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About gary1701

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    Step away from the computer!
  • Birthday 08/23/1969

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    Stowmarket, Suffolk, UK (Neighbour to the AAC Apache AH1).

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  1. Hi all/Bee, Thanks for the kind words. No further updates at the moment as the weather has been a bit grey in the evenings. Your question about the exhausts is one that I've wondered for many years and I've never found a answer from somebody who could say why with any authority. I realize the UK military is permanently short of funding but even allowing for that I can't believe we would not fit that mod purely for cost reasons so I can only assume that there must be a operational reason we don't do it - whatever that may be. I do recall reading somewhere - and I can't remember wher
  2. Hi gents, No, it's not a run over to Lakenheath, or even Mildenhall, but the results from a few evenings at somewhere a lot closer, actually just a few miles over the fields - Wattisham airfield. The airfield is a former RAF fast jet base, operating the last of the RAF F-4s until 1992. It was then handed over to the army, specifically the helicopter units coming out of Germany. Since 2007 it has been the main operating base of the British variant of the Apache - the WAH-64D. However, a few years ago it was decided to wind down the WAH-64 which required a very UK specific logistics
  3. Gents, Thanks for that. I am curious about the reflectors as I've never seen them missing before on routine flights, so maybe, as said above their may now be a fleet wide plan to remove them. I'll keep a eye out for other operators F-35 pics taken recently to see what happens there. I have seen some pics taken at Lakenheath by others on 10th May that show the same aircraft I photographed without reflectors, but a couple of others that were not out last Thursday/Friday that were still fitted. May be coincidence but those jets had the outboard AAM rails fitted, something I haven't se
  4. Hi gents, Some more pics from the last two days as I managed to book a couple of days, although when I did that the weather forecast was a lot better than how it turned out. A few changes here since the last visit. The 493rd F-15Cs are now history, all flyers have now returned to the US and look as if they're being split up amongst the various ANG units. 84-0001 has stayed here, and theories range from it being used as a maintenance trainer to replacing the F-15A (a model that never flew from here) that is currently on the pole near the main gate. The 495th FS's complement is now u
  5. Hi gents, Feel free to grab the images on a facebook page. If you want a bigger edit, PM me with a direct email and I'll send it over. Hi Jeff! I wish I'd spoked to the guy now but there was a lot of people about those two days. I must admit it didn't really help much at Lakenheath as distance and height is not really a problem there. When I moved over to Mildenhall he'd beaten me too it and the lift was already up and that does help clearing the parked tankers on the Southern stands to get a clear view of the runway, which a basic ladder struggles to do. Gary
  6. Thanks gents, Nearly forgot after the two day session at Lakenheath. I moved over to Mildenhall for the late afternoon on the second day to catch the sole remaining WC-135 as it concluded a air test at Mildenhall. The aircraft has been deployed to Mildenhall amongst several other Offutt 'white' tops and has been heavily tasked since the Ukrainian war started. This air test was after a engine change. Rumour has it that the 100th ARW at Mildenhall may be activating a second KC-135 squadron to handle the workload. Gary
  7. Thanks gents, Just a few more odds and ends. Two flights of Seymour-Johnson jets returned from Poland on the Wednesday, coming in from the other end. This is the third time since October that they've deployed out somewhere else and returned to Lakenheath, they must be sick of the place! 'Siege 75' put in a overshoot with excellent timing. 'Siege 76' was a little late on the turn. The 510th FS from Aviano has also been deployed here and hopes for some banked F-16 shots on the Wednesday as they came towards
  8. Hi, Not sure what the plan is at this moment in time. I have heard that one of the F-15Cs may stay and replace the old F-15A on the pole at the main gate, which would fit as F-15A's never operated from here. However, I suppose it depends on how much these are in demand back stateside for the ANG units. The jets that have gone back have I believe been allocated around other units, as they are late production C and D models which would be newer than the existing airframes in use. The oldest 84-0001, hasn't been seen or flown for probably a year now so that may be a candidate for the
  9. Gents, As I'm sure many of us know, the 493rd FS (the Grim Reapers) are in the process of winding down on the F-15C/D at RAF Lakenheath, although they will stand up again on the F-35 as the second squadron in the 48th FW to operate the type in the future. Half the jets have already gone back to the US and with the few remaining working in mixed flights with the 495th FS F-35s for the the last few weeks and this week rumoured to be their last routine training week a trip over was in order. Combine that with a deployment of Aviano F-16s and the poor guys from Seymour-Johnson still st
  10. Hi gents, Thanks for the comments. To be honest I can't remember how they sounded compared to a F-15. I had my head down concentrating on the camera for most of the time when they were up close so was distracted. One thing that is quite noticeable is how different they sound on comms to a F-15 or any other fast jet for that matter. I first noticed it when the Hill detachment flew from here a few years ago but on a radio receiver a F-35 pilot sounds far more 'robotic' for want of a better word than the others. It's clear it's a F-35 straight away. There's a detachment o
  11. Gents, Here's a selection from a Friday morning run over to the local which I thought might be of interest. My first shots of the newly delivered 495th FS F-35s with a 3 ship flying early. Only 7 are on strength so far, and 3 of them only arrived directly from Forth Worth the previous day, so this was 3 from 4 active jets in just one flight which was nice. Early morning taxi to runway 24 on a bright winters morning. Unlike the F-15s, the F-35s don't do the EOR checks and just taxi direct. For several months a sqn from the 4th at SJ
  12. Thanks for the kind words gents. I have the coming week off as well but the weather doesn't look anything as kind as when I shot those. If it does change I will probably make another trip over. Also thanks for the info about the posting of images, I was sure it wasn't my imagination and it used to be easier to link images, now I know I'll get it right in future! Gary
  13. Hi habu, Figured it out, now working backwards! Edit; should be sorted now. Strange, as although it's been a long time since I posted any pics I'm damn sure you used to link the image code across with the [img] at either end here - as I do at any other forum I've ever posted at. Has something changed? Gary
  14. Gents. Here's some fairly regular pics from RAF Lakenheath and the 48th Fighter Wing taken over two days last week with some decent weather. This was the first time I have been able to get over since the Aviano F-16s visited early September last year. Nothing much has changed recently, the 492nd and 493rd are at home with the 494th deployed out East but due back within the next month or so following their six month stint. The newly reformed 495th should be standing up soon with the first F-35s due in December. 492nd lead jet on the tight bank for runway 24.
  15. Gents, I know it's been a while since this thread was updated but I just haven't been able to go over since you know what kicked off. Well, this evening was a special event, and by coincidence I had booked the second half of this week off to do some pics now that we can in the UK. Then a few days ago I found out a certain well know aircraft was coming to Mildenhall today. I actually did the day up at RAF Coningsby Typhoon hunting but knowing that this wasn't due in until early evening and it's on my run home I planned a stop. I had fears that security and policing wou
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