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The Fighter Control Highlights of the Month - November 2016

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The Fighter Control Highlights of the Month - November 2016

Post by StevenNFFC » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:56 am

It's time for the next edition of the Highlights of the Month - I hope you enjoy it. Please leave any feedback below and when you've looked through it make sure you check out the Flickrs of the participants. Huge thanks to all who let me use their images this month.

1. Colombian Presidential Aircraft Visits Belfast

Photographer: Paultojo
Thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=138980
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8620037@N05/

ImageBBJ FAC 0001 at Belfast City by Paul Harvey, on Flickr

Visiting Belfast International Airport on Thursday 3rd November was a specially configured Boeing 737. The aircraft, serialled FAC 0001, carried the President on board for an official visit to the United Kingdom - it had originally arrived at London, Stansted Airport. Acquired in 2005, this aircraft has been modified considerably for the VVIP role - it is the premier transport aircraft for the President of Colombia. The aircraft is assigned to the Comando Aéro de Transporte Militar, Grupo de Vuelos Especiales 82, Escuadrón de Transporte Especial 821 based at Bogotá. The squadron operates a number of types to fulfil the VIP transport role.

2. German A400M Visits Birmingham

Photographer: 5MAAPS
Thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=139350
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dave_lythgoe/

Image54+05 Airbus A400M by Dave Lythgoe, on Flickr

On Monday 14th November 2016, German Air Force Airbus A400M 54+05 dropped in briefly to Birmingham International Airport. The aircraft is one of 53 on order to replace the ageing C-160 Transall fleet. It is planned that only 40 will enter operational service with the remaining 13 to be either sold, used for spare parts or placed in storage. The aircraft is currently in service with Air Transport Wing 62 (LTG-62) at Wunstorf Air Base, Lower Saxony, but will eventually come into service with LTG-61 and LTG-63 which both currently operate the Transall.

3. Royal Air Force A400M's in the weeds

Photographer: MikeC1955
Thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=139411
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/victorthesecond/

ImageRAF A-400 in the Lakes by Mike Cushing, on Flickr

Caught in Thirlmere on Tuesday 15th November was Royal Air Force A400M Atlas C.1, ZM409. To my knowledge, the type has only recently begun operating in the low-flying areas of the UK and has provided a welcome new sight for the photographers on the hillside. ZM409 became the tenth A400M to be delivered to the Royal Air Force when it arrived at RAF Brize Norton on 16th September and the eleventh, ZM411, joined it on 26th October. There are a further 11 of the type to be delivered in the future. The aircraft are currently operated by No. 70 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton.

4. Eagles step up the intensity on Lakenheath

Photographer: MarkRanger
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/markranger/

ImageF15E Strilke Eagle 00-3004 494th FS 'Panthers'-1 by Mark Ranger, on Flickr

The 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, flew a 'surge week' between the 14th and 18th of November. The 'surge week' saw activity levels double with both the 492nd Fighter Squadron and the 494th Fighter Squadron flying a huge amount of sorties from the station. The squadrons used their increased hours to support a Joint Terminal Attack Controller exercise at Holbeach range. The 48th Operations Group at RAF Lakenheath comprises five flying squadrons: the 492nd 'Bolars' and 494th 'Panthers' Fighter Squadrons fly the venerable McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle and their operations revolve around air interdiction, strike, close air-support and counter-air. The other Eagle squadron resident to RAF Lakenheath are the 493rd 'Grim Reapers' FS who fly the F-15C/D air-superiority fighter variant of the Eagle. These squadrons are supported by the HH-60G Pavehawks of the resident 56th and 57th Rescue Squadrons who provide combat rescue.

5. US Army C-12 Huron visits Mildenhall

Photographer: BOLLO
Thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=139543
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/106768903@N02/

ImageUS-Army-C-12-R-51584-B by Paul Callaghan, on Flickr

Arriving at RAF Mildenhall on Sunday 20th November was this US Army Beech C-12 Huron aircraft. The C-12 is a militarised version of the King Air and has been in service with the US Army in different variants since 1974. Primary missions for the aircraft are transportation of VIPs, regular passengers or up to 5000lbs of cargo. The C-12 can also support range clearance, medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and embassy support operations. There are over 300 C-12's in various guises supporting all of the US Forces including the USAF, US Marine Corps, US Navy and US Navy. This particular aircraft is of the C-12S variant and was serialled 15-01584 - the aircraft departed later on for Keflavic, Iceland.

6. Seymour-Johnson Strike Eagles Transit Through the Heath

Photographer: tommc
Thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=139494
Flickr: http://www.ukserials.com


On Friday 18th November four McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagles passed through RAF Lakenheath on their way home from their tour of duty for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). The four aircraft were part of a ten-strong detachment provided by the 335th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, based at Seymour-Johnson AFB, North Carolina. The aircraft had been deployed to an unspecified airbase to support the US-led coalition air-effort against Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The F-15E's present at Lakenheath on the 18th comprised: 88-1708, 89-0477, 87-0199 and 89-0484 - the latter being the 4th OG's flag-ship aircraft.

7. Royal Air Force Special Heavies out and about at Brize

Photographer: SPA
Thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=139496
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/91881499@N03/

ImageFLR176 by LHR2013, on Flickr

Pictured on the 18th November were two Royal Air Force heavies from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire. The first is Boeing C-17A Globemaster III, ZZ176, which celebrates the 99th Anniversary of No. 99 Squadron, RAF, who were formed on 15th August 1917 at Yatesbury, Wiltshire. 99 Squadron have battle honours for the First World War and a large number attributed to the squadrons service during the Second World War. They began flying the C-17A in 2002. The second aircraft, Lockheed C-130J Hercules, ZH880, celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the formation of No. 47 Squadron, RAF, who first stood-up on 1st March 1916 at Beverley, Yorkshire. 47 Squadron have battle honours for the First World War, Second World War, the Falklands War and Iraq in both 2001 and 2003. The squadron have operated the Hercules since early 1968 and will soon become the second RAF squadron to operate the new Airbus A400M Atlas C.1.

ImageFLR.880 by LHR2013, on Flickr

8. Czech 295 visits Brize Norton

Photographer: Cherokee Rose
Thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=139756
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sandralewisrice/

Image0454 295M 242 tsl RAF Brize Norton by Sandra Lewis-Rice, on Flickr

On Friday 25th November a Czech Air Force CASA C-295M aircraft visited RAF Brize Norton. The type, serialled 0454, is one of four on strength with the Czech Air Force and is operated by the 242nd Transport and Special Squadron - based at the 24th Transport Air Base, Prague. The C-295's were ordered in May 2009 in order to replace their Soviet era An-26 transport aircraft and all of the aircraft on order had been delivered by the end of the following year. The C-295's are the backbone of troop and cargo transport operations of the Czech Air Force.

9. BAe Test Flying Omani Typhoons for the first time

Photographer: GARYKING
Thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=139740
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ckaviation/

ImageZR410 by Gary Claridge-king, on Flickr

Test pilots from BAe Systems Warton began test flying two new Eurofighter Typhoons recently. On Friday 25th November, ZR410 and ZR411 took to the sky for the very first time from BAe Systems test facility at Warton Aerodrome. These aircraft are destined for the Royal Air Force of Oman and are two of twelve aircraft on order. The Omani's will initially acquire nine single-seat (serialled from ZR401-409) and three twin-seat Typhoon (ZR410-412) aircraft in a deal worth approximately £2.5billion. The deal includes training, spare parts and technical assistance for the Typhoon aircraft and also eight BAe Hawk AJT aircraft. The jets are due to start being delivered in early 2017 and will be based at a brand new base - RAFO Adam - built specifically for Typhoon operations.

From abroad:

1. QF-4 Phantoms Low-Level in the Canyon

Photographer: Ross Forsyth
Thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=139535
Photobucket: http://smg.photobucket.com/user/rossevenil/library/


Technically not a highlight of the month for November due to the aircraft being photographed in October but with the subjects being so [ph]antastic I've decided to bend the rules slightly. Captured roaring through the Canyon en-route to Hill AFB were two McDonnell Douglas QF-4E Phantom II's. The aircraft - serialled 74-1043 and 74-1638 - are currently assigned to the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron but are due to be retired shortly after the FSAT (Full-Scale Aerial Target) programme switched to the QF-16. All of the QF-4E's can be remotely piloted from the ground and were employed by the 82nd ARTS as full-scale targets for live air-to-air missile launches from US Armed Forces fighter aircraft. A large number of previously retired Phantoms have finished their distinguished flying careers by being blown to smitherines by other aircraft.


That's all for this month! Thanks for looking and once again thanks to the people who let me use their photos.


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Re: The Fighter Control Highlights of the Month - November 2

Post by Yunglee » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:32 pm

A great post and thank you for compiling it. Fantastic photo's by the contributors and the the idea to include interesting oversea's aircraft is a good idea :clap:

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Re: The Fighter Control Highlights of the Month - November 2

Post by paddyboy » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:22 pm


What a fabulous set and great work by all involved :thumbs:

How can you possibly pick a fave from those beauties :O

Thanks :thumb:

Paddyboy :clap:
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Re: The Fighter Control Highlights of the Month - November 2

Post by MRTT » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:41 pm

Excellent post! Thanks again to Stephan and the photographers who supplied the shots!
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Re: The Fighter Control Highlights of the Month - November 2

Post by starfighter » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:08 pm

That's a very enjoyable feature, and clearly we are very fortunate to have,
A. Very capable photographers and .
B. Good quality aircraft visiting us ,(yes I no not all these where taken on home soil.)

Thanks to all.

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Highlights of the Month - Tainted by sad news

Post by A380_sully » Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:53 am

Excellent round up of another good month, tainted by the sad news of the passing of one of FC contributors "55" Simon Farrow :'( Blue Skies fella (further information and condoloences can be left on the relevant Lakenheath and Mildenhall Facebook pages).

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Re: The Fighter Control Highlights of the Month - November 2

Post by Dan M » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:53 pm

Do enjoy the monthly round up, always good to see everything in one thread. Nicely done Steven.

Also, I echo Sully's comment above...a sad loss indeed


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Re: The Fighter Control Highlights of the Month - November 2

Post by StevenNFFC » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:47 pm

Thanks for the positive comments everybody.

It was such a shame to hear about the passing of a fellow enthusiast.


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