& Bullets

Musings on the worlds of aviation, military and international affairs.


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Brize 2010 Reds 3

By psmiddy, Jul 12 2018 07:43AM

Much enjoyed being on the Mall to witness the RAF celebrate its centenary. Whilst it is understandable that the elements that were arriving at different airspeeds had a good degree of seperation, I thought the separation of the sub-elements could have been a lot tighter. The Hawk T1s and T2s could have been put together, for example. I am guessing that what happened reflects a high degree of risk aversion.

It was a very good effort by the service's engineers, particularly in getting 3 F35s into the air of the 4 so far delivered to the UK. They do not at present have a good serviceability record. But the highlight for me was the 22 Typhoons from RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth forming a "100" formation. This was a record number of Typhoons in one formation, and I am not sure the general public realised quite how difficult that particular formation is. They sustained it from meet-up over Suffolk to their subsequent tour of the Home Counties.

The mood was buoyant on the Mall. Whilst there were obviously many tourists in the crowd, who just saw it as simply a grand spectacle, there were thousands of Brits - as Johnny Mercer MP said afterwards - "let no-one say there are no votes in Defence"!

By psmiddy, Jul 8 2018 07:59PM

I am rather looking forward to this on Tuesday.

One matter of interest - the callsigns of the various sub-formations. Some have a basis in reality, but others betray a fevered brow somewhere in the RAF, e.g.:

Zorro for the C-130

Grizzly for the Atlas

Monster (Tornado GR4), and

Warboys (Prefects).

A mammoth feat by servicemen. Let us not forget air traffickers for gluing the assembly together (Heathrow will be shut for 20 mins), and the RAF's engineers for trying to get 100 serviceable airframes into the air at once.

By psmiddy, Jul 3 2018 11:17AM

RAF 100: the official story by James Holland. Supposedly came out on 5 April, but I was a little late reeceiving it. Some great photos and well produced. But flawed. Review here.