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RAF Northolt Night Photoshoot VI
Chinook HC3 - ZH900 - Chinook Development Flight  - Royal Air Force   Alpha Jet E - E140/2-FA - EE 02.002 - French Air Force   Tornado GR4 - ZA447/EB-R - 41 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Tornado GR4 - ZA611/EB-L - 41 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force

RAF Northolt Night Photoshoot VI

Words and photographs Mike Freer, additional photography Stuart Freer

The omens were not good as we arrived at RAF Northolt during the middle of a thunder storm, to be met by our host, Mr Phillip Dawe, standing out in torrential rain, checking security and vehicle passes.

The purpose of these night time photoshoots is to raise funding for the restoration of the Battle of Britain Sector Operations Room at RAF Northolt. This event was the sixth in a series of photoshoots to raise funds for the restoration project. A total of £3300 was raised from this event and the amount to date now stands at over £17000.

With claps of thunder and forked lightning, the author remained seated in the warmth of his car and was full of admiration for Phil and his crew getting drenched in such atrocious conditions. Luckily, the storm passed over in time for all the photographers present to set up their tripods and enjoy a pleasant evening of photography.

Without the support of the Station Commander, Group Captain Tom Barrett, these photographic evenings would not be permitted. In a recent statement, Tom expressed his commitment:-

"I am always delighted to receive members of the aviation world at RAF Northolt be they air crew, ground-crew or aviation enthusiasts. I see it very much as part of my role to ensure that the station is welcoming to the wider community and thereby help people to develop an understanding of Northolt and the broader RAF and Defence role. One of my passions is to protect our aviation heritage and I am therefore thrilled that the old Battle of Britain prototype Sector Operations Room has been retained. We have renamed it the “Sir Keith Park Building” in honour of his pioneering work developing air defence strategy and your donations from the photoshoots are currently the main funding stream to support the restoration project.”

A good selection of aircraft were on view comprising three Tornado GR4s from 41(R) Sqn; Agusta A109E of the DHFS; Chinook HC3 of the Chinook Development Flight; two Alpha Jet Es of ET02.002 and the “star” attraction; this year’s display Hawk T1 resplendent in a very attractive livery celebrating 50 years of 4 FTS - its first public appearance, only two days after being painted. Once again, a very successful evening.

The author wishes to thank Mr Phillip Dawe and Group Captain Tom Barrett for their kind hospitality during out visit.

Alpha Jet E - E105/102-FM - EE 02.002 - French Air Force
Chinook HC3 - ZH900 - Chinook Development Flight  - Royal Air Force   Hawk T1A - XX263 - 208 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Tornado GR4 - ZA600/EB-G - 41 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   A109 Hirundo - ZR325 - 660 Squadron - Army Air Corps
Hawk T1A - XX263 - 208 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force
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