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Interesting aircraft - what have you seen on your computer today?

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Interesting aircraft - what have you seen on your computer today?

Old 4th Nov 2023, 14:20
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Originally Posted by treadigraph
The WC-135 is doing some runs along the western Med between around Almeira and Sicily.
Saw that actually ! 👍👍
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Old 4th Nov 2023, 14:23
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AN-12 just droned over Cumbria at FL200; Bratislava to PIK. The airline's CAVOK, and so is the weather, which is nice. What a delightfully mad livery! Like it was done by a 10-year old.
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Old 4th Nov 2023, 19:12
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WC-135 returning to Mildenhall, just approaching Hastings. Might pop outside, seems to be clear here providing bonfire smoke doesn't cloud the issue!

Edit: nice view of his strobes! Possible bonus of a meteor, corner of the eye job and there is some scud drifting past as a prelude to rain - which has now arrived...

Last edited by treadigraph; 4th Nov 2023 at 19:49.
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Old 5th Nov 2023, 12:29
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Currently northbound over central France is Australian Airforce C-17A A41-213 showing as ASY867 fl300. Should route over southern England later, inbound Lossiemouth.


Just getting airborne from Mildenhall are 2xKC-135’s “LAGR94” to be followed by “LAGR93” which are routing Barkway-Lambourne-Midhurst en route to the Mediterranean
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Old 7th Nov 2023, 19:05
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There is a Beech Shadow, "Snake 49", going round in circles between the Isle of Wight and the Purbecks. Is there an exercise of some sorts in progress?
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Old 8th Nov 2023, 15:13
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Cavok Air AN-12BK just gone overhead on route to the people’s republic of scotia (Prestwick) very unique engine sound. Don’t hear many of the around these parts
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 08:07
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I saw a VC-130 go by the other day and it got me wondering, how many of those were built and what would be the purpose in a VIP role ? The only reason I can imagine would be to access airfields with unpaved runways.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 13:06
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack
I saw a VC-130 go by the other day and it got me wondering, how many of those were built and what would be the purpose in a VIP role ? The only reason I can imagine would be to access airfields with unpaved runways.
Saudi or Egyptian ?
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 15:25
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This one was Saudi example, but I've realised that I've seen the Egyptian one over the last few years crossing The Med several times.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 15:30
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Japanese Air Force Kawasaki C-2 heading into Amman.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 16:55
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack
This one was Saudi example, but I've realised that I've seen the Egyptian one over the last few years crossing The Med several times.
Saudi AF VC-130H HZ-116/486 currently out of East Midlands crossing Channel. Previous leg appears to have been Dover AFB - East Midlands yesterday, got some legs then, though may have stopped for fuel at Gander/Goose! Went the other way last Tuesday from Athens into EMA then Friday to Dover via Gander.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 21:32
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Originally Posted by treadigraph
Saudi AF VC-130H HZ-116/486 currently out of East Midlands crossing Channel. Previous leg appears to have been Dover AFB - East Midlands yesterday, got some legs then, though may have stopped for fuel at Gander/Goose! Went the other way last Tuesday from Athens into EMA then Friday to Dover via Gander.
486 has been a regular C-130H for a number of years now. It was originally built as a VC-130H HZ-116 and has visited Heathrow and other UK airports as such since the 1980s [I saw it there in December 1983]

https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/view/1076451

but was converted to a normal C-130H transport a while [c2010] back and was at Fairford this year as 486

https://www.planespotters.net/photo/...hercules-l-382
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 21:45
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Ah! I remember one of the HZ- ones gracing the cover of ABN around then, never saw one though. Regular Saudi AF ones yes... Perhaps useful for ferrying Rolls Royces around...?
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Old 10th Nov 2023, 13:58
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Thank you MAC 40612 for the update. As no-one seems to have any info on 'why' a VC-130 was made, I have come to the conclusion that in years past Saudi royals used them to go on hunting trips in various locales, desert or otherwise. Enough room for a vehicle or two and accommodation/supplies/camels/horses. I think any race horses or camels for that matter would be in more luxurious quarters on a freighter of some kind.

As a side-note, a CAVOK AN-12 went by half an hour ago, loud and proud headed SE. Lovely sound!
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Old 10th Nov 2023, 15:34
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SHJ - at least one had a medical fit, operated by the Armed Forces Medical Service - conversion pre-dating the B747-100 flying hospital. The VC-130Hs were convertedaround 1977 when Saudi Arabia was only starting its rapid economic rise. I think only 2 still remain in service with 1 Sqn RSaAF plus 3 L100-30s Alsalam Aerospace Industries "has also upgraded three VIP Hercules since 2008 – one civilian L-100 and two RSAF C-130s – with new cockpits and elegant new interiors, that include bedrooms and suites, as well as state-of-the-art entertainment and communications systems." The Al Saud is a large family

I remember as a youth in the 1970s seeing Saudi C-130s as regular visitors to Ringway/Manchester, I have a vague recollection of seeing a non-camo one.

I was interested to see a Shadow R.1 orbiting over Pompey and then slightly further north yesterday afternoon.
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Old 10th Nov 2023, 17:16
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Originally Posted by SLXOwft
I remember as a youth in the 1970s seeing Saudi C-130s as regular visitors to Ringway/Manchester, I have a vague recollection of seeing a non-camo one.
Not the best of shots, but still...


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Old 10th Nov 2023, 19:24
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB
Not the best of shots, but still...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/swbkcb/3452867679/
Just taken a look the other shots there; some great material and fantastic colour schemes, especially the Tu154s.
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Old 11th Nov 2023, 14:43
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack
Thank you MAC 40612 for the update. As no-one seems to have any info on 'why' a VC-130 was made, I have come to the conclusion that in years past Saudi royals used them to go on hunting trips in various locales, desert or otherwise. Enough room for a vehicle or two and accommodation/supplies/camels/horses. I think any race horses or camels for that matter would be in more luxurious quarters on a freighter of some kind.
I think you're probably correct about that. Like most of the Middle East VIP aircraft they were just 'playthings' and status symbols and a lot of rivalry and one-upmanship between the various countries in the Middle East. If one got an airliner, suddenly they were all getting them. Then one got a larger, more-modern airliner and they were all 'trading up'
The one story about this was regarding the B747SP. One of the Emirates decided they wanted a brand new Boeing 747SP, the only problem [for Boeing] being that they had finished production of the model a number of years earlier and were concentrating at the time on their new model Boeing 747-400 series and wanted to sell them a Boeing 747-400. The particular Gulf state was insistent though and wanted not only a new Boeing 747SP but one with RR engines. Boeing thought they would 'persuade' the particular customer away from the 747SP that hadn't been built for a while and would disrupt their production line by quoting an extremely high price for the particular aircraft to be built, only to find the customer accepted the price and Boeing were left to build said aircraft. If you look on the unofficial Boeing 747SP website you will note this aircraft was was line number '676' over a hundred airframes after the previous Boeing 747SP had been built! The aircraft went on to Dee Howard to have a VIP interior and various other systems added at the cost of over $100 million just for the refit [at 1986 prices!!]

https://www.747sp.com/747sp-production-list/23610-676/

Last edited by MAC 40612; 11th Nov 2023 at 20:23.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 11:12
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Watching late dusk movements on Shoreham's webcam last night, it was zoomed in and I was startled to see strobe lights winking above Truleigh Hill - looking at ADSB only visible candidate was a Saudi 777 out of Heathrow! Looking a bit later on when the camera had zoomed out, Heathrow had swapped ends to 09 and you could still see lights of one or two aircraft climbing SE over southern London towards Dover, also a Swissair flight inbound and taking a short cut across Redhill. I've seen the outbounds via Ockham before, just astonished that the lights show up so clearly on camera across 30 or 40 miles. Human eye might be hard pressed to see them on anything other than the clearest night. Gatwick movements are more obvious, particularly when they are on easterlies - not much about at the time I was looking.
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Old 13th Nov 2023, 11:43
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I think you're probably correct about that. Like most of the Middle East VIP aircraft they were just 'playthings' and status symbols and a lot of rivalry and one-upmanship between the various countries in the Middle East. If one got an airliner, suddenly they were all getting them. Then one got a larger, more-modern airliner and they were all 'trading up'
The one story about this was regarding the B747SP. One of the Emirates decided they wanted a brand new Boeing 747SP, the only problem [for Boeing] being that they had finished production of the model a number of years earlier and were concentrating at the time on their new model Boeing 747-400 series and wanted to sell them a Boeing 747-400. The particular Gulf state was insistent though and wanted not only a new Boeing 747SP but one with RR engines. Boeing thought they would 'persuade' the particular customer away from the 747SP that hadn't been built for a while and would disrupt their production line by quoting an extremely high price for the particular aircraft to be built, only to find the customer accepted the price and Boeing were left to build said aircraft. If you look on the unofficial Boeing 747SP website you will note this aircraft was was line number '676' over a hundred airframes after the previous Boeing 747SP had been built! The aircraft went on to Dee Howard to have a VIP interior and various other systems added at the cost of over $100 million just for the refit [at 1986 prices!!]
Thanks again. I did know about this in a recounted tale some years back, but no detailed info. Indeed another world, where near unlimited funds and egos and power allow the undoable to be done.

​​​​​​​Whilst casually watching some 'heavy' fight against the winds on the way into LHR this morning, I suddenly wondered about Russian aircraft (Aeroflot or Rossiya etc) coming into LHR over the last year or so. I'm assuming that they have, so as to allow the supply of the Embassy/Consulate and diplomatic mail. I haven't seen, nor heard of any. Do any of the panel have info otherwise ?
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