Pictures Of The Week

Week 20, May 2017

Pictures Of The Week
Pictures Of The Week Pictures Of The Week
Pictures Of The Week Pictures Of The Week Pictures Of The Week Pictures Of The Week

Clockwise from top left:

  1. As the end for the RAF's Tornado fleet draws ever nearer, chances to get up close with them in an operational setting are few and far between, so the RAF Marham Enthusiasts' Day held last Thursday was an opportunity many were keen to grasp. Places were limited, but one of the few that did get access was Cameron Sys and amongst his finely processed set of images was this little "colour popped" gem.

    Image © Cameron Sys

  2. Sadly, the RF-4Es of the Hellenic Air Force have reached the end of the line, and they were officially retired on Friday 5th May. Captured on the spotters event on the Thursday prior, this fabulously adorned jet is seen posing for the photographers at Larissa Air Base.

    Image © Alistair Zammit

  3. Perseverance pays off. Finally, at the seventh time of asking, forum user 'BigClick67' managed the capture the Wittmund Flag Ship Eurofighter in it's very distinctive Richthofen markings. Also currently at Wittmund are Typhoons of the Austrian Air Force, who are working closely with the A-4 Skyhawks of Discovery Air whilst on an armament training exercise. All these goodies, plus a few others, are expertly illustrated in his very pleasing thread.

    Image © 'BigClick67'

  4. Aero Legends have wasted little time in getting their newly restore Spitfire TrMk.IX into service carrying fare paying passengers, and it spent a very sunny Sunday at Headcorn doing exactly that last weekend. As you can tell from Rob's vibrant images, the delightful grass strip near Maidstone in Kent is a great place to watch vintage aircraft in action and come this summer, it will be hosting another airshow over Flying Legends weekend. If it's anything as good as their last one in 2015, it's well worth your consideration.

    Image © Rob Laker

  5. Classic Wings at Duxford also had a busy weekend and amongst their array of pleasure flight activities, Spitfire MkI N3200 was the machine that passengers could fly alongside. Brian Marshall can almost be considered part of the furniture at Duxford now, and he was on hand on a lovely spring weekend to observe and record the flying activities from a very low angle, which new fencing at the IWM will soon make much more difficult to replicate.

    Image © Brian Marshall

  6. Delayed by approximately two weeks from its regular early-May date meant that the Abingdon airshow was not the season opener this year, although sadly the re-scheduling didn't seem to help their luck any, with several high profile drop-outs in recent weeks. Fortunately, the good folk of the Hangar 11 Collection remain as reliable as ever, and having successfully completed the first flights of the year for the aircraft on Saturday, Peter Teichman and "Tall In The Saddle" were up and about again the following morning to honour their airshow commitments.

    Image © Arthur Griffin

  7. One of the other stars of the show at Abingdon was this French registered Yak-3U. Pictured here conducting a floodlit engine run the evening prior to the airshow at the Threshold.aero night shoot, the U is a rare radial engine variant of the Yak-3. Designed to increase performance and avoid the overheating problems that affected earlier variants of the type fitted with in-line engines, it never entered production.

    Image © Radleigh Bushell

Pictures Of The Week

Week 19, May 2017

Pictures Of The Week
Pictures Of The Week Pictures Of The Week
Pictures Of The Week Pictures Of The Week Pictures Of The Week Pictures Of The Week

Clockwise from top left:

  1. The beloved RF-4 Phantom II saw its last operations in Europe this month, with the Hellenic Air Force retiring its last flying three. While a Spotters event was held to mark their passing, Savvas was fortunate enough to catch them a couple of months beforehand as well, and at low level too. Low-level flying was an important part of the recce pilot's skillset, as the role would often require infiltration at low level beofre popping up to get the images needed. Few jets look as good as the Phantom, and just great shots at this height are worth savouring.

    Image © Savvas Savvaidis

  2. A lot of noise was made about the USAF's surprise deployment of F-35As to RAF Lakenheath this past month. A taste of things to come, the jets were extremely busy during their time here, with a high rate of sorties being performed. Surprisingly they went through the low flying area in Wales known as the Mach Loop, favourite of British aviation photographers, producing some stunning shots such as this one. Following on from the pass by a pair of F-22s last year, the Loop can safely be said to be Fifth Gen now!

    Image © 'phantom6'

  3. More F-35s (just you wait...in a few years time it'll be the only photos we have), with this awesome topside shot caught in the circuit at Lakenheath. The F-35's looks are very marmite - some people love it, others hate it, but there's no doubt that it still looks as good as anything else from a great angle and in decent light.

