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RAF Northolt Night Photoshoot VIII
 
Meteor T7 - WA638 - Martin Baker - Royal Air Force   Meteor T7 - WA638 - Martin Baker - Royal Air Force   Meteor T7 - WA638 - Martin Baker - Royal Air Force   Meteor T7 - WA638 - Martin Baker - Royal Air Force
 
Bae 125 CC3 - ZE395 - 32 (The Royal) Squadron - Royal Air Force

RAF Northolt Night Photoshoot VIII

Text and photography by Stuart Freer, additional images Mike Freer.

The eighth Northolt night photo shoot was held on Thursday 20th January in very cold conditions, This particular photo shoot was again very well attended with over one hundred photographers, which will help greatly for funding for the restoration of the Battle of Britain Sector Operations Room at RAF Northolt.

As for the attending aircraft sadly there were a number of casualties again. Seeing as it was the final day of RAF operations for the venerable Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.1, the organizers had managed to secure two aircraft to attend, but they cancelled due to the 20th possibly being there last operational day in RAF service? Other cancellations being a 78 Squadron Merlin from RAF Benson & a Search & Rescue Sea King HAR.3
from 202 Squadron.

For what did attend, the organizers have obviously got close ties with Martin Baker Aircraft Co Ltd at Chalgrove in Oxfordshire who have sent there aircraft to previous photo shoots in the past but never to one of the night events, so it was a real pleasure to see Gloster Meteor T.7 WA638 looking immaculate under the flood lights.

This particular Meteor is the oldest military aircraft still flying in the world today. WA638, has been in service with the company since 1962 tasked with ejector seat trials. The company operate two examples WL419 being the other. Both Meteors are T7/F8 hybrids (T7 airframe with an F8 fin and rudder) WA638 spent a lengthy period in storaage from 1977 to 1997. Amazing to think that these aircraft still solder on, seeing as its over sixty years since its first flight.

Another welcome attendee were the French Air Force, sending an Embraer EMB 121 Xingu from EAT00.319 "Capitaine Dartigues", based at Avord AB. With the French and British governments signing a defense treaty to work closer together late last year, this may have helped securing this aircraft for this latest photo shoot?

The resident 32(TR) Squadron was on show with a BAE 125 CC3 and an Augusta 109E arrived during the shoot.So to sum up the event yes there were cancellations, but still a very enjoyable evening was had.

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

 
EMB121 Xingu - 095/YM - EAT 00.319 - French Air Force   Bae 125 CC3 - ZE395 - 32 (The Royal) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Gulfstream IV - 102001/021 - TFSE - Swedish Air Force   A109 Hirundo - ZR323 - 32 (The Royal) Squadron - Royal Air Force
 
EMB121 Xingu - 095/YM - EAT 00.319 - French Air Force
 
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