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Posted (edited)

 

Gents,

 

Here's a selection, right up to the minute pics which may be of help as a reference for AAC Apache builds. Rural Suffolk and the Wattisham area is pretty empty even at the best of times so knowing that there wouldn't be a sole around and I would be alone, apart from the mad time trial cyclists still trying to kill themselves on the narrow lanes and blind corners, I've spent a couple of evenings sitting up by the fence at Wattisham. I used to spend a fair bit of time up here, as it's only a few minutes up the road, but a change of job and hours, and a large decrease in activity following the end of Afghanistan, hardly make it worth while nowadays. These have all been shot this week on the fine evenings. AAC have been uncharacteristically busy this week, operating all day and late nights pretty much all week. 

 

Not a sole around the Suffolk countryside.

 

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Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by gary1701

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Well that cheered me up :D  Great pics.  I always think "I'd not like to upset them" whenever I see an Apache.  Brutal looking in a way not many aircraft are.  Possibly the Me109e model is similar in that respect.  You just know they are machines designed for warfare.

 

I recall one dark night walking the dog along a country lane outside the village and six black silhouettes flew past low down only visible when they popped up to cross over a ridge line.  Apaches and all blacked out except the one in the front and the one at the back.  Hell of a noise.  Made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  The dog just sniffed the grass.  Ignorance is bliss. 

 

Thanks for sharing.

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Gary,

 

Thanks for sharing. A strange warmth cast on such a cold killing machine by that low spring evening sun! If I didn't have so many other projects on the go, might have been  tempted to crack out the Academy kit from the stash...

 

Mark.

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Lovely shots Gary in the warm May evening sunshine. Wattisham is a very scenic airfield and your shots capture well the character of the AH64.  Thanks as ever for sharing.

 

Mark

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Superb photos with wonderful light.

 

I like the one on tip toes and the one following it.

 

I don't blame you for going out and about as long as you keep your distance.

 

Andy

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Great shots, thank you for sharing them with us.

 

Only today, I picked up Revell's AH-64 in 1/32 at a bargain price, so these pics will be invaluable, just gotta work out the differences between these and the US version the kit represents.

Oh,, and some suitable decals.......

Rog

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Thanks guys,

 

I was shocked to see that these were the first pics I had taken on the fence here since August 2018. Opportunity has been lacking, not from my end as I can pretty much pop up any evening of the week as it's just a couple of miles up the road, but because it normally isn't worth it nowadays, but this last week has been extremely busy, don't know why. I know they're behind on training, as they did shut down for a couple of weeks early in the virus crisis - my cousin is currently dating a trainee AH driver and his course is way behind.

 

I also notice that the first of the 'new' AH-64Es was handed over to the AAC at Mesa during the week. It'll still be at least a year before they arrive here on the front line though. There has been a lot of rumour in the last couple of years that Wattisham was on the chopping block and AH operations would move down to the South West (either Wallop or Boscombe were the usual locations mentioned) to co-locate with all the other UK helo types. That's not going to happen now, if it ever was seriously on the table, the AH-64E is definitely coming here, Boeing have a considerable presence on the base already in connection with the echo model, and long delayed infrastructure work has now been finally green lit. A brand new radar system was installed this year and went live this month. Of course, nothing is ever 100% certain, especially as now the MoD will obviously be clobbered as usual next year with massive cuts, but it looks pretty likely I should be seeing Apaches around here for years to come. I have even heard that far from moving operations away, it's being considered that Middle Wallop Apache ops could be moved here.

 

Few more from the many I shot during the week!

 

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Gary     

 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

Here's a few more gents from the last couple of weeks, including some interlopers popping in for refueling. Activity is still up a fair amount, although not quite as high as that first week.

 

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This last week has seen a FARP up by the North Western side of the field with approaches directly over the fence...

 

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Even had a crew come over and pose by the fence for the camera, been many years since they've done that.

 

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Gary

 

 

Edited by gary1701

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Gents,

 

Another bunch from last week on the sunny evenings.

 

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Wing overs taken from underneath as they pull up.

 

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Turning over the North side fence as the crew over shoot.

 

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Same callsign landing.

 

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Some 'arty-farty' on a couple of evenings last week. Wattisham is not a good place for this, as the alignment and geography of the base doesn't really work, unlike somewhere like Coningsby, where it's relatively easy. 

 

Hunter section returning from a sortie which was entirely flown just a few miles North of Wattisham over the old 8th AAF airfield at Rattlesden, now used as a small airstrip and gliding site. I could watch them flying a CAS 'wheel' from Wattisham.

 

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Hunter 1 with a final circuit before dusk.

 

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The following evening and a change of runway ends to the West, which is even more difficult to try, so shooting from the Eastern end as Slayer and Gunships sections came back just a mile or so apart and flew across the Northern skyline.

 

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Gary

 

 

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Posted (edited)

nice pics - saved my backside a few times in 2006 - can hear them coming a couple of K's out when they fly down our way in Colchester - makes the old hairs on the back of the neck stand up every time.....

Edited by Tim Moff

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