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Posted (edited)

Hi mates,

In March 2013 I installed a couple of machines in Forfar , which took me 4 weeks. After work I used to go to RAF Leuchars for some spotting. At that time 6th SQ. operated its Typhoons from there and n° 1 SQ. was being equipped with the new Type and its Staff was in the States for the Red Flag (if I remember on some machines from RAF Coningsby).

These pictures were taken with my compact camera, so the quality isn’t sublime, but I thought it worth sharing them to give a picture of the base activity before all aircraft were sent to RAF Lossiemouth.

 

The first time I got here , I wasn’t sure of what I would have found. The weather was really bad…heavy snow and I thought …I’ll never see anything !

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SURPRISE SURPRISE!!!!...Did I have to come this far from Italy to see an Italian new tanker???

This was the only aircraft in sight on day one …it’s easy to see why!!!

http://i.imgur.com/YhyyPF1.jpg[/img]

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The following day, first sight of of a flight line, and a 17th Sq. visitor of  from RAF Coningsby. No flying activity, considering I got there quite late.

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Day 3, Special colour for the 17th Sq. Disbandment. In a few weeks they’ll start thinking about the F-35.

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And , for the first time, some flying: a Typhoon on final approach!

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It’s an aircraft from 17th Sq.

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Two aircraft from 6th Sq. land and, instead of parking on the flight line, they taxi toward a parking area were they carry out a hot refuelling. Very unexpected and welcomed scenario!

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http://i.imgur.com/kfJ008C.jpg[/img]

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Two more aircraft land and join the party, waiting for their turn!

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After a while, the first two taxi away and take off again and the other ones refill. It’s dark and my hands freezing…time to go!

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I didn’t expect much on a Saturday, but I was wrong! As I get there, two aircraft from 17th Sq. are ready to take off with all tanks fitted, probably on their way back to Coningsby.

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On the tarmac, another aircraft from 17th Sq. is getting ready, while another aircraft taxies towards the runway.

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but during the pre-flight checks something goes wrong and the mission is aborted. The other one goes and this one is towed back to the hangar. It wasn’t bad for a Saturday!

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Next day …snow, but not for much!!! Scottish weather!!! On the flight line an aircraft from 11th Sq.  (RAF Coningsby)

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Don’t have to wait much for the 6th Qs. To show up! Two double seaters and two  single seaters land after several approaches and circles.

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At the end the flight line is a bit more lively!!! Ready for a steak now!!!

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Next day , cloudy on arrival, but two aircraft are ready to take off and one more  taxies towards the runway.

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After a short while, some return and land.

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But one of them looks a bit…unsure…and how could you blame him!!! This isn’’t the best configuration to try an emergency landing!!! The well informed , those with the radio , say it’s a landing gear proglem…looks like it could be unlocked…so our guy starts a series of low pass toward the control  tower tosee if they see something wrong

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Then the unexpected happens:a double seater flies on a long circle and slowly reaches it . Together they fly away trying to identify if there’s a real problem.

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And suddenly, from nowhere, our guy emerges and lands successfully. Fiuuuu!!!

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After this , more landings and , at the end, the flight line is quite full!

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That’s all for now. Update will follow.

Ciao

Massimo

Edited by massimo
updated title

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WOW......the 17 sqn special in picture number four. Does anyone have anymore details - serial, code, and most importantly are 48th decals available????

Anyone got more photos of her? Questions, questions!!

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Posted (edited)

ZJ947 You can view a high res image here: - didn't last long as 17 disbanded on Typhoons on 12th April 2013

 

EUROFIGHTER TYPHOON

 

Edited by Dave Fleming

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Excellent. Thanks for sharing :)

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These are a great set of photos so thanks for posting. I especially like them as they show the RAF at 'work' and not at an airshow.

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A lovely set of images and considering they were taken with a compact then you did very well indeed. Thanks for sharing these. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi everybody!

Some more pictures taken the following days.

The weather had improved, even if the biggest problem I had was the patchy sky, which meant aircraft were passing suddenly from the sunlight to the clouds shadow.Result: sh***y pictures!!!Heresome take offs

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...and some landings.

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Next day was rather busy, starting with the arrival of a couple of Hawks fron RAF Leeming.

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Some typhoons took off afterwards

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A few different views of the two Hawks.

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And then a nice surprise: a couple approaching in close formation and after a cirle, landing separately.

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On the ground everything is ready and, after  taxing  to the dedicated area,  they hot refuel.

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The third aircraft lands and soon joins the party.Once refuelled, they all take off again and for me is time to go.

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Something different today: all aircraft on the flight line are  turned the opposite way.

Ah, I forgot to say...it rains!!!

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First one to go is a double seater from 29th Sq.(Coningsby) followed by a pair of single seaters froon local 6th Sq.

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Visibility is really bad and with the rain it isn't so nice to stay outdoor, so I go back. A guy said something about some french aircraft due to come....let's see tomorrow...:blahblahblah:

Edited by massimo

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Great post Massimo! 

