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Tornado celebrates 25 Years of Operational Deployment

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Seen here flying at low level - RAF Tornado ZG750 painted in the iconic ‘Desert Pink’ used in the Gulf War

It has been 25 years since the Royal Air Force helped liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s forces. To commemorate this event an RAF Tornado GR4 has been painted in the iconic Gulf War ‘desert pink’ paint scheme to honour the aircraft type’s almost continuous operational service since then. The ‘desert pink’ Tornado, number ZG750, is based at RAF Lossiemouth with XV(R) Squadron, which saw active service during Operation Granby, the UK’s codename for the Gulf War. The aircraft carries 11 ‘battle honours’ on its tail, recalling the Tornado’s almost continuous service on operations worldwide since 1991. I was lucky enough to photograph this rare jet at low level when it flew its first low level sortie in its new colour scheme. Check the photos in my 2016 gallery

Source and More info on Op Granby

Rainbow Canyon - The Jedi Transition

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Rainbow Canyon - The Jedi Transition (New photos)
In the heat of the Californian desert lies what US Military Pilots refer to as "The Jedi Transition" - a steep and rocky canyon akin to the one the young Darth Vader raced through in his pod racing days. Its part of the Military Area of Operations used by US forces for training its military pilots and is more commonly known as being part of the "Sidewinder" low level flying route. In early October I visited the area to photograph some of the US military's finest aircrew and aircraft working hard to master the way of the Jedi.

NAS Fallon

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Naval Air Station Fallon is the United States Navy's premier air-to-air and air-to-ground training facility. During a visit in October 2014 I took time out to get up close and personal with the aircraft and meet some of the aggressors in their wonderful camo schemes

MCAS Miramar - Photos Coming Soon

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In October 2015 I visited San Diego to attend the MCAS Miramar 2015 air show (Photos Coming Soon)

MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Miramar is home to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW) and each year they host the worlds largest military air show. The shows theme was “A Salute to Veterans and Their Families” and featured the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, Patriots Jet Team , aerial demonstrations by the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and the AV-8B Harrier as well as the very impressive intense Marine Air Ground Task Force demonstration - an incredible show of F/A 18 Hornets, Harriers, Cobra, Osprey, C130, Stallions, Chinooks and of course the Marine Corps troops and vehicles.

MCAS Miramar has a long, rich history and was formerly home of the Pacific Fleet fighter and Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft (F-4 Phantom II, F-14 Tomcat and E-2 Hawkeye). It is also known as the former location of the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (NFWS) "TOPGUN" and the film Topgun - the station was nicknamed "Fightertown USA"

Photos Coming Soon

Royal Saudi Air Force - Tornado IDS

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December 2nd-4th saw my last visit to the hills of Wales for 2014. Over 3 days I managed to photograph USAF F-15E Strike Eagles in some great light and also got very lucky with one of the most rare of sights in the hills, The Royal Saudi Air Force Tornado IDS or Saudi Tonka as it is affectionately known. Its desert camouflage setting it apart from any of its RAF rivals and certainly one thats been at the top of my list. Check the 2014 gallery to see the shots

A7 Corsair II of the Hellenic Air Force (HAF)

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A7 Corsair II of the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) (Greek: Πολεμική Αεροπορία, Polemikí Aeroporía)
During September 2014 I visited the Hellenic Air Force at Andravida Air Base and Araxos to photograph
Phantoms, F16’s and the retirement of the Corsair A7 fleet. Check out the photo gallery

USAF F-15E Strike Eagles, Mach Loop

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Lots of new shots added to the 2014 Gallery including USAF F15E Strike Eagles from the Mach Loop

No.12 Squadron: Tornado Gr4 Special Tail

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No.12 Squadron Tornado Gr4 Special Tail - seen here flying without any external fuel tanks
This jet was on its final sortie as it made its way through the Mach Loop in Wales on its way to be scrapped for spares at RAF Leeming

Fast Jets - Winter Collection

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Fast Jets in the Snow - The Winter Collection
A collection of snow and winter shots featuring low flying jets in the Mach Loop and the Lake District

"Throughout the night we fly" - IX Squadron Motto

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Aircraft and Squadron:
IX Squadron Tornado Gr4 bomber thunders past whilst on a low level flying sortie in Wales.

Badge:
A bat - approved by King Edward VIII in November 1936 as an authorised version of a badge highlighting the Squadron's night-bombing duties.

Motto:
Per noctum volamus - Throughout the night we fly

More from the 2012 Gallery

Low Level in the Scottish Borders

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Above - Eurofighter Typhoon flying at low level in the Scottish Borders over St Marys Loch
The Selkirk to Moffat Valley lies in the Scottish Borders and runs East-West from Selkirk down towards Moffat. Although a fantastic location when photographing fast jets, it is used less often nowadays due to the lack of aircraft in current service so days out can be long and often disappointing. Through many trips there I have captured some shots of Tornado Gr4 and Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. Check the 2012 Gallery to see some photos

"Backlit" - Tornado Gr4 Pulling Vapour

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The first of a two-ship flight of Tornado Gr4 jets pulls vapour as it banks towards Bwlch near Dolgellau, Wales
See more photos of fighter jets flying at low level in the Mach Loop (Low Flying Area 7 - LFA7) in my Photo Gallery


Tebay Tornados

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A No.12 Squadron Tornado Gr4 thunders through Lune Gorge near Tebay on the M6 pass. Mission markings from Operation Ellamy (Libya) can be seen below the canopy near the nose of the jet