• My dad was BA staff when I was growing up. Nothing too interesting, IT, but he got staff travel benefits, including free flights on standby for the whole family.

    Have had a fair few trips in abandoned business seats, and a fair few on the jumpseat. I know which I prefer!

  • AWACS painted in 70th birthday NATO colours doing a couple of landings at Luxembourg airport today. Interestingly it wasn’t showing on FlightRadar24

  • Ooh, pics pls!

  • That makes the 12 year-old me very happy indeed. That is just perfect.

  • Was driving so couldn’t take photos but it was one of these

    https://images.app.goo.gl/jmgJei9X7zLA4N­5p8

  • There are a few of these operated by a NATO multi-national squadron: prominent NATO markings + Luxembourg registrations and national markings.

    They often do appear on https://globe.adsbexchange.com (FR24 with knobs on but no time re-run facility), identified as EC3F. Aircraft seen occasionally going into and out of Mildenhall UK include LX-N90448 and LX-N90446.

    Engines and pylons seem to be the old 707 J57/JT3C fit rather than the big fans of the latter day KC-135s.

    Despite this they are built late 1970/early 80s, rather than the 1957-63 of the KC-135s that, re-engined, are trucking fuel all over Europe and from the USA today.

  • Hurricane hunter ‘Miss Piggy’ in Minneapolis on Saturday.

    https://www.omao.noaa.gov/learn/aircraft­-operations/aircraft/lockheed-wp-3d-orio­n


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  • Dragon...flies over Surrey. ;oP


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  • Apache over the sleepy villages of Aylesbury Vale - in fact I've occasionally seen one flying at treetop level down the valley which is a bit more menacing.


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  • Wondering if these were advance planes for Biden’s visit this week. At about 13:52 gf and I spotted a large, bizarrely white jetliner over SE24, presumably lining up for a landing at Heathrow. No markings at all that I could see, and it looked futuristically out of place it was so white. Gf says it didn’t have windows but I didn’t catch that.

    At about 14:50, I caught a split second glance at a massive military cargo plane, looked too broad to be a C-130, also in the flight path towards Heathrow.

    My plane spotting skills are rusty, and flightradar only listed commercial liners landing at/around that time.

    Anyone have any insight?

  • Was the transport plane prop or jet? A400M is larger than a C-130 but not proper massive like a C-5.

    Edit: RAF have C-17s also.

  • I haven’t seen an A400M in person so not sure what the props look like in motion from a distance. The engines did look very large. Could have been a C-17. 🤔

    Thanks!

    -Now wondering if one or both were going to RAF Northolt. Can’t find any unusual landings at Heathrow today.

  • https://buckrail.com/plane-white-aircraf­t-airport/

    This (these?) ‘plain’ white 757 has been spotted around the US, no markings other than numbers on the tail and occasionally a US flag. Article says it’s used by US State Dept and intel agencies.

    They really need to add some colour to that plane if it’s the one I saw. It’s jarringly white.

  • Probably, Northholt is used for a lot of shady stuff. E.g. it was used for a lot of the extraordinary rendition flights, and it's where MI5 fly their Brittan Norman Islander from that used to love flying loops over East London but doesn't seem to have been around recently AFAIK.

    It's also used for a lot of government flights, I imagine Boris Johnson will have flown down to Newquay from there in an RAF Whisperjet... Edit - took that chartered Titan A321 from Stansted instead. Still a hypocrit.

    As @Brun says the RAF also have C-17s and they do fly into Northolt sometimes, we had one come in low (just under 4000ft) over Walthamstow heading West the other week that landed there.

    I would say C-17 sounds quite possible, the engines do look proportionately big in relation to the rest of the plane, whereas on a C5 they are dwarfed by the sheer size of the thing.

    On the large, bizarrely white jetliner - if it didn't have windows it could have just been a cargo plane. Some of the lesser known operators have plain white planes - e.g. Western Global have (or had) a plain white MD11 - and the Covid-related increase in available landing slots at Heathrow has resulted in more freight movements and the barrier to entry being lowered for cargo operators. The plain white liveries are less to do with conspiracy theories and more to do with it being cheaper to not bother...

  • Titan are using a plain white A321 to fly world leaders into Newquay to lecture us about climate change but an A321 is obvs not massive.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39dJDt_S­BNg

  • Cheers! I figured if the white jet didn’t have windows the it was a cargo flight, but thought it was strange it was so white (I don’t expect cargo planes are polished clean after every flight). Whether it had humans or cargo, it looked like a shiny new livery, which would be a classic burn-through-the-budget Government move, especially for the Biden’s 1st POTUS trip overseas.

    Would freight landings at Heathrow usually come up on public sites, eg, flightradar ?

    Biden landed at Mildenhall at 7:45pm yesterday, so it could have been related to the visit. The US keeps Globemasters there apparently. Don’t know why they would’ve flown to London if he landed further north. https://www.mildenhall.af.mil/Portals/9/­documents/safety/Mid%20Air%20Collision%2­0Avoidance/2016%20MACA%20Pamphlet.pdf?ve­r=2017-04-20-045126-167

    Awesome machines in any case.

  • Marine One and Two circling over London. Yuge.

  • What's this then, flying over my 'ackney gaff


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  • Do ooof. 😎

    #lookalikez

  • Police escort is rather understated compared to the Ospreys last time.

  • The government won't have paid for a new livery for a Titan Airways plane as it's a private charter company but if you get the PM as a customer you're going to give your Airbus a good wash I'd imagine.

    Would freight landings at Heathrow usually come up on public sites, eg, flightradar ?

    Yes. And if you use this you can track military flights too https://globe.adsbexchange.com/

    Various Globemasters have been dropping stuff off at Newquay (e.g. a heli for Joe) but they'll have done the same at Mildenhall I'm sure so he could transit from there because they do keep helicopters there but they don't have the specially painted/specced ones sat around AFAIK.

    The sheer amount of kit flown in for a U.S. Presidential visit is obscene and £8 million was spent lengthening the runway so Air Force One could land there:
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bill-­of-8m-so-president-could-land-in-cornwal­l-for-the-g7-meeting-36g9885lz

    What's climate change again?

  • Damn, missed this.

  • When Biden flies back a rare bird to look out for is the 'Nightwatch', which is up in the air every time Air Force One is flying:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_E-4­

    They do very much try to keep it secret but they can't fly it around busy European airspace with no transponder whatsoever so it can be tracked using MLat.

    I presume it will be parked somewhere roundabouts, perhaps Newquay, Stansted or one of the U.S. bases in East Angular.

    I spotted one coming back from the gulf recently after the U.S. Defense Secretary went to Afghanistan. It flew out over SW England and was being caught up by two KC135's from Mildenhall.

    They then all turned their transponders off when they were over international waters to do the refuelling and the KC135's popped up again on their way back somewhere near the Scilly Isles.

  • Is it my imagination, or are these engines at a noticeable higher AOA than a regular 747?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_E-4­#/media/File:73-1676_at_MUC.jpg

  • yeah looks to be

    I wonder why

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