RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire hosted the Air Combat Power Visit for branches of the UK Military and Cadet forces. The event provides an opportunity to view at close quarters the different capabilities of the Royal Air Force and its coalition partners. Thanks to COAP and RAF Coningsby we were allowed exclusive access to the ramp on the evening before the event. All proceeds raised during the evening went to RAF Charities.
One of those pinch me moments, a flight with Supermarine Spitfire HF IXE, TD314 / FX-P / G-CGYJ (msn CBAF.10492), over the Kent countryside, piloted by Charlie Brown. Our flight departed from Lashenden Airfield near Headcorn, and headed down south east, to emerge on the coast at Folkestone. Unfortunately cloud cover obscured the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel le Ferne, but breaks in the clouds meant that Dover Harbour and the white cliffs were briefly visible.
A photo shoot at Bruntingthorpe Airfield with the Buccaneer Preservation Groups Buccaneers, plus a VC-10, Hunter, and a Jet Provost. A pity the weather did not play ball with rain setting in soon after proceedings beginning. However, both the VC-10 and Buccaneer S2B were still able to complete their taxi runs, and mighty impressive they were.
An evening with an unbelievable collection of replica WW1 aircraft built to the same standards as the originals, located on an original WW1 airfield. Re-enactors helped set the scene, and we were blessed with an impressive sunset to aid our photography. A location and collection I am looking forward to returning to shoot once again.
Day 2 of my visit to 27 Squadron at RAF Odiham saw a trip out to the training areas across Salisbury Plain. This was an opportunity to view Chinook operations in confined operating areas up close & very personal. It quite an experience to have stones & foliage flung towards you!!!
An informative and very enjoyable day spent with 27 Squadron at RAF Odiham, home of the RAF’s Chinook fleet. A great opportunity to view life on an operational RAF base but also to see the professionalism, dedication and teamwork across the RAF’s aircrews and ground crews. My thanks to 27 Squadron and COAP for the opportunity.
An evening with 238 Squadron at RAF Cosford to shoot their collection of Sepecat Jaguars and Panavia Tornado at night. The use of staged lighting, a smoke machine and re-enactors resulted in some very atmospheric shots. My thanks to RAF Cosford and TLE Photos.
An evening with Avro Shackleton AEW2, WR963, operated by the Shackleton Preservation Trust at Coventry Airport. Also in attendance were a number of re-enactors to help create the illusion of stepping back in time. This was previously home to the Classic Air Force / Airbase, and a number of their aircraft still remain on site albeit in a deteriorating condition.
In the week leading up to a planned visit to the Shuttleworth Collection, there was plenty of speculation that the claimed world’s latest largest aircraft would be outside of its hangar for the first time in preparation for its maiden flight. Therefore, I re-routed past the old airship hangars at Cardington in the hope I might be lucky.