Aviation News

In this section of the website we invite you to pass on anything aviation based you are aware of that you think we or any viewers would find of interest. Feel free to email us any information, photos, a link to a website etc.

The aviation world is a vast network of interesting information. Whether it is a new arrival at one of our air museums, a change of date for an air show, cancellation, restoration etc, with your help we will keep you, the aviation public, kept up to date.

F-35A Lightnings - 4th January 2024

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Images courtesy of Keith Snyder

Today saw three new F-35A Lightning Aircraft on test flights, before being delivered to the 493rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath.

Gazelle Helicopter retirement - 24th October 2023

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Image courtesy of Neil Jackson

During a farewell flight around the country, three Gazelle Helicopters landed at Duxford

F-35B Lightning ZM169 first flight - 16th October 2023

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Image courtesy of Mark Young

F-35B Lightning ZM169 made its first flight from the Lockheed-Martin plant at Fort Worth on 16th October 2023.

Hawker Tempest MW763 arrives at Duxford - 10th October 2023

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Image courtesy of Elliptical Photography

After many years under restoration, Hawker Tempest MW763 arrived at Duxford for a series of test flights.

KC-135 nose art unveiling - 10th October 2023

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Images courtesy of Chris Cannon

There was a special event at RAF Mildenhall, 10th October 2023 for the unveiling of two KC-135 tankers, Squawkin Hawk and Silver Dollar.

Messerschmitt ME262 - 18th July 2023

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Image courtesy of Chris Cannon

On the 18th July 2023 Messerschmitt ME262 was at RAF Coningsby, with the Battle of Britain Flight. The Messersshmitt was on show with a Spitfire and Mustang belonging to Rolls Royce and one of the BBMF Spitfires.

The RAF retires the last two C130J Hercules - 28th June 2023

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Hercules C130J ZH867

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Hercules C130J ZH670
Images courtesy of Mark Young

Wednesday 28th June 2023, the last two Hercules were delivered to Marshall aerospace at Cambridge, bringing an end to over fifty years of operations with the RAF.

RAF Marham receives two new F-35B Lighting aircraft - 22nd June 2023

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F-35B ZM166

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F-35B ZM167
Images courtesy of Martin Eggleton

Atlas XM421 - 22nd May 2023

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Image courtesy of Lee Hatherway

The final Atlas A400M was delivered to RAF Brize Norton 22nd May 2023

Hercules C-130J Abingdon - 20th May 2023

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Image courtesy of Tim Liu

A rare visitor at Abingdon ready for static display was, Hercules C130J ZH889

Three new F-35 Lightning aircraft were on test - 17th May 2023

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Images courtesy of Keith Snyder

Three factory fresh F-35 Lightning aircraft were on test flights, all bound for the 493 FS at RAF Lakenheath.

Vulcan XM 607 Restoration

Vulcan XM 607

We recently visited RAF Waddington to see how the restoration of Vulcan XM 607 was going. Many of you will know that this Vulcan was used on a record breaking bombing run down to the Falklands in 1982. XM 607 has been standing outside at Waddington, not far from the runway she used to fly from since she was retired. For several years plans have been put in place to give her a much deserved overhaul. The dedicated team have been working away, and are now looking forward to the repaint, which is due in a few weeks time. With thanks to the RAF Waddington Media Team for making the visit possibe.

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Images courtesy of Chris Cannon

KC-135 63-7999 leaves Mildenhall for the last time - 27th November 2022

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Images courtesy of Philip Dilley

KC-135 63-7999 (Wolff Pack) left RAF Mildenhall for the last time, after a 59 year career, over 1500 hours and over 3000 sorties.

Swiss air force F-18 Hornets arrive at RAF Leeming - 15th November 2022

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Images courtesy of Gary Parsons

F-18 Hornet aircraft recently arrived at RAF Leeming for a 4 week exercise, the purpose of the exercise is for the Swiss air force to practice night flying.

Lightning Static Reheat Run - Saturday 12th November 2022

Saturday 12th November, saw the gathering of over 200 people at Bruntingthorpe airfield, this was the first public event hosted by the Lightning Preservation Group for some time. Also the first event held at the new Museum site.

