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Brize Norton visit


As the resident Jet Art blogger, I am only too aware that things have been a little quiet on the blog recently. Master came into the subterranean Jet Art dungeon today and released me from my tie-down chains so that I may write something albeit after giving me a good hard thrashing with an IFR probe.  I have decided to do a quick post on my trip to Brize Norton earlier this year when I was lucky enough to get on the list of enthusiasts allowed on base for a photocall. I must point out I was not there with my Jet Art hat on, I was there purely for personal geekery.

It was an eventful weekend. An early morning blast down the A1 saw me on the banks of Grafham reservoir by mid morning on the Saturday to do a spot of flyfishing which went rather well as you can read on my other blog! After catching a few fish I drove over to visit my ex-girlfriend’s parents, Liz and Arthur. Myself and Arthur share a common interest in aviation and he had managed to get us both a pass for the photocall. After a slap up breakfast from Liz we made the long drive down to Oxfordshire and got on base with minimal hassle and a donation to the Benevolent fund. The RAF had set out a VC10, TriStar and Hercules K for us slavering aerophiles to leer over both inside and out.


I’ve never been to a photocall before, only airshows so I felt like I was entering a whole new level of hardcore ‘aviation enthusiasm’ and was actually a little unsure if it would be my cup of tea seeing as nothing was flying. You know what? It was ace! Especially getting up close with the VC10 and TriStar which I think are 2 very handsome beasts that I’ve taken for granted for too long. Of course the Hercules is impressive as well and I’d actually never been inside one before because whenever they offer guided tours at airshow the queue is a mile long.

Hercules K model

The 99 squadron crews patiently showed us all around their aircraft and answered myriad questions. I was particularly fascinated to see the enormous fuel tanks inside the VC10…

Fuel Tanks

… and the ‘green screen’ monitor up in the front end.

57 channels and nothing on..

I feel pretty confident I photographed the VC10 from just about every conceivable angle whilst I was there.

Thankfully I also managed to get some shots of one in the air at RIAT 2012. I wish I’d had this level of forethought when the Jag was going out of service. Actually, come to think of it the F3 as well…and the Harrier…. Sea Harrier…Buccaneer…. Oh God…depressing.

VC10 flypast

The sheer scale of the TriStar struck me as well and you can’t help but be impresed as you peer down those RB211s

My earliest memory of a TriStar is when a British Airtours example went off the end of the runway at Leeds and Bradford Airport!!

All in all a grand day out and well worth the trip down. The RAF doesn’t half cop some flak sometimes (see what I did there?) but I was thoroughly impressed with the efforts they went to to make us all feel welcome on the day.  I wonder if I’ll be around to see a farewell photocall for the A400, Typhoon or Voyager?!


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