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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. Gents, News that should surprise nobody considering how many times this had been delayed. https://www.stripes.com/news/plans-to-move-tankers-special-operations-wing-from-mildenhall-to-germany-are-put-on-hold-1.621904?fbclid=IwAR37RH289W9EW734zSIoMTTKlfRP-XiWVWagSURJjfpHA1anSp6PXy6pjmo#.XmfdPIDiH5k.facebook Gary
  2. Thanks guys. Hi Andrew, yeah, that's what I've heard and there are some lists around that tell you who they are - not my area of expertise I'm afraid! Here's a link showing all 16 that have returned too date. The 492nd birds with the 494th deployment don't have nose art. Only 4 apparently came back on Monday so there's still 2 downrange somewhere. https://www.fightercontrol.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=186518 Gary
  3. Gents, I made a last minute dash to Lakenheath this afternoon to try and catch the 494th FS coming home after their six month tour out East. The weather was rather changeable and unfortunately the ETA's for the two cells due today had them arriving pretty much with the sun straight down the nose, and I was hoping for some nose art in line with previous tours. I couldn't get away too early on a Sunday and I missed the first cell of six as 'Tabor 71' flt were turning in on the circuit as I was some distance away. I made it in time for 'Tabor 81' and they appeared in the overhead just as the sun peeked out of the clouds, but unfortunately at around 15:00 the sun is directly down the runway. Anyway, this is the results; Maybe the reason that 98-0133 doesn't show any nose art is that it appears to have been borrowed from the 492nd FS? 01-2000 was a little wobbly on approach and high. Looks like a variation on the old 494th badge. 92-0364. 91-0329. 00-3000. 91-0326. Third cell is apparently due tomorrow. I'm sure some pics of the first cell will appear soon. Gary
  4. Hi Bee, That's a new book on me, might well have a look at it as always looking for new stuff. I see a lot of pics showing US aircraft, including B-47's and aircraft from that era as I'm a member at the local aviation society and we have quite a few members who took pics at Mildenhall and elsewhere back then, I'm one of the younger members and I'm no youngster! We often have slide and digitized presentations at club showing all the types from the 50's and 60's. I'm old enough to remember SR-71 ops at Mildenhall and did photograph them in operation (not airshow pics) back in the 80's myself, unfortunately only prints survive. We still use the same spots even now. The change in operational tempo is massive compared to non-stop back to back movements back then. I had a guy contact me on Monday wanting to visit Mildenhall for the first time on Friday asking for advice on where to go. I did add make sure you bring a book or two! Gary
  5. Thank you. I'll try and add when I can. Weather and work tend to get in the way too much nowadays. Love the profile pic - one of my favorite film characters! Gary
  6. Gents, Another run today, exactly a week after the last one, but another bright clear day so with nothing better to do over the holiday period it seemed like a good idea. I still had it in mind that the C-5M that came in on Saturday had not been noted leaving so I had hopes of getting my first shots of that variant, if he actually left and didn't go u/s obviously. Got him.. Not the best place to park a truck. Not a lot else going on, the usual local circuit work from the 67th SOS. Different aircraft to last week. CV-22 pair went off as well, first aircraft came back broke, but they swapped air frames quickly and went back out. Figured I'd try down by their pad today as I doubted I would get lucky up the Eastern end two trips running - wise precaution as they came in high. 'Knife 72' was '059', one from last week and went direct to the pad as I hoped. Looks like he'd been in a muddy field whilst out. 'Knife 71', on his second aircraft wouldn't play ball, coming around from the opposite end and behind me. Note, as spotted by bee above, this is a newer airframe (12-0063) but doesn't have the newer additions to the upper fuselage that some of the others have. That will certainly be it for 2019. Hopefully next year will provide a few opportunities. Gary
  7. Well spotted that man! 11-0059/60 are both long term residents with the 7th SOS here, and formed part of the initial establishment back in 2013/14. That dome has only recently started to appear on the airframes and this is the first time I've photographed it. I would guess it's a SATCOM antenna but don't know. The upper aerial array configuration has always varied to some degree but that is new. Note the new addition of the full serial on the upper rear fuselage - clearer on '59 than '60. Also first time I've shot them with a Browning in the back. Local rumour is of a fleet swap over in January, so some or all of these may well change with some different airframes coming in. Here's one addition, 'Knife 71' in the transition. Gary
  8. Hi gents, Big gap from the previous visit but having finished for Christmas I thought I'd pop over and see what was going on as it was a bright (but cold!) day. Lakenheath was NOTAMed as open but a drive past at 8 this morning and it was clear that nothing was going to happen so I turned for Mildenhall which ended up being surprisingly good on the last day before closing for Christmas. 'Mario 64' was on a early dawn launch to go snooping out East. This was more difficult to get than usual as some strange reflections were dancing around the forward fuselage and engines that ruined most of the shots. Never seen that before and I've shot plenty of glossy RC-135s at this exact spot at dawn. Maybe it's some new anti-photographer device! Strangely, the other RC-135V in came down the same taxiway an hour later, this time heading home as 'Hoover 55' with no photography problems. Local MC-130J went up for a little local circuit work. 'The Jester' from the 100th sitting down by the Folly Rd dispersal. No tankers moved all day. I hit the jackpot with the 7th SOS and 'Knife' section of CV-22s. Having gone off the other end earlier for a sightseeing Dover tour I waited for them to come back. 'Knife 71' just flew down the other side of the runway and headed for their usual 'Alpha' pad. 'Knife 72' was up for it though. Landing on the runway opposite my viewing spot, he then did a quick circuit before running down the runway very low and fast with an F-15 style break at the other end. Finally got a shot of one in the forward flight configuration. Not too bad for a day when I wasn't expecting much. If I don't post anything else before Christmas, which is unlikely, then Happy Christmas too all. Gary
