FULL GALLERY TAKEN FROM BURRATOR RESERVOIR BELOW -
After almost 50 years of active operations, the last military Sea King helicopters flying in the United Kingdom, have left RNAS Culdrose for retirement.
Three Sea King Mk7 aircraft left their home to RNAS Culdrose for the last time. Aircrew from 849 Naval Air Squadron flew them to HMS Sultan for disposal. The helicopters on route refuelled at RNAS Yeovilton and then routed over Westlands where the Sea King helicopters were made, and the various Naval establishments in the Portsmouth area.
This very special aircraft has played a vital role in many operational conflicts including the Falklands, Iraq, the Balkans, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. During the past 49 years, the Sea King helicopter has been used for anti-submarine warfare, search-and-rescue missions, carrying Royal Marines Commandos into action and has provided airborne early warning and intelligence to the Fleet and ground forces. It’s in that last role, the Sea King Mk7 Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) helicopter, which an aircraft designed in the late 1950s, flew its final operational mission earlier this year.
The Sea King Mk7 ASaC helicopters, known throughout the Royal Navy as Baggers, have been the
‘eyes in the sky’ of the Navy since 2002, searching for aerial threats to the Fleet, or suspicious
Movements on the ground in support of land forces. They owe their nickname due to the distinctive
Inflatable black sack or bag on the side of each helicopter.
It may look a rather cumbersome piece of kit from the outside, but inside that sack is the cutting-edge Searchwater 2000 radar capable of remarkably-accurate detection of surface and air targets. Once enemy units are detected, the helicopter’s observers can direct friendly air, sea or ground forces to intercept, as they did with devastating effect during the fighting in southern Iraq in 2003.
The Baggers have got an impressive operational history, having delivered successfully in many conflicts in areas including the Gulf and in Afghanistan where during their five year mission, they carried out over 2,000 operational sorties in temperatures ranging between 55˚C and -15˚C. The information they fed back to ground forces led to the arrest of 150 terrorist suspects, 40 tonnes of drugs and 172 tonnes of home-made explosives being seized.
However, the airframes are old. Therefore, the capability that the Baggers have delivered, will soon be transferred to the more modern Merlin Mk2 helicopters under a project called Crowsnest.
The Sea King aircraft may be disappearing from the skies but the personnel and the capability will not. The ‘Airborne Surveillance and Control’ capability will transfer to the Merlin Helicopter Force.
A new system called ‘Crowsnest’ will be fitted to maritime Merlin Mk2 helicopters, based at RNAS
Culdrose, which already perform a number of important roles for the Royal Navy, including hunting for submarines.
Crowsnest will provide a vital intelligence, surveillance and tracking system for the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, capable of detecting any potential threats at sea. It will act as the eyes and ears for the Royal Navy’s ships, providing long range air, maritime and land detection and tracking capability.
Full gallery from all the action between Plymouth Devils & Mildenhall Tigers. All I am going to say is Heat 13!
Full report from the meeting below
Full Gallery from the first night of the British Firework Championship 2018.
Congratulations to Illusion Fireworks who have been crowed winners.
The competitors for this year's competition on Wednesday was between
Fuse Fireworks, from Blyth, Nottinghamshire
Fully Fused Fireworks, from Campton, Bedfordshire
The UK Firework Company, from London
Smart Pyrotechnics, from Devizes, Wiltshire
Illusion Fireworks, from Wallingford, Oxfordshire
Phoenix Fireworks, from Sevenoaks, Kent
Each competitor will put on an incredible 10-minute display, and the winner will be declared after all six displays have taken place.
Full gallery from this years Royal International Air Tattoo. If you require any imagery please contact me using the Contact form below.
From jets to helicopters and warbirds, there was a little bit of everything on display. The annual RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day took place on Saturday with more than five hours of aerial performances on display.
Despite temperatures in the mid-20s, VLAD has always been a great setup and airshow but this year really did step up a notch in terms to the display lineup.
With a nice selection of fast jet display’s it was a great competition and in my eyes I think the Danish F16 were on top. With this it was great to welcome back the finale commando assault to finish off.
All hats go off to the organisers in making it happen and very much look forward to see what 2019 brings.
Full gallery round-up between Plymouth Devils v Kents Kings. Another great win for the devils. Some really close competitive racing a long with a supporting crowd.
Weston Air Fest I feel have always delivered a great weekend of flying displays. Directed by R5 Air Display this is one seaside air shows which so far has managed to keep the seaside airshow above the water despite all the snags from civil airshows across the UK.
With another hot and sunny weekend Brean Down was a great point to soak up a tan and catch some great photo opportunities.
With the famous Royal Air Force red arrows headlining the event of both Saturday & Sunday they didn’t fail to impress. With that joined many other items including the RAF Typhoon and the Battle of Britain memorial flight. Was a nice sight to see "TRENCHARD" in formation consisting of the Lancaster, Dakota, Spitfire & Hurricane.
On the civil items seen Mark Petrie in the Strikemaster, Formation display team raven and Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers along with Gyro display, T67 Firefly, mustang, Catalina and Corrine Dennis in the Pitts Special.
On the rotary seen a first time for the Red Bull BO-105 which was a sight to see along with the Gazelle Team.
Full gallery for this year below. Until next time...
Speedway Ride n Slide Dayz is the Uk's first ever touring all inclusive Speedway Experience operator in the UK.
Full gallery from Plymouth Tour.
Great win for the Devils with a score of 46/44 against Coventry Bees. Full gallery and video below.
Cornwall & Devon Land Rover Club held there annual Charity event at Newnham park, Plympton over the weekend. The two day RTV (Road Taxed Vehicle) was ran with teams of three vehicles with 10 sections each day.
The club was created in 1976 after becoming separated from the South West Rover Owner Club because of the increasing demand for more events and entry levels growing, it was the right decision to move the sport forward.
Now the club has an average of four hundred members with around 35 competitive events a year, ranging from junior trials to full on Competitive Safaris, and currently, a National Interclub Team RTV event whose sole purpose is to raise money for charity.
Over the years members have competed with considerable success at many National Trials. The Association of Land Rover Clubs National Rally held annually over the Spring Bank Holiday is considered to be the most prestigious and they have had a fair share of national champions.
1997 saw the 21st birthday bash. A full day of gentle off-road competition suitable for all the family ending with a barbeque at the local area dealership Roger Young Land Rover. By then they had hosted two rounds of the National off-Road Championship, the first dedicated Land Rover club to do so, which was held again at Newnham Park. Many of the Comp Safari drivers are still taking part in the various Hill Rallies that are held each year, with a handful even making the long trip up to Scotland to compete.
More information can be found on their website at https://www.cdlrc.com/.
Full gallery from all the action including video below.
I teamed up with Low Flying Aircraft (https://www.facebook.com/officiallowflyingaircraft) for Torbay Airshow 2018. It was the year’s first public display for the Red Arrows, who brought a never before seen routine in the skies above Torbay. The two day show took place on Paignton Green with the Bay providing a stunning natural amphitheater for viewing the air displays and the perfect location for a large coastal airshow event.
Given that 2018 marks the centenary of the RAF the addition of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight made this year’s Airshow even more special. The BBMF features the iconic Hurricane Hawker, Avro Lancaster, Supermarine Spitfire and joining them this year was the Dakota C-47, a spectacular military transport aircraft used extensively in WWII operations more than 10,000 of which were produced from 1941 onwards.
The Grob Tutor also displayed at Torbay Airshow 2018, first flown in 1985 this nimble aerobatic sports plane is used by Army Air Corp, Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force Pilots as an
elementary training aircraft.
For the first time ever, Torbay Airshow was planning on playing host to the unique Vampire Pair, these were unfortunately cancelled due to mechanical issues, they were replaced by the Bristol Blenheim instead.
Fan-favourites The Blades appeared on both Saturday and Sunday, displaying a brand new close formation aerobatic routine. This elite display team has a number of former Red Arrows pilots amongst its ranks, so Airshow fans can expect a dynamic and cutting edge display.
Making a return to Torbay was the ever popular Autogyro, a craft that was first made famous by Sean Connery in 1967’s Bond Classic You Only Live Twice. Peter Davies’ Autogyro may not have the tricks and whistles of an aircraft straight out of Q-Division, but its spectacular movement and sycamore-
like flight pattern makes it a real crowd pleaser.
Also joining the Torbay 2018 line-up was the BAC Strikemaster, a British jet-powered training and light- attack aircraft first flown in 1967. The Strikemaster was a development of the Hunting Jet Provost trainer, which itself was a development of the 1950’s Percival Provost.
Great day yesterday at Thruxton Race Circuit for rounds 7,8 & 9 of the British Touring Car Championship. With the highest average speed throughout the season, it did indeed bring some big thrills and spills.
Here's a full gallery of the captures including a video.
More than 2,000 teenagers have completed the annual Ten Tors challenge under sunny skies on Dartmoor.
The event, organised by the Army’s South Western HQ in Okehampton, saw youngsters take on a 35, 45 or 55 mile route across the moors over the course of two days.
After heavy rain on Friday evening, the 400-strong teams of competitors were met with mainly dry conditions after setting off early on Saturday morning.
Full gallery from the weekend below. If you require any imagery please get in touch using the contact form or email firstname.lastname@example.org
High Winds, Gushing rain not really the best weather to be stood on Dartmoor with the camera so very limited images from the event for that reason only. However, the Tentors is soon upon us with hopefully some better weather for everyone.
Images and Video of all the action between Plymouth Devils & Eastbourne Eagles. Full meeting report below
Few images including a video on the action from the season opener. For a round up check the full report below.