RAF Cranwell

The main aircraft service area at RAF Cranwell is unavailable for use after tarmac began to melt in the hot weather conditions.

The extreme heat appears to be a contributory factor to the surface damage on the runway, but the Ministry of Defence said flying training is not affected by the situation.

An investigation is now underway to establish why this damage occurred after the hot weather reportedly melted the flight line.

The flight line is also where aviators board their aircraft and taxi towards the runway.

An MOD spokesperson said: “As a precautionary measure, the main aircraft service area at RAF Cranwell is currently unavailable for routine use. Flying training is not affected and will continue by using alternative service areas.”

Sky News reported that an informed source told then that officials at RAF Cranwell had been “dragging tar around” on their boots and even on the wheels of the Phenom and Prefect training aircraft since the start of the summer, as it softened in the sunshine.

Images have been released from inside the cockpit of aircraft that took part in a rehearsal flypast of RAF Cranwell – ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Formations of a whole host of military aircraft and helicopters were spotted over Lincolnshire this week, as the Royal Air Force, British Army and Royal Navy were all represented in 22 aircraft practising their formations for a rather special celebration next week.

On Thursday, June 2, there will be a Platinum Jubilee flypast over Buckingham Palace, marking Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 year reign as ruler of the British monarchy.

Images show C-130J’s from a 47 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton, flying in a threeship formation as part of the Queens Jubilee Practice Flypast. | Photo: UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022

Images show Royal Air Force C17 (ZZ175) operated by 99 Squadron, flying in close formation with a LXX/30 Squadron A400M (ZM400) as part of the Queens Jubilee practice flypast conducted over Royal Air Force Cranwell College Officers Mess. | Photo: UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022

The full flypast will have 70 aircraft taking part, one for each year of Her Majesty’s reign, including Lincolnshire-based icons the Red Arrows, but it was all eyes on RAF Cranwell this week.

The formation flew over RAF Cranwell’s College Hall, which played stand-in for Buckingham Palace, with the first aircraft flying over at 1pm on Tuesday, May 24.

Rehearsals began near The Wash before reaching the North Sea and RAF Cranwell and eventually dispersing over North Lincolnshire and parts of Yorkshire.

It allowed for vital preparations ahead of the main event next month, marking the first day of royal celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee. Reports state the Queen herself will watch the flypast from the Buckingham Palace balcony with other members of the royal family.

Images from a 99 Squadron operated C17 (ZZ175) flying in close formation with a LXX/30 Squadron A400M (ZM400). | Photo: UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022

Images from a 99 Squadron operated C17 (ZZ175) flying in close formation with a LXX/30 Squadron A400M (ZM400) as they conducted a practice Queens Jubilee flypast. | Photo: UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022

Squadron Leader Greenhowe, the project officer responsible for coordinating the flypast, said: “We are very proud to be able to show Her Majesty The Queen, our Commander-in-Chief, on this unique occasion for the longest-serving monarch and her 70 year Platinum Jubilee, our capability and present that as a fitting and appropriate tribute for her 70-year reign.

“It should be a good spectacle for the country, the union, and the Commonwealth.”

Images from a 47 Squadron C130 flying in close formation with two other C130s. | Photo: UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022

The flypast was flown alongside three C-130J’s of 47 and 24 Squadron and a pair of Voyagers from 10/101 Squadron with the RAF’s air-mobility fleet at RAF Brize Norton playing a huge part in the flypast on June 2nd. | Photo: UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022

Squadron Leader Longland, a Royal Air Force Puma pilot, said: “The flypast went really well. We made our time on target over the top of College Hall which was standing in as Buckingham Palace.

“It has been in preparation for months and requires detailed coordination between all the different aircraft which fly at different speeds. I feel hugely privileged and excited to get to fly over the palace for The Queen on this momentous occasion.”

The pass was flown over RAF College Cranwell Officers Mess and also feature other air-mobility assets including three C-130J’s flown by 47 Squadron and two Voyagers flown by 10/101 Squadron. | Photo: UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022

Image of a Poseidon, P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft, seen here taking part in the Queens Jubilee practice Fly Past, which took place (24/05/2022) over RAF College Cranwell, UK. | Photo: UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022

Formations of military aircraft and helicopters were seen in Lincolnshire’s skies on Tuesday afternoon as a rehearsal flypast took place ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations next month.

Rehearsals started in the vicinity of The Wash, the North Sea and over RAF Cranwell before dispersing over North Lincolnshire and parts of Yorkshire, according to the Military Airshows website.

A large crowd gathered outside RAF Cranwell to try to catch a glimpse of the flypast and local freelance photographer Shaun Parkes, of Parkes Fine Art Photography, captured images of the iconic moment. The main college building at RAF Cranwell doubled as Buckingham Palace for the rehearsal, according to the BBC.

Three Hercules aircraft. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

A400M Airbus and Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

This took place ahead of next month’s main event – a six-minute flypast of more than 70 aircraft, including Red Arrows, Spitfires and Hurricanes for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Thursday, June 2, which is the first day of the royal celebrations.

Next month’s flypast will be made up of aircraft from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. Reports state the Queen will watch the event from the Buckingham Palace balcony with other members of the royal family, but the Duke of York and Duchess of Sussex will reportedly not form part of that group.

A Chinook helicopter. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

Lynx Wildcat attack helicopter. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

Typhoon fighter and a two seater training version. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

The main flypast next month will start in the vicinity of The Wash, the North Sea and Southwold, Suffolk and Southend then travel via Swaffham and Thetford and Colchester towards London to overfly Buckingham Palace, according to the Military Airshows website.

The website also states that the dispersal will occur to the south and west of the London Control Zone over Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

See more of the photo gallery from Shaun Parkes below:

A Phenom T1 and two AT6 Texan aircraft. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

Prefect T1. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

British Aerospace Hawk T2. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

Airbus KC2 Voyager. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

P-8A Poseidon with RC135 Rivet Joint. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

Airbus KC2 Voyager. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

Typhoon fighter and a two seater training version. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

Lynx Wildcat returning to Cranwell. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

Puma tactical transport helicopter. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

A400M Airbus and Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. | Photo: Parkes Fine Art Photography

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