  9. Hi again, That's the article I found when looking around the web. I was familiar with some of the article as the company that planned to base Su-27/30's out of Iceland was connected to a professional photographer who I know and around the time of the article he was quite keen on photographing them. I didn't for one moment think it would come to anything and obviously it never did. It still looks like a photoshop job on those two pics, an impression of what a adversary scheme could look like on a EF-2000. I doubt such a scheme on any of the airframes flying with the Eurofighter nations would have remained on the QT from that far back, even if applied for a short time. They wouldn't have painted the radome anyway. Gary
  10. Hi gents, A few more I've sorted out, all pretty standard fare. I missed the latest batch of Saudi F-15SAs transiting through by one day! One of my test shots during the afternoon that I take to keep a eye on the light, didn't see the CV-22 sneaking into the left side of the frame! Gary
  11. Hi, I had a look around the net and this appears to originate from a blog back in 2014. I've never seen or heard of a EF-2000 in that scheme, so I'm guessing it's a photoshop job. There is a possibility that some early RAF examples may end up in a aggressor type scheme in the future, but nothing yet. Gary
  12. Gents, It wasn't meant to take me until December but finally nailed the second heritage F-15 at Lakenheath this afternoon. I got the 492nd early on back in May, the 494th is a bust as their yellow tailed jet is now back stateside at Warner-Robins on rework so will come back clean. The dark painted F-15C of the 493rd was the one I was desperate to get and the 48th have already said they're going to be painted out soon I knew I was running out of time. Today was the first visit (weather has been awful - even by UK standards!) in blue skies since the AFRES F-16s back in May. Sure enough, second wave from the 493rd after midday included the heritage jet as the No2 man of a four ship flight, callsign 'Hitman'. The sun goes around quite quickly in December and is down the runway centreline by mid afternoon, plus Mildenhall had thoughtfully put a tanker up on the East coast towline (grrr!), so it was touch and go whenever these guys came back in good light. Thankfully, for once, fortune favoured me. 'The King'; Would have been nice if he'd have gone into the circuit, but nobody this afternoon wanted to play - the morning wave did. 492nd have another jet showing a green star, presumably another drone from their 2017 Middle East deployment. Some also retain their mission tallies from 2017, unlike the 494th's rather flamboyant markings from 2018. Finally, the 493rd also have a new flagship. Last one before I called it a day. Gary
  13. Thanks, glad they were okay. I must admit it was easier than I feared. A month or so before I was still considering not making the attempt as I feared it was going to be difficult, if not impossible to get pics of the IDF deployment. As it turned out it went pretty well. Hopefully they'll be back in 2020 - be nice if they brought F-15Is or F-16I's. Gary
  14. Hi Bee, Unlikely to be 48th FW jets. All three squadrons are at home, which is rare. They did fly missions direct from Lakenheath to Libya back in 2011, but there's no indication over here that has happened recently. As I've said previously, we wouldn't publicly monitor that in real time on the web, but the indications would be there and there's been nothing. Lakenheath has actually been closed and stood down for the last couple of days, not due to reopen until middle of next week. It usually goes very quiet in late September as I believe their fuel budget runs October to October and they normally cut back training at this time of year. There is a Seymour-Johnson F-15E squadron deployed and the six month swap over is imminent with them coming home - through Lakenheath - and it should be a Lakenheath squadron next in the rotation, probably the 492nd as the 494th went last time. Be interesting to see if there's any flamboyant art work on the nose of the transiting Seymour-Johnson jets. Gary
  15. Hi again gents, The other day I went back and did some research on this and this was the results. This only covers the jets that were deployed to the UK. F-15Ds 715 (90-0277), 706 (90-0276) and 733 (90-0275) come from the final batch of five new built D models delivered to Israel (and would have been built after the US started F-15E production). F-15D 980 (80-0055) is one of the ex-USAF batch delivered through Lakenheath in September 2016. Having read how much work goes into overhauling and upgrading these airframes, that's pretty quick to see it now operating to IAF standard. F-15Cs 810 (80-0123) and 818 (80-0125) are original IAF airframes. The odd one is C model 583, which carries US serial 83-0067 on the airframe. That's a mistake by the Israelis (83-0067 is a B-1B preserved at Ellesworth!), and the airframe is apparently 83-0062. Whilst I suppose the last one could be deliberate misinformation, what's the point? Hardly seems worth the effort so I would put money on somebody screwing up in the admin department. As one of my posts earlier this year showed with the 100th ARW at Mildenhall putting the wrong serial on a newly repainted KC-135 (since corrected), it happens. Gary
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