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28 September 2005 - Fairford

It seems the B-1Bs weren't here for as long as expected, as they departed back to the States today. The two B-52s remain, along with the B-1B that arrived from Malta midweek, plus two support KC-135Rs. Pictures courtesy Matthew Clements

27 September 2005 - Boscombe Down

From 26 September to 6 October, four Texas-based Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 of Marine Aircraft Group 41, will take part in Exercise Urgent Quest, a multinational exercise testing new technology and procedures in operations with foreign coalitions. VMFA-112 will be joined by elements from the 2nd Marine Division and the US Army 1st Cavalry Regiment and several other famous air and ground units from eight countries, including soldiers from the French Foreign Legion and Scotlandís Black Watch Regiment. Together the coalition will promote standardized operational procedures, including communication, maneuver and fire support between allied nations.

The main focus of the two-week exercise will be air-to-ground and ground missions testing Battlefield Target Identification Devices (BTID), Radio Based Combat Identification (RBCI), Optical Combat Identification System (OCIDS) and Radio Frequency Tags (RF Tags). The new equipment should provide a reliable means of identifying friendly ground forces to allied combat aircraft without revealing themselves to the enemy. Pictures courtesy Matthew Clements

 

23 September 2005 - Fairford

Arriving for an expected three-week stay were two B-1B Lancers and two B-52H Stratofortresses. The B-1Bs were seen over Holbeach range early week commencing 26th, and the B-52Hs have been flying long-range missions, thought to be involved in an exercise in the Middle East called 'Bright Star'. Pictures courtesy Mark Rouse

 

23 September 2005 - Mildenhall

RC-135V 64-14846/OF departed for a local mission using the callsign 'Hawg 95'. The aircraft is the Commander's machine and carries various markings including 'Lets Roll' and 'Fightin 55th'. The aircraft also carries a multi-coloured tail band rather than just one standard colour. Pictures courtesy Matthew Clements

22 September 2005 - Yeovilton

A welcome visit by a pair of French Navy Super Etendards from 11F, Landivisiau. Around fifty are in service but the aircraft will be replaced by the Rafale M from 2005 onwards. Picture by Duncan Chase

20 September 2005 - Filton

A flypast was held on over Filton airfield to celebrate the delivery of the last Rolls-Royce Pegasus engine after thirty-seven years of production. The flypast included Sea Harrier XZ440/009 in 801 Squadron marks and RAF Harrier GR7A ZD411/40A in 3 Squadron marks with locally based Spitfires PRXIX PS853 and Mk VIII MT928. Pictures by Duncan Chase

20 September 2005 - Mildenhall

Today saw the Arrival of an E-6 Mercury - the E-6 is the airborne portion of the TACAMO Communications System. It provides survivable communication links between the National Command Authority (NCA) and Strategic Forces and is a derivative of the commercial Boeing 707 aircraft. It's a long range, air refuelable aircraft, equipped with four CFM-56-2A-2 high bypass ratio fan/jet engines with thrust reversers. The weapon system is electromagnetic pulse hardened. It has an endurance of fifteen-plus hours without refueling and a maximum endurance of seventy-two hours with in-flight refueling. Mission range is over 6,000 Nautical Miles (NM). It carries a crew of five officers, nine enlisted aircrewmen, and up to four trainees for TACAMO missions. For ABNCP missions it carries five naval officers, nine naval enlisted aircrewmen, and a eight person battle staff as determined by the United States Strategic Command (J36). Picture courtesy Matthew Clements

 

14 September 2005 - Duxford

The 'Merlins Over Malta' project to fly a Spitfire and Hurricane back to the scene of their epic defence of Malta during WWII got air under its wings on 14 September at Duxford with Hurricane Z5140 and Spitfire BM597 taking off on the first leg of their long trip to Malta. BM597 wears a specially applied Mediterranean Blue scheme representing an aircraft of 603 Squadron transported to the Med on the USS Wasp - the blue being applied as more effective camouflage than the standard green/earth for the voyage above deck. The Hurricane already wears a 126 Squadron scheme representing a Malta-based example. Pictures courtesy Damien Burke

 

7 September 2005 - Mildenhall

A rare sight in the UK, the C-37A resembles the C-20H (Gulfstream IV), but is eight feet longer, with a wider wing span, a more advanced avionics package and greater performance capabilities, allowing the aircraft to carry up to twelve passengers a distance fifty percent greater than the C-20B models. A typical C-37A mission will able to fly 5,500 nautical miles without refueling, carrying Cabinet secretaries, congressional delegations or senior military leaders. Picture courtesy Matthew Clements

Archive - Aug 05, July 05, June 05, May 05, April 05, Mar 05, Feb 05, Jan 05, 2004

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