the 99th RS drop in for a nightstop. It was the biggest single gathering of the type in the UK since it was withdrawn in the mid-nineties. Pictures courtesy Bob Franklin

8 October 2008 - Waddington

Based at Waddington for the international Exercise 'Joint Warrior' is a French Navy E-2C Hawkeye, one of three operated by 4 Flotille. Picture courtesy Graham Platt

7 October 2008 - Newark

Wash & Brush Up for Sea Vixen XJ560

The team that worked on the Buccaneer restoration at Newark Air Museum have now switched their attention to another Fleet Air Arm resident – de Havilland Sea Vixen FAW2 XJ560, which is listed as a 'Significant' airframe on the National Aviation Heritage Register.

Work progress so far has seen all the upper surfaces prepared and gloss finished. The undersides of the fuselage have also been repainted along with the undercarriage doors and weapons pylons. Both nose numerals have been repainted with two coats of gloss white, as has the starboard 'ROYAL NAVY'.

XJ560 will remain in the markings of 893 Squadron, which it wore whilst flying off HMS Hermes in 1967-70. XJ560 was a converted FAW1 (conformal over-wing fuel tanks) and finished up as an instructional airframe at RAF Halton (nose number 35, Maintenance No 8142M). The team found a painted-over number '35' on the fin tips during the repainting process.

Further updates about this project are expected to be posted on the museum website. Courtesy Howard Heeley/Down to Earth Promotions


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