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All images courtesy of Stuart Thurtle

Arrivals for Cobra Warrior - Wednesday 31th August 2022

German Participants.

Tornado

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A400

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E-3 Sentry

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All images courtesy of Mike Hiley

Qatari Typhoons leave Warton - Thursday 25th August 2022

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Images courtesy of Tom McGee

The first three Qatari Typhoons left Warton Airfield - Thursday 25th August 2022

Over the RIAT weekend there were several unusual visitors and flypasts

The Boeing E-4B

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Red Arrows - P-8 Poseidon

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The Beluga

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Red Arrows - A330 Voyager

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Red Arrows - Black Eagles

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All images courtesy of Richard Hall.

F-15E Heritage Jet - Thursday 14th July 2022

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Image courtesy of Mark Williams

The U.S. Air Force 48th Fighter Wing recently unveiled a new heritage F-15E Strike Eagle to celebrate the Wing’s 70th year of flight operations. On Thursday 14th July the F-15E Heritage Jet flew through the Mach Loop for the first time with the new paint scheme.

The Reds are back - 29th May 2022

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Image courtesy of Thomas Vasileiou

The Red Arrows returned to there home base, RAF Scampton today, 29th May 2022 after the spring training camp in Greece.

Victor K1 Unveiled - 20th April 2022

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Image courtesy of John Bradshaw

Handley Page Victor K1 XH648 is the only surviving example of the original production model of the type. The aircraft was delivered as a B1 to 57 Sqn at Honington in 1959. In 1961 it was converted to B1a standard before being re-delivered to 15 Sqn at Cottesmore. In 1963, at the start of Confrontation with Indonesia, it was detached to Tengah, Singapore. In 1964 it was re-assigned to 55 Sqn concurrent with the adoption of low-level strike operations. With the grounding of the Valiant fleet in late 1964, it was one of a small batch of Victors to be converted as 2-point tankers as a stop-gap replacement; returning to 55 Sqn at Honington after conversion. It continued to operate in this form and role until retirement in 1976, from 1965 at Marham and for its last year with 57 Sqn.

Since 1976 it has been at IWM Duxford where it was housed outside for many years. For the last 5 years it has been undergoing an extensive restoration.

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On 20th April 2022 the aircraft, less the horizontal and vertical tail surfaces and outer wing panels, was towed from Hangar 5 to the Airspace Hangar Annex, where its restoration will be completed. Several Victor veterans were there to witness the move.

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The aircraft is finished to a very high standard in the first version of the camouflaged scheme used on the type – top surfaces in soft -edged Medium Sea Grey and Dark Green, undersurfaces in white, with “Type D” roundels and fin flashes. The stencilling has been extensively researched and includes yellow ejection seat warning triangles.

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All images courtesy of John Bradshaw

When completed the aircraft will bear the markings of 55 Squadron, with which it spent most of its operational service.

The Boss Birds Arrive - 15th April 2022

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Images courtesy of Stewart Jack

On Friday 15th April, after the long trip over from USA , a pair of F-35A Lightning's arrived at RAF Lakenheath.These were in fact very special aircraft, being the the Commanders aircraft of the 493rd Fighter Squadron, The Grim Reapers and the 495th Fighter Squadron, The Valkyres.

Hurricane LF 363 Comes Home. 14th April 2022

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Image courtesy of Kevin Mape

On the 14th April 2022 Hurricane LF363 arrived back at RAF Coningsby after a long stay at Biggin Hill in Kent. LF 363 is now painted in the markings of the 303 (Polish) Squadron.

100 Squadron disbandment - 24th March 2022

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Images courtesy of Peter Rolt

24th March 2022 saw the disbandment of 100 Squadron at RAF Leeming. The Squadron operated the Hawk from 1991 until the present time. Home to the Squadron was RAF Wyton, Finningley and finally Leeming. The remaining T1 Hawks will be used as airframe/spares for the Red Arrows.

RAFM Cosford has a new exhibit in the shape of a famous Chinook - 22nd March 2022

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Image courtesy of Richard Hall

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, the Royal Air Force Museum (RAFM) Cosford has received an exceptional exhibit. Often referred to as Bravo November (BN), Boeing Vertol Chinook HC.6A (although never flown as this mark, its final flight was as an HC.4) ZA718 was officially unveiled at the museum on 22 March 2022 in front of an invited audience of dignitaries and media. There can be no other helicopter that can boast such an outstanding flying career and four awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross. BN is now safely in the hands of the RAFM and can look forward to a long and safe retirement while imparting its incredible story to future generations.

