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gary1701

RAF Typhoons at Coningsby.

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Gents,

 

I missed this selection the other week when I did Wattisham families day and the Saturday morning Mildenhall run. On the Friday (my 50th as well!) and with Lakenheath closed for the bank holiday weekend I decided to go up to Lincolnshire and visit the RAF Typhoon base at Coningsby. It's one of the easiest bases to visit, with easy access all around the perimeter, but with the loss of Tornados and the removal of the majority of squadron markings from the Typhoons it's become a rather boring place to visit, unless there's something visiting. That wasn't the case on this Friday morning so here's a few pretty standard pics.

 

Flight from 41 Sqn, the trials unit coming out from the North side. The training (29 Sqn) and trials unit are on the North, the two frontline outfits (3 and 11) are on the South.

 

2G5A2946.jpg

 

Because 41 generally do not deploy operationally (they do go to the US annually for training), they are able to hang onto their sqn markings. 

 

2G5A2975.jpg

 

Twin stick Typhoons are now a rare breed, as the RAF have scrapped for parts all the early Tranche 1 two-seaters. Recently there was a bunch of parts, including a set of fore planes on Ebay! There's a few twin sticks in the Tranche 2 batch, including this one, but conversion training has moved to the single seaters. To me it's the short term thinking yet again, as the aircraft could still have been used single seat and by spreading the hours the single seat fleet would last longer. I don't doubt that in 15 to 20 years or so the Typhoon will end up in the same situation as we had with the Tornado's - the most capable variant in service compared to the other operators, but axed earlier because the airframes are knackered.

 

2G5A2850.jpg

 

Out of the South side HAS site.

 

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This is one of the new Tranche 3 airframes. They have a small mod that differentiates them from Tranche 1/2. There is a small raised 'blister' on the upper rear fuselage directly in front of the fin. This is a attachment point for CFT's, if they are ever funded and deployed. of which the RAF currently have no plans to do so! Surprisingly, this Tranche 3 airframe carries full 11 Sqn markings.

 

IMG-1107.jpg

 

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Standard Typhoon departures do not involve reheat/afterburner, occasionally the crews will call for a 'performance' departure.

 

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Nearly!

 

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It was Friday on a bank holiday weekend, so I didn't expect these guys to be out for long, in fact the base was NOTAMed to be closed by 12:30 local. So much for that idea, a Voyager was off the coast so all the flights went and tanked and stayed out for between 2 to 3 hours, frustrating as it was hot and there's no cover where I was waiting! They even got a extension to the NOTAM - so much for the RAF reputation of Friday afternoons...

 

When they did come back, this guy had a jammed AAR probe, although he did several radar approaches so wasn't considered serious. Common fault on Typhoons that.

 

2G5A3096.jpg

 

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2G5A3141.jpg

 

2G5A3155.jpg

 

Gary

 

 

Edited by gary1701

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Great pics. Do you use a ladder to take photos?

 

You are right about Coningsby being an east place to visit, I was driving through the area and accidentally ended up at the end  of the runway as two Typhoons were about to leave. Not many places where you are only a few meters from operational jets.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Alternative 4 said:

Great pics. Do you use a ladder to take photos?

 

You are right about Coningsby being an east place to visit, I was driving through the area and accidentally ended up at the end  of the runway as two Typhoons were about to leave. Not many places where you are only a few meters from operational jets.

 

 

 

 

Hi and yes I do. I vary where I go at Coningsby depending on runway in use and sun angle, but those were all taken from the same location, the fence line at the edge of the field on the South Eastern corner. I'm shooting from the top of a set of step ladders over the fence, in between the top of the fence and the barbed wire. The farmer is okay with people being down here as long as they leave their cars up by the road and walk down, there's a layby that you can use. From that corner you can swing left to the taxiway on the South side with anything coming out of the shelters, swing right and you've got the approach and the end of the runway with the taxiway from the North side, so all bases are covered.

 

They won't give you any trouble here for doing this, I once was up the ladder down at the Western end late one afternoon with the sun setting behind me as they landed from the East and taxied off towards me. The light was fantastic and as they came towards me I heard on the radio clipped to my side a female voice asking the tower that she could see somebody at the end of the runway up a ladder and was it okay! There was only one female Typhoon pilot at the time (Helen Seymour) so I knew who it was but the tower was okay with it so I didn't have a visit from the RAF.

 

This is where I was, down by the Western end of the runway. This was taken during the Saudi/RAF exercise Green Flag in 2013 and it is nowhere near as busy as that on routine days, you'd probably see nobody down here normally. I would only stand here, directly in line with the runway if they were landing from the opposite end towards you, as they were on this day. The reason that the wooden fence has been replaced by a metal fence is that they kept blowing it down! If you stand up a ladder here with them landing over you, you stand a chance of losing you head!

 

IMG-2399.jpg

 

The 'golden hour' shots from that day I got 'reported'.

 

IMG-0693.jpg

 

IMG-0656.jpg

 

Gary

Edited by gary1701

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Some impressive shots, especially the 'golden hour' ones. Lovely to see these and interesting to find out what had happened to the two seaters. 

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On ‎9‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 9:41 AM, Parabat said:

Some impressive shots, especially the 'golden hour' ones. Lovely to see these and interesting to find out what had happened to the two seaters. 

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for that. The sunset/dusk shots are something I tend to specialize in at Coningsby because it's quite easy to get around and get the angles when the light and conditions warrant it. Here's a few more that may or may not have been on here in the past.

 

IMG-0647.jpg

 

IMG-2305.jpg

 

IMG-7512.jpg

 

IMG-7064.jpg

 

IMG-2195.jpg

 

IMG-2005.jpg

 

Gary

Edited by gary1701

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