Remarks: The Defence Helicopter Flying School contract was awarded in 1997 to the FB Heliservices consortium and covers the provision of support services for RAF Shawbury and the School of Army Aviation at Middle Wallop, as well as the provision of Squirrel and Griffin helicopters and instructors to the DHFS whose task is to train rotary wing crews for all three Services. One of the School’s Squirrel single-engine trainers is seen here attending the 2008 Valley Aviaton Society charity photo-call.
Remarks: Three 208 Squadron Hawks are seen here taxiing in after having participated in a nine-ship formation flypast at the 2008 Valley Aviation Society charity photo-call. Fast jet students graduate from the Tucano at 1 Flying Training School, RAF Linton-on-Ouse, to Valley where they commence with a gound school, then learn jet handling on the Hawk with 208 Sqn and move on to 19 Sqn for tactical military flying and the use of weapons.
Remarks: A Hawk of 100 Squadron, RAF Leeming, Yorkshire, is seen here participating in the Valley Aviation Society charity photo-call. 100 Squadron is Part of 1 Group, formerly part of RAF Strike Command, and uses the Hawk as a threat simulation aircraft. The entire Hawk fleet is maintained here at Valley, however, under a contract with BAE Systems sub-contracted to Babcock.
Remarks: There was a lot of discussion before 45 Squadron was authorized to use the King Airs provided by Serco for displays. However, a very impressive routine is now flown that is nevertheless within the civilian operating limitations of the aircraft, and display duty is rotated so as to spread the increased hours evenly and minimize the additional maintenance impact. (The darkened windows have polarizing filters that can be rotated from inside for increased sun protection.)
Remarks: 2008 marked the seventieth anniversary of the introduction of the Spitfire to squadron service (at RAF Duxford) with 19 Squadron. To mark the occasion this Hawk was painted in the colour scheme of one of the Squadron’s Spitfire Mk 1s from that year. It is seen here taxiing in after its display at the Valley Aviation Society charity photo-call.
Remarks: This 1951 Chipmunk 22A is owned by the Bryn Gwyn Bach Chipmunk Group and is seen here arriving at the Valley Aviation Society charity photo call from nearby Abergele, one of only two historic attendees, the other being Spitfire 19 G-RRGN. It wears the colour scheme that was standard for all RAF training aircraft between the late forties and the early sixties (the flat silver is very authentic). (400D; Sigma 80-400@80mm; fluid-head tripod; 100th sec exposure; no stabilization)
Remarks: The 2008 Valley Aviation Society charity photo-call had an unexpected visitor when this 17 Sqn Typhoon arrived with a hung missile. It spent the day parked well away from the active site down towards Rhosneigr. 17 Sqn is the RAF Typhoon Operational Evaluation Unit and transferred from BAE Systems’ Warton facility, where it had been stationed during the acceptance phase of the Typhoon’s operational service, to RAF Coningsby in 2005.