100 Squadron Photo shoot - 20th March 2022

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Images courtesy of Mark Young

RAF Leeming hosted a photo shoot for 100 Squadron on Monday 20th March, the event was attended by enthusiasts and media alike who came from all over the country to say a final farewell to the Squadron and their aircraft.

The Jaguar roars again - 19th March 2022

Image courtesy of Stuart Thurtle.

Image courtesy of Stuart Thurtle.

Sunday 19th March Saw a gathering of photographers and enthusiasts at the former RAF Bentwaters. The event was to see and hear the restored former RAF Jaguar carry out a full reheat run down Bentwaters long runway.

USAF 80th anniversary flypast - 1st February 2022

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Image courtesy of Stuart Thurtle

On February 1st 2022, a B-1B Lancer with the 28th Bomb Wing from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota USA, 2x F-15E Strike Eagles from RAF Lakenheath, and a F-35B Lightning from RAF Marham carried out several flypasts at former and current USAF instalations celibrating the 80th anniversary of the forming of the 8th Air Force.

F-15C 86-0172 made its first flight with the new colour scheme - 18th January 2022.

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Image courtesy of Laura Ellis

With the imminent departure of the F-15C and F-15D aircraft at RAF Lakenheath, F-15C 86-0172 was flown for the first time sporting a new colour scheme.

A factory fresh F-35 Lightning on its second test flight - 5th January 2022.

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Image courtesy of Jacob Metzger

Another factory fresh F-35 Lightning out on test, soon to be delivered to RAF Lakenheath.

F-35 Lightnings in Wales - 5th January 2022

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Image courtesy of Mark Williams

Soon to be a familiar sight in Wales the F-35 Lightning, from RAF Lakenheath.

Four new F-35 Lightning aircraft arrive at RAF Lakenheath - 15th December 2021.

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Images courtesy of Stewart Jack.

The Valkyres arrive at RAF Lakenheath, The U.S. Air Force’s 495th Fighter Squadron based at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, has today 15th December 2021 received its first four F-35A Lightning aircraft.

The Bentwaters Jaguar photo event - 6th November 2021

Images courtesy of Stuart Thurtle
Images courtesy of Stuart Thurtle

Images courtesy of Stuart Thurtle

On the 6th November 2021 aviation enthusiasts and photographers visited Bentwaters airfield for a fix of Jaguar XX741. The restored Jaguar was on static display during the day and early evening, and a credit to the team who restored her.

Four new F-15QA aircraft arrived at RAF Mildenhall - 28th October 2021.

Image courtesy of Laura Ellis

Image courtesy of Laura Ellis.

Four brand new F-15QA aircraft arrived at RAF Mildenhall for an overnight stop on their delivery flight to Qatar.

Three new F35B Lightning Aircraft arrived at RAF Marham - 28th October 2021

Image courtesy of Tom McGhee

Image courtesy of Tom McGhee

Three new F35B Lightning aircraft arrived at RAF Marham after the long flight from the USA.

B-1B aircraft arrive at RAF Fairford - 6th October 2021

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Image courtesy of Brent Maartens

Four B-1B aircraft arrived at RAF Fairford on 6th and 7th October 2021 from the 9th expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas

The BBMF Lancaster PA474 arrives back at RAF Coningsby - 11th September 2021

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Images courtesy of Chris Cannon

On Saturday 11th September 2021, Avro Lancaster PA474 landed back at RAF Coningsby after ten months away undergoing a routine ‘Minor Plus’ maintenance programme with the Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford.

ZB131 is the first of nine new BAE Hawk T2 mk167s to be delivered to RAF Leeming - 1st September 2021.

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Image courtesy of Ian Lane

ZB131 is the first of nine new BAE Hawk T2 mk167s delivered to RAF Leeming on Wednesday 1st September. It flew its first sortie with an English instructor and Qatar student, to the Lake District (LFA17) on 2nd September 2021.

