Watch this Tornado perform a deafening low take-off instead of the usual noise abatement departure.
RAF Northolt is a Royal Air Force airport located in west London, 10 km to the north of London Heathrow airport.
The airport is the homebase of No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron of the Royal Air Force that operates VIP and general air transport roles and also handle a large number of general aviation flights.
According to aircraft spotters, fast jets visit the airport every now and then (unless they are deployed there as happened during the Olympic Games in 2012), usually adhering to strict noise abatement procedures that foresee a quick climb and are aimed to cause the least disturbance in the areas surrounding the airport in Greater London as well as proper deconfliction with the rest of air traffic.
35 years ago a RAF Harrier destroyed part of a grass strip by simply applying full throttle on take off.
The following video has been around for some time now. Still, it’s quite funny and interesting as it shows what happened in 1980 to a RAF Harrier GR.3 that was taking part in an airshow at Bex, Switzerland.
The small airport, located in southwestern Switzerland, west of Sion, didn’t have a paved runway (nor does it have it today) but just a small taxiway leading from the main apron to the threshold of the grass strip.
However, when the Harrier pilot pushed the throttle forward to accelerate the aircraft down the runway something unexpected happened: the Rolls Royce Pegasus thrust-vectored turbofan engine unleashed some 21,500 lbf of thrust backwards, tearing up the upper layer of the runway including the RWY33 threshold and part of the taxiway.
Have a look:
Interestingly, it was not the first time the RAF Jump Jet took off from the grass strip at Bex: the following video shows the British Harrier GR.3 taking off from the same airport in 1978, without causing too much damage.
Now, as suggested by our friends at Tacairnet, just think to what would happen today if much more powerful F-35B were to perform a short take off run using Bex’s grass strip.
Two such nuclear-capable bombers, flying in international airspace, were intercepted and escorted by RAF Typhoons in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) during a long-range sortie on Sept. 22.
Two RAF Typhoons at RAF Lossiemouth (callsign Y5R11 and Y5R12) were launched to intercept and escort the Blackjacks as they “skirted” the British Isles heading southwest. The interceptors were supported by a Voyager tanker launched from RAF Brize Norton and E-3D AWACS from RAF Waddington. The “Lossie” Typhoons handed over the two “zombies” to the southern QRA from RAF Coningsby.
It’s not clear where the Tu-160s flew after they flew close to the British Isles but they were probably taken on charge by other interceptors scrambled from nearby NATO countries.
Although the area is regularly engaged by jets flying low-level training missions as low as 250 ft from the ground, the “Reds” are quite a rare sight at the location. Furthermore, even if they have already been photographed in Mid Wales while practicing low level flying in singles, this is the first time the Red Arrows are filmed flying in (two) formation(s) though the Loop.