 

My family had a long association with St Andrews and in my younger days I spent many hours spotting at Leuchars - I'm old enough to remember the Lightnings and (just) the Javelins.  Sadly Leuchars is no more and the St Andrews connection ended when my mother passed away two years ago.  Thanks for an enjoyable reminder.

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7 minutes ago, Skodadriver said:

Great post Massimo! 

 

My family had a long association with St Andrews and in my younger days I spent many hours spotting at Leuchars - I'm old enough to remember the Lightnings and (just) the Javelins.  Sadly Leuchars is no more and the St Andrews connection ended when my mother passed away two years ago.  Thanks for an enjoyable reminder.

I spent every night spotting for four weeks and I had a wonderful time. Plenty of haggis fritters and chicken Balmoral!

It's my pleasure to have given some emotions with my pictures! Here's St.Andrews!

tdBnlOv.jpg

I've got more coming!

Ciao

Massimo

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Thanks for sharing , and reminding those who are familiar with it of the vagaries of the Leuchars weather.     Up until about ten years previously the photographic opportunities had been much better with the fence at the concrete steps where you were for some of your photos only being waist high and in winter you did not realise just how cold the wind coming in from the sea until a couple of Tornado F.3 went into reheat for take-off at the end of the runway and the waves of heat hit you !!     Up until around the same time at the far end of the runway there was access from the woods to the left hand side which with only a waist high fence and the northern taxiway about forty feet away and the main runway beyond gave some fantastic photo opportunities

 

Prior to the Typhoon with exercises , exchanges , lunch stops , the occasional emergency and three squadrons of Tornado F.3 , the University Air Squadron Grobs and an Army Air Corps Flight with Gazelles Leuchars used to be a very busy airbase and was up until near the end always quite welcoming to organised visits and held a couple of memorable charity spotters events with the final one being to a French Navy deployment during a Joint Warrior exercise of Rafale, SEM and E-2C including ramp access, photography from the old control tower and both take-off and recovery from out on the airfield.

 

In two weeks time it will be the fourth anniversary of the final airshow there although with the way that things have gone since even if the RAF had retained Leuchars as a Main Operating Base for the Typhoon there seems little doubt that reasons would have been found to end it anyway.

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As I said above, "tomorrow came" and when I got there  I couldn't believe it!!!

5 Rafales, 7 Super Etendards and a Hawkeye of the French Navy!

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I hadn't heard any engine noise, but, all of a sudden , aSuper Etendard  came out from nowhere., followed by a second one on their way to the runway. Tey took off at the same time.

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Two more followed soon.

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Then it was Rafales' turn... they're really...GREY!!!

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And two more!

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After the noise of the takeoffs, it's time to relax withsome towing!!!

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And then, very unespectedly, a Typhoon flies over the base at full speed!There's something different in it...

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I can see it clearly now! It's the first aircraft from no 1 Sq.that i see on its home base! It circles several times before landing. 

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For a change, after a short while, a Royal Marines' Helicopter arrives and, after some hoovering, it lands.

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Not even time to breath and the first Super Etendards are back.

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Then it's the first Rafales' turn to land.

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BINGOOOOOOO!!!While taking care of the French, I didn't realize some Typhoons got ready for departure!!!They're taxing towards the runway.

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They'll have to wait for the second couple of Rafales to land and then...off they go!!!

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They'll have to be on their way at soonest, as ...look what's coming!!!

And they are!!!

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Rafales' turn now!!!

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It's really rush hour!!!The lastcouple of SuperEtendards are back too.

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Taxing back to the flight line!

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For the Royal Marines time to go!

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Back to the parking stands.

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Something's gone wrong with the flight refuelling and this Typhoon lands in before its scheduled time.The refuelling probe has locked out. At the end of the runway a Rescue oparty was waiting for her nd they escorted her to the flight line.

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Not bad for one day!!!

Time to go to bed now!!!

More pictures will follow

Ciao 

Massimo

 

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12 minutes ago, Des said:

...held a couple of memorable charity spotters events with the final one being to a French Navy deployment during a Joint Warrior exercise of Rafale, SEM and E-2C i

Hi Des,

the last picture I just posted were taken exactly during that deployment. 

Ciao

Massimo

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Lots of great photos of Leuchars as it's best remembered.

 

Duncan B

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My Father was based there  for five years in the 70's. Back then it was Lightnings and Phantoms, yellow Wirlwinds and the Ark Royal aircraft when she was in port.

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Hi Massimo!

thank you very much for sharing these photos with us!

m.

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Some super pictures there massimo, thanks

Glynn

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Great photos and brings back fond memories. Thanks for posting

 

You do realise that summer weather up here too!

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Brilliant pic's, really miss Leuchars :(

 

Please keep posting pics if you have more.

 

I remember the Etendards being there. We were on holiday on the Isle of Skye staying in a cottage close to the Skye bridge when 3 of them passed rather low down the Kyle of Lochalsh, first and most memorable sighting of an Etendard!

 

Eng

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Hi mates,

small update.

Windy and rainy days followed and when I went back to Leuchars, they were landing and taking off from the sea. That day , as Igot there, the French had just landed and parked and had to wait not long before a Typhoon landed after a couple of circles.

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Then it was the turn of the Hawkeye.

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In front of the flight line there was another visitor.

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Then the first of the remaining Typhoons still in flight landad in haevy rain.

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Then the hawkeye came to life again.

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...and the last Typhoon landed.

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In the background, St.Andrews. 

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And then the Buckeye went.

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In the meantime , some towing takes placeto get theaircraft ready for the next mission.

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And the Buckeye takes off.

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Probably some aircraft are still out, but I call the day.

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More to come.

Ciao 

Massimo

 

 

 

 

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Hello Massimo,

Very nice photos, good idea to share it !

Thank you.

sincerely.

corsaircorp

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Wow......a lot of beautiful pictures......very interesting those of French Super Etendard !!!!Great Massimo!!!!!

P.s.......certe foto sono LINFA vitale per il modellista........Grazie ancora.;)

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Hi everybody,

after a short holiday i Croatia, I'm back with some more pictures and , hopefully some modelling!!!

In this update are the pictures I took on my last spotting day for that occasion, as my job was done and the following morning I left to get back to Italy.

Anyway that was the busiest afternoon so far!

When I got to Leuchars, the flight line was full and engines were running.

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The first ones to taxi were French Rafales, four of them.

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Then it was the 6th Sq Typhoons' turn

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Aircraft were queuing at the other end of the Base, ready for take off.

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On the flight line more engines are on and soon a couple of super Etendards and one more Rafale taxi to the waiting area to join the other aircraft.

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First to take off are the 6th Sq's Typhoons, and the side wind is quite strong, pushing them to their right.

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Next are the Super Etendards.

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Then it's the rafales' turn

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I'm leaving my spot when I hear another noise and these Hawks appear from nowhere!!! They must have been parked at the other end of the base and I got caught unprepared, so that's all I could do with my camera!! Shame as they took off in pairs...Murphy's law!!!

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After 17 takeoffs not much is left on the flight line!!!Time for some relaxing shots!

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All of a sudden a solitary Typhoon approaches and overflies the runway, then it lands.It's fully armed, probably on QRA and as usual for aircraft in this configuration, turns back before the end of the runway and txies back to the other end of the base.

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Then a double seater from the other end takes off

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A silent super Etendard is towed to the other end

[im.g]https://i.imgur.com/GO4hQhY.jpg[/img]

 

Then, too quick for me to react, a Hawk appears from nowhere. It's the special colour from RAF Leeming based 100th Sq's and, after a circle and a "touch and go", it lands and taxies to an empty flight line, where another Super Etedard has been towed back.

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Two Rafales  follow and the landings show starts.

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While the rafales taxi, overhead Super Etendards are circling to land.

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it's really difficult to choose the subject for the next pictures, so I end up focusing up and down until I concentrate on the Super Etendards, five of them landing in a row...just look at this!!!

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More Rafales are back, and circle to land while the Super Etendards reach their parking spots.

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...but...look at the top right of the picture...Hawks are back too!!! While they circle to land, Rafales taxi to their spot on the flight line.

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...and the Hawks land in a row.

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The first ones to take off, the Typhoons are the last ones to come back. The runway is still busy with the last Rafales and  the first Typhoon goes on for a circle .

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After some circling, the last Typhoons  land.

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...Surprise surprise...the Hawkeye seems to be getting ready for departure!!! While the last typhoons are taxing , its engines start running.

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Soon the bird spreads its wings.

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Crew chiefs get clear from its path and it's ready to go.

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It turns and taxies to the other end

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The flight line is really busy now!Typhoons, Rafales, Super Etendards and Hawks!!!

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The Hawkeye takes off in the strong side wind.Look at its angle, compared to the runway!!!

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On the ground some post flight activity  is taking place.

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...while in the air there's stilla last bird to land: the double seater which took off earlier. After some circles , it lands and parks on the flight line.

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It's the end of a busy flying day , my last here for a while. Some more towing on the flight line.

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This is the last picture of this journey.The flight line at the end of the day.The next morning, I flew back to Italy.

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I went back toLeuchars after several months, in 2014. In the next update the pictures I took then. No 1 Sq was fully operational at that time , so there will be pictures of aircraft belonging to the two Sq based here at the time.

Ciao 

Massimo

Edited by massimo

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Stunning pics, Massimo. Thanks for sharing them :thumbsup:  :thumbsup: 

 

Ciao

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Nice pics, thanks for sharing, I was there for one of the days when the French were flying, only for an hour or so as I was on my way home from a meeting in Dundee (and I didn't have a camera1), but your pics bring all the memories back!

 

I think my best chance day was in the mid 90s when I popped in on the way home during a NATO TLM - it was quiet for a while, then the afternoon sorties started to return - Tornadoes, F16s, Mirage, Sea Harrier and a VC10.

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