Lost lamb has come back again for a little visit. I hope you guys are all well? It's been awhile since I was last on here. I've been lurking the last few days catching up on what has been happening around here!
I'm not sure if you guys have been keeping up with what is happening in the UK regarding our armed forces since the SDSR last October but lets just say, things aren't rosey!
I guess most of the regulars will remember my trips back in '04,'05 and '06 when I used to skip a few days at uni and head up to RAF Leuchars to watch the Tornado F.3s in all sorts of weather! Well, that time is now over as the last remaining F.3's left RAF Leuchars at the end of March for the scrap heap! Very sad days.
But times move on and new aircraft come in to replace the old. The only other news is RAF Leuchars itself is under the spotlight as it is one of many bases under review so we may lose a mighty fine airbase with a long history too!
Any way, I thought I'd share a few shots of the old girl over the past few years. I only have a few handy at the moment but I may dig up some of the really old stuff to refresh the old brain cells.
1. Lets start off with 2006. This all black jet was unveiled during 43(Fighter) Squadron's 90th Anniversary and Families day. Unfortunately, someone forgot to ask permission from the boss at RAF HQ and the jet was seen two or three times after this before it got repainted. This was the only time I saw her and gutted I wasn't able to get some more shots.
2. After 2005, the F.3 was taken off the airshow display circuit but thankfully in 2007 and 2008, an RAF Role Demonstration Team was formed which comprised of two F.3's, two Tornado GR.4's, two Hawks, an E-3 Sentry, C-130 (2007), Chinook and an AAC Apache (2008). This shot was taken in 2008 at Biggin Hill during the "scramble" phase of the demo.
3. Again 2008, but at Kemble Airshow.
4. Dawlish Carnival Airshow. A unique view point!!
5. Dawlish again but the final mixed formation flypast.
6. 56(R) Squadron were disbanded in 2008. 56 was the operational conversion unit which trained the pilots and navigators on how to operate the F.3. Here is the special tail sitting alongside the special tailed aircraft from the sister squadron at Leuchars, 111(Fighter) "The Tremblers."
7. Another 56 jet, this time at RAF Leeming.
8. 111 jet taxiing onto Runway 05 at RAF Lossiemouth.
9. Close up of another 111 jet landing at RAF Leuchars.
10. Sister ship landing at RAF Leuchars.
11. 43 (Fighter) Squadron's CO's jet at full power and wings swept back! Seeing the jet in this config always made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, awesome sight!
12. Special formation. Two F.3's in formation with two Hunters. Lovely!!
13. F.3 in a HAS.
14. F.3 in war mode. This was the standard fit when the aircraft were on 'Q' duties. High readiness to react to a call out to intercept any suspicious aircraft.