A pair of E-3D Sentries arrive back at RAF Waddington - 2nd and 4th of August 2021

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Image courtesy of Kevin Strickson.

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Image courtesy of Frankie Said

Above Sentry ZH103 arrives at RAF Waddington

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Image - MOD Crown Copyright

Above Sentry ZH101 arrives at RAF Waddington

This was the last detachment that 8 Squadron aircraft would go on before they were retired.

The type entered service in 1991 and has seen action in Afghanistan, The Middle East and various other places and finally working out of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.

Puma 50th Anniversary - 7th July 2021

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Images courtesy of Jonathan Radlett.

A flight of ten Puma's carried out formation flypasts at many of the RAF bases they had been associated with during their 50th years in service.

President Joe Biden arrives at RAF Mildenhall - 10th June 2021

Image courtesy of Les York

Image courtesy of Les York

Image courtesy of Stewart Jack

Image courtesy of Stewart Jack

President Joe Biden arrived at RAF Mildenhall on the evening of the 10th June on the occasion of his first visit to Great Britain. The President made a short visit to Mildenhall on his way to the G7 summit 2021 which was being held in Cornwall.

RAF Coningsby have a new paint scheme on the display Typhoon - 28th May 2021

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Image courtesy of Kevin Mape

An Elephant walk at RAF Mildenhall - 20th May 2021

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Image courtesy of Colin Bristow

A KC135, RAF Voyager and a KC10 carried out an Elephant walk at RAF Mildenhall and then took off to carry on with the exercise they were taking part in.

The BBMF Hurricane PZ865 returns to RAF Coningsby - 5th May 2021

Image courtesy of Martin Pinnick

Image courtesy of Martin Pinnick

The BBMF Hurricane PZ865 returned to Coningsby on the 5th May 2021 after an overhaul and repaint in a Black night intruder paint scheme.

F-35B Aircraft arrive at RAF Lakenheath - 26th April 2021

Image Courtesy of Steve Cooke

Image Courtesy of Steve Cooke

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U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessi Monte

The first flight of Five F-35B Aircraft arrived at RAF Lakenheath to take part in a major exercise. Aircraft and personnel from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 will support the United Kingdom's Carrier Strike Group 2021 deployment by providing 5th Generation F-35B aircraft.

The fifth P-8A Poseidon arrived at RAF Lossiemouth - 2nd February 2021

Image courtesy of James Palmer

Image courtesy of James Palmer

The fifth P-8A Poseidon ZP805 arrived at RAF Lossiemouth 2nd February 2021 and has been named Fulmar, flew directly from Boeing Field near Seattle. It’s the first time that a RAF Poseidon has been delivered to Lossiemouth directly from the factory.

The fourth P-8A Poseidon arrived at RAF Lossiemouth - 4th November 2020

The fourth P-8A Posiedon arrived at RAF Lossiemouth

Image courtesy of Niall Paterson

The fourth P-8A Poseidon arrived at RAF Lossiemouth 4th November 2020 and has been named Spirit of Reykjavik and will join the other three aircraft already at Lossiemouth.

The Third P-8A Poseidon ZP803 arrived at RAF Lossiemouth - 4th November 2020.

The Third P-8A Poseidon ZP803 arrived at RAF Lossiemouth

Image courtesy of Niall Paterson

The Third P-8A Poseidon ZP803 arrived at RAF Lossiemouth 4th November 2020 The Aircraft is named Terence Bulloch DSO DF

The second P-8A Poseidon ZP802 arrived at Kinloss Barracks - 13th March 2020.

The second P-8A Poseidon ZP802 arrived at Kinloss

Image courtesy of Niall Paterson

The Aircraft is named City of Elgin and will move to RAF Lossiemouth at a later date.

A Black Typhoon ZJ914 belonging to 9 squadron made its first flight at RAF Lossiemouth 13th October 2020.

A Black Typhoon ZJ914 belonging to 9 squadron made its first flight at RAF Lossiemouth

Image courtesy of Niall Paterson

A Black Typhoon ZJ914 belonging to 9 squadron made its first flight at RAF Lossiemouth 13th October 2020.

United States Navy F-35B Aircraft arrive at RAF Marham - 3rd September 2020

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Image courtesy of Paul Easton

Aircraft from VMFA - 211 Squadron arrived at RAF Marham at the start of their UK detachment. The ten jets flew from their base in Yuma Arizona via MCAS Beaufort to visit the UK for the first time.

The first P-8A Poseidon arrives at Kinloss Barracks - 4th February 2020

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Images Courtesy of Niall Paterson

Images Courtesy of Niall Paterson

The first RAF P-8A Poseidon ZP801 arrived at Kinloss Barracks in Scotland on 4th February, escorted by a pair of RAF Typhoons.

RAF Marham has a visit from the Queen - 3rd February 2020

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Image RAF Marham - Crown Copyright

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Images Courtsey of Stewart Jack

While at RAF Marham the Queen was given a tour around the F-35B Lightning facility and a flying demonstration by one of the Lightning aircraft.

A new Hunter at RAF Scampton - 29th January 2020

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Image Courtesy of Kevin Wood

A two-seat Hunter appeared at RAF Scampton on Wednesday 29th January and made a short test flight

207 Squadron F-35B aircraft leave RAF Marham - 28th January 2020

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Image Courtesy of Paul Easton

207 Squadron F-35B aircraft leave RAF Marham for carrier training on the 28th January 2020, these were the first aircraft to join the carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in UK waters.

207 Squadron F35B aircraft arrive at RAF Marham - 16th July 2019.

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Image Courtesy of Steve Cooke

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Images Courtesy of Chris Cannon

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Images Courtesy of Chris Cannon

207 Squadron F35B aircraft arrived at RAF Marham on the evening of the 16th July 2019. During the flight over the Atlantic the aircraft were refueled several times by RAF Voyager tankers. The six aircraft are the first to arrive for the squadron and will be used to train pilots for the Royal Air force and the Royal Navy.

RAF Mildenhall takes part in 75th Anniversary flypasts - 5th June 2019.

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Images Courtesy of Stuart Thurtle

The 352nd Special Operations Wing from RAF Mildenhall launched four C130J Hercules and four CV22 Osprey aircraft on the 5th June to take part in flypasts celebrating the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Daks over Duxford - 3rd June 2019

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Images Courtesy of Mike Gauckwin

Images Courtesy of Mike Gauckwin

As part of the D-Day celebrations in Normandy the IWM at Duxford hosted a large number of Dakota and C47 Skytrain aircraft. This must be the first time this amount of this type have been seen together for many years, Duxfords flightline was literally overflowing.On 5th June the aircraft departed Duxford to re-enact the parachute drops in Normandy.

XI(F) Squadron Typhoons depart RAF Coningsby - 24th April 2019

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Images courtesy of Chris Cannon.

Four Typhoons from XI(F) Squadron departed RAF Coningsby on 24th April 2019 on a four month mission to protect NATO Baltic airspace.

Texan T6 ZM328 gets airborn at RAF Valley - 21st February 2019

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Image courtesy of Paul Moran

The first T6 Texan ZM328 made its first flight from RAF Valley today, the Texan is the replacement for the Shorts Tucano which is soon to be retired.

Tornado GR4 ZA607 (EB-X) lowered on its plinth at (DECA) Sealand - 22nd February 2019

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Image courtesy of Alan Barlow

ZA607 a Tornado GR4 had until recently been operated by 31 Squadron at RAF Marham, although the Aircraft still has the markings of its former user 41 Squadron, based at RAF Coningsby.

The 492nd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath unveils a new F-15E paint sceme - 31st January 2019

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Images Courtesy Chris Cannon.

On the 31st January 2019 the 492nd Fighter Squadron unveiled a F-15E Strike Eagle painted in the heritage colours worn by one of its predessors a P-47 Thunderbolt during WW II.

RAF Lakenheath hosts Dissimilar Air Combat Training - October 2018.

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Images courtesy of Luke Webster.

During October 2018, the 48th Fighter wing at RAF Lakenheath hosted the Dissimilar Air Combat training Event. As well as base F-15E and F-15C aircraft taking part. there were also F22 Raptor and F18 Hornet aircraft from the USAF and Navy.

A full report and video will be published on our RAF Lakenheath page which is coming soon.