    Image © Michael Hallam

  4. Fokker 70s are rare enough by themselves, but this particular delight is a gem indeed. Westleigh was in a great position to snap this Kenyan F70 on its way into RAF Northolt. African jets are always sought after due to their scarcity, and this machine is the only one operated by the Kenyan Government. It didn't hang around north London for long, departing two days later. Known in Kenya as Harambee One, it was taken on in 1995 to supplement the government's Dash 8 for longer legged journeys.

    Image © Westleigh Bushell

  5. It's weird to think that a country bordering the USA operates Soviet equipment, but nevertheless the Mexican Air Force has a fleet of nearly 30 Mi-17s operated by 303 Air Squadron, which is has operated since the mid nineties, with a new order made in 2013 for fire-fighting requirements. It speaks volumes as to the performance and capability of the Hip that a country so closely linked with the USA would still select it - something no NATO nation is likely to do! Mexico recently had their Hip fleet undergo an overhaul and upgrade programme.

    Image © Arnold ten Pas

  6. The US can now claim to be the home of not one but two flying B-29 Superfortresses. This monstrous topside pass by "Doc", the most recent of the pair to take to the skies, shows off the stunning lines of the 40s bomber alongside that other American silver class the P-51D Mustang. Doc took flight again last July, and has been an enthusiast favourite ever since - and before this photo was taken, it also flew in formation with a B-52, B-25 and B-17. One can only imagine the noise!

    Image © Rod McDonough

  7. Speaking of monstrous, the world's largest aircraft returned to the skies again this week. After the Hybrid Air Systems Airlander 10's well-publicsed "crash" last year, it has remained thoroughly grounded while repairs and improvements were made. On a beautiful Spring day at Cardington Aerodrome it once again returned to the sky, ready to promote what HAS hope to be the future of aviation. Best of luck!

    Image © Alastair Anderson

Pictures Of The Week

Week 18, May 2017

Pictures Of The Week
Pictures Of The Week
Pictures Of The Week Pictures Of The Week Pictures Of The Week Pictures Of The Week

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Wow! Crikey! Good lord! This is one of the best photosets we've ever seen, of one of the best aeroplanes on the planet! Literally any one of the 18 photos could've taken this slot - and the rest - this week. Seriously, words can't do these photographs justice, so see for yourself. UKAR is extremely lucky to have photographers like Bartek posting on its forums, given the awesome opportunities he takes part in, such as this Armée de l'Air Mirage 2000-5 deployment for Baltic Air Policing in Lithuania.

    Image © Bartosz Bera

  2. Cover your ears! This cracking shot was taken under the approach at RAF Lakenheath, a popular spot for photographers who want to get a different take on their aircraft operating from the base. The size and stealthiness of the F-35 belies the enormous amount of noise it produces - it has a phenomenally powerful engine (the F135 produces more thrust than an entire B-47!)...

    Image © Mark Rourke

  3. ...as can be seen here pushing another one on takeoff. The long, somewhat awkward looking undercarriage gives the F-35 an ungainly appearance which undermines the powerful angle with the afterburner, but there'd be no doubt if you were there. Jon's set is worth checking out for some more goodies from the Suffolk bases, including the sharkmouth RC-135U Combat Sent.

    Image © Jonathan Haylock

  4. If anyone out there surfaces runways, get yourself down to Halfpenny Green Airport - they need one sharpish! The Radial, Trainer and Transport fly-in was held there at the end of April which saw a great selection of themed aircraft turn up, but another visitor was de Havilland Vampire WZ507. There were no issues on the Saturday, but the wind the next day necessitated the use of runway 10; as it turned out, this runway wasn't exactly in the best condition for jet operations... Though there were no injuries or damage to the jet, it nevertheless presented a problem for the airport who now found themselves a runway down!

    Image © Peter Reoch

  5. This rather smart-looking 747 belongs to the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force and operates as a VVIP government transport - the Japanese Air Force One in many ways. Not one but two came into Heathrow last month on a presidential visit to the UK, a very rare Japanese military visitor (aside from RIATs of recent years!). The light was pretty bad for the first of the pair in the morning, but fortunately it had peeked out to light up Alastair's shot of the second in the afternoon.

    Image © Alastair Anderson

  6. The 1950s and 60s saw a mad rush to develop VTOL aircraft, with numerous designs being put forward to the aim of creating aircraft that could eschew the need for large airport facilities. Virtually none made the cut, with really only the Hawker Siddeley Harrier being economical enough to be worth using. One such example of one that didn't make it is the Dornier Do 29, which used tilting propellers to generate vertical lift. It's seen here fantastically presented at the Dornier and Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen.

    Image © Giorgio Varisco