Photo: Winner of the 2019 Category A – Current Equipment was SAC Chris Thompson-Watts, who shot this split break by a pair of Hawk T2s from RAF Valley in Wales.
With over 1,000 images and 30 hours of video to choose from, judges for the 2019 Royal Air Force Photographic Competition were spoilt for choice.
The results are now in, and AFM is happy to present some of the entrants in the Current Equipment category, highlighting the variety of types in service with the air arm. Judging took place at the Royal Air Force Museum London and a panel of three industry professional judges decided which ones make the cut.
Judging this year’s competition were: Jim Hedge, picture editor at the Guardian; freelance photographer Edmond Terakopian; and the Press Association’s Martin Keene.
The best nine images are chosen by the three judges before they are opened up to the public online, who decide which of the images will win the ‘Peoples’ Choice’ category.
1st – SAC Chris Thompson-Watts, Photo ACSSU Split break – Two Hawk T2s take flight over North Wales. The flight involved Hawks from both No IV (Army Co-operation) Squadron and 25 (Fighter) Squadron, following the split to form two squadrons, to meet demands in the UK Military Flying Training System (UK MFTS) and the increase in demand for fast jet pilots.
2nd – Cpl Matty Matthews, ACSSU, RAF Halton So Many Snacks, So Little Time – This image was captured while sat on the back of the ramp of a C-130J Hercules. The aircraft was taking part in a airborne delivery training sortie that dropped loads ranging from 100kg to a tonne, over Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Upon completion, the aircraft then linked up with a Voyager to complete some low-light air-to-air refuelling over the West Coast of England. AFM readers may recognise it from our recent feature on the special forces support work of No 47 Squadron.
3rd – Senior Aircraftman Edward Wright, ACSSU, RAF Halton Back in the Saddle – This photo shows a Royal Air Force No 27 Squadron Chinook helicopter from RAF Odiham flying in formation with two US Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallions in Arizona. Two Chinooks from No 27 Squadron, RAF Odiham, Hampshire, deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, to take part in a twice-a-year training a development programme known as WTI (Weapons and Tactics Instructor). The course aims to develop aircrew – both pilots and NCOs – to an instructional level. It is conducted in the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) building. Read more about the deployment here.
Highly Commended – Mr Steve Lympany –RAF Brize Norton New Kid On The Block – The image shows the first RAF F-35B air-to-air refuelling sortie from a Voyager tanker in the UK. The F-35 took fuel from an RAF Voyager from No 10 Squadron, based at RAF Brize Norton on October 16 last year.
April 2020The April edition of AFM has a special focus on the UK Royal Navy’s aviation component, with extensive coverage including a Force Report on the Fleet Air Arm as it enters its second century of service, an Exercise Report on the final training course on the Merlin HC3, and a look to the future as the UK begins to explore options for integrating unmanned air systems with its Queen Elizabeth-class carriers.
There’s more naval aviation from France, with stunning Rafale coverage from the French Navy’s oldest fighter squadron, Flottille 11F, which turned 100 last year. Portugal’s P-3C CUP+ Orion fleet may be operated by the air force, but these maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare specialists are also featured. On the operational side, there’s a report from Sigonella air base in Sicily, home to the Italian Air Force’s P-72As and host to additional European maritime patrol aircraft. This month’s naval coverage is completed with a look at the new capabilities that will sharpen the E-2 Hawkeye – the US Navy’s ‘eye of the fleet’.
Back on dry land, we interview Dutch F-35A pilot Lt Col Ian ‘Gladys’ Knight about Dutch F-35 numbers and dogfighting in the stealth warplane, before visiting the Italian Air Force’s important Typhoon base at Trapani-Birgi, which occupies a remote strategic position covering Europe’s southern flank.
Aleksandar Radić examines how military donations from Moscow to Serbia have proved an important tool of soft power in the Balkans, but how the latest developments look set to bring Belgrade closer to the West, while regular contributor Dietmar Fenners was in Thailand recently, where Don Muang air base in Bangkok opened its doors to the public and hosted an extensive flypast.