Kings Coronation - RAF Brize Norton

06/05/2023

For the King's coronation, a flypast was expected to take place involving 68 Royal Air Force aircraft. Brize Norton offered up 6 of their aircraft. This included 2 Airbus A400M Atlas C.1s, 2 Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules, 1 Airbus A330 Voyager KC.2, and a Boeing C-17A Globemaster. All the aircraft departed Brize between roughly 11:50 and 12:30 and headed to Hold 1 (The first holding position for all participating aircraft) over the North Sea. Unfortunately, whilst in the hