Keep your eyes peeled for Hercules farewell
A flypast to mark the forthcoming retirement of the Hercules from RAF service will take place across all four nations of the United Kingdom, and could well be flying over us this morning (Wednesday).
Details of the planned routing and timings by the three aircraft cover locations of significance to the Hercules’ service and 47 Squadron.
The plane has been a regular visitor to our skies, passing by Welshpool on its way to practicing through the famous Mach loop, and today it will leave RAF Cosford in Shropshire at 10.34pm and head for RAF Valley at 11.22am. Between then is when we can possibly catch a glimpse of the enormous aircraft.
The first Hercules arrived at Marshall’s of Cambridge in December 1966. Since entering RAF service, originally with 242 Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Thorney Island, it has operated across the globe in support of UK military and humanitarian relief operations.
The transition to the 22-strong Atlas (A400) fleet and other air mobility aircraft has been ongoing for some time. 47 Squadron and the Hercules will continue to deliver on operations supporting UK defence objectives until June 30.
The expertise acquired operating the Hercules and its broad range of capabilities will be transitioned across to the other flying platforms in RAF service. This includes Ground support staff (Engineers, Air Operations and Intelligence professions) who will be relocated to similar roles around the RAF.
1000 Depart RAF Brize Norton
1025 National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas
1034 RAF Cosford
1122 RAF Valley
1148 FS Aldergrove
1251 RAF Lossiemouth (with Typhoon escort)
1408 RAF Leeming
1410 RAF Topcliffe
1435 RAF Waddington
1438 RAF College Cranwell
1458 Cambridge Airport
1504 RAF Mildenhall
1515 Colchester Garrison
1622 MOD Boscombe Down
1625 Salisbury Plain (West Down Camp)
1632 MOD Lyneham
1636 Royal Wootton Bassett
1639 Defence Academy of the UK, Shrivenham
1643 Dalton Barracks, Abingdon
1651 RAF Halton
1655 RAF High Wycombe
1705 RAF Brize Norton