Tag Archives: RAF Lossiemouth

A RAF Tornado GR4 was given the iconic Gulf War ‘desert pink’ paint scheme to celebrate 25 years of continuos combat ops

The Royal Air Force has unveiled a new special-colored Tornado.

The RAF has painted a Tornado GR4 fighter-bomber in ‘desert pink’ paint scheme to honour the aircraft type’s almost continuous operational service since the Gulf War 25 years ago.

Desert Pink Paint Scheme

The jet, ZG750 and based at RAF Lossiemouth with XV(R) Squadron, was one of those that took part in Operation Desert Storm (code-named Operation Granby by the Royal Air Force), the air campaign to free Kuwait.

Tornado GR4

On Feb. 28, 2016, on the 25th anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s forces’ withdrawal from Kuwait, the aircraft will perform a flypast at the National Arboretum during an event honouring the British forces involved in the Gulf War.

25 years on Operations

The aircraft fin carries 11 “battle honours,” recalling the Tornado’s almost continuous service on operations worldwide since 1991, an achievement proudly remarked by Air Vice-Marshal Gary Waterfall, who is responsible for RAF strike aircraft as Air Officer Commanding 1 Group RAF: “The Royal Air Force can look back at Tornado’s service on Operation Granby with great pride. In the 25 years since the Gulf War, Tornado has proven itself again and again to be a formidable strike aircraft with an enviable operational record; today it continues to serve the nation in the fight against Daesh.”

Special colored Tornado

Image credit: Crown Copyright

Cool video shows five RAF special painted Tornados flying together

Tonka Special Tails.

This video shows a historic event: a unique formation of four special colored Tornado GR4s from RAF Marham alongside a fifth machine from RAF Lossiemouth, flew in the skies over Great Britain, last week.

Four aircraft were adorned with a special centenary painted tail fin commemorating the 100th anniversary of each individual squadron with the fifth jet’s tail fin celebrating 40 years of the Tornado.

Established at St. Omer on Dec. 8, 1914 Number IX (B) Squadron has been the first unit to pass the 100-year mark. Being one of the pioneers of the night flying, hence their motto “Through the Night We Fly,” the unit’s special painted Tonka sported the famous green bat, which represented the night camo colour, on the tail fin.

The second Tornado was from Number 12 (B) Squadron that celebrated their centenary on Valentine’s Day this year. Made up at Netheravon on Feb. 14, 1915 the unit contributed in developing daylight bombing tactics (their motto “Lead the Field” reflects this expertise) and the fin of their jet was painted with the emblem of the fox, received from Fairey Fox aircraft that the squadron flew in 1926.

The third jet was from 31 Squadron, whose anniversary will be celebrated  on Oct. 11, 2015. Known as the Goldstars, their Tonka’s tail fin was painted with the Gold Star of India, in recognition of them being the first operational military unit in Indian skies supporting the army in dealing with tribal unrest, hence their motto “First in Indian Skies.”

The fourth Tornado from Marham was the one wearing the 40th Anniversary tail fin, commissioned in 2014 to mark 40 years of the European bomber.

The four Tonkas joined with a fifth special color from  XV Squadron, the Tornado operational conversion unit based at RAF Lossiemouth. XV Squadron was born in Farnborough on Mar. 1, 1915 and their tail fin features the Hind’s Head from their squadron emblem. The original emblem of a Hart’s head was changed to the Hind’s head in 1927 to represent the aircraft that was in service at that time.

RAF Tornados are actually taking part to Operation Shader against ISIS flying from Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus.

Image credit: RAF/Crown Copyright

 

Fantastic photos of the Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers intercepted by RAF Typhoons yesterday

Two Tu-160s met the British QRA yesterday.

On Sept. 10, RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon aircraft were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland (along with a supporting Voyager tanker from RAF Brize Norton) to intercept two Russian aircraft flying in international airspace.

The two Typhoon pilots visually identified the two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers and escorted them as they flew close to the British airspace.

It’s the very first time in several years that the white-colored supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber appears in photographs taken by RAF QRA pilots: indeed, according to recent reports, there only 5 combat capable Tu-160 in service and this means the Tu-160 are rarely launched on very long missions.

Tu-160 intercepted Typhoons

However, with the Tu-95s only slowly returning to normal operations after the grounding that followed a series of crashes, there is some chance Tu-160s may pay visit to the international airspace off some NATO member state.

Tu-160 intercepted

In 2013, two Tu-160s deployed to Venezuela and Nicaragua after a 13-hour flight across the Pacific. On their 15-hour return flight to Engels airbase, in Russia, that included aerial refueling by Il-78 tankers over the Norwegian Sea, the two Blackjacks entered Colombian airspace and were intercepted and escorted by Colombian Air Force Kfir fighter planes for 5 minutes.

Image credit: Crown Copyright / UK MoD

 

RAF pilot draws what someone thought was a “giant penis” over UK base sparking complains

In what is just an unfortunate accident, a RAF jet on holding pattern for landing at a UK base drew what someone thought was a giant penis in the sky.

It is “not what it perhaps appears to be” said a spokesperson at RAF Lossiemouth airbase, in the UK, answering questions raised by contrails in the sky that allegedly drew a “giant penis” near the Scottish airbase.

Indeed, it looks like someone mistook the vapour contrails left by one the aircraft based at RAF Lossiemouth waiting for landing on a holding pattern, and thought that a rude shape was drawn on purpose by one of the British pilots.

However, as you can see in the photo below, much fantasy is needed to see something pervert in the so-called “racetrack” flown by the RAF jets at high altitude…

As RAF spokesman said: “people sometimes look into the sky and see all sorts of things.”

Contrail RAF Lossiemouth

Image credit: Cascade via Mirror.co.uk

The contrails (short for condensation trails) appear for the quick condensation of the water vapour that is contained in the exhaust of the engines and in the surrounding air (due to a quick decrease in pressure and temperature) and crystallization of it around the solid aerosol particles ejected by the aircraft’s engines. As temperatures where the change of state happens are extremely low (from -40° Celsius), contrails should appear from altitudes around 8.500 meters (in ISA, International Standard Atmosphere, that has a ground temperature of 15° C and a vertical temperature gradient of -6,5° C/1,000 meters).

RAF Lossiemouth is one of the main operating bases within UK, home to both Tornado and Typhoon squadrons.

 

Russian “Bear” strategic bombers intercepted by Typhoon jet from base in Scotland for the first time

RAF Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland, intercepted Russian Tu-95 bombers.

This news would sound different if Scotland got independent anyway, on Sept. 19, Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 aircraft, based at RAF Lossiemouth were scramble for the first time since they relocated from RAF Leuchars, Scotland, to the most northerly Scottish base, to identify, intercept and escort Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bears.

This was the very first time the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) was launched since the Scottish base took on the role of defending the UK’s Northern airspace on Sept. 1.

The Bear bombers were flying a routine long-range training mission off the British Isles and did not enter UK airspace (unlike what two Su-24 did in Sweden earlier this week to probe Swedish Air Force readiness).

This is not the first time Typhoon from the 6 Sqn intercept Russian strategic bombers skirting the UK airspace: on Apr. 23, two RAF Typhoons from RAF Leuchars (where the squadron was previously based), intercepted and escorted two Tu-95 “Bear-H” aircraft that were approaching the British Isles.

Image credit: Crown Copyright