Cottesmore Harriers

We can argue until were are blue in the face about the rights and wrongs about the decision to retire the Harrier fleet. What we cannot change, sadly, is the fact its going to happen.

So then, on the 2nd of Novermeber it was off to sunny(ish) Rutland then for a day at RAF Cottesmore “on the fence”. It would appear that the squadrons are attempting to “fly the ass off” the remaining aircraft, with multiple approaches and hover landings being the order of the day.

I got there are about 8.30 and the first engines spooled up about 20 minutes later. From then on, apart from a short break for lunch, it was action all day.

The first wave arrived back after an hour, we then had the 4Sqn display jet from Wittering fly the circuit for a while.

The first twin stick T.12 of the day, from the Naval Strike Wing before a 3 ship taxied out.

The 1 Sqn Twin Stick T.12

Most missions ended with what the Harrier does best. Its a lot less bovver in the Hover.

By way of distraction a Typhoon flew just the one (Mrs Wembley) approach on air test from Coningsby

The afternoon launch

A few shots of when it got VERY loud and VERY windy VERY quickly! (the highlight of the day for me)

The final missions returned just before the cloud moved in

A candidate for the RAF Museum?

It was a fun day and I hope to make it back one last time before they go. I have to add a very big thanks to Gordon Brown and the rest of the previous Government for totally screwing the economy to such an extent that the Defence cuts of such a scale were necessary. As for the actual decision to cut Harrier, well I wouldnt have wanted to make the decision about which capability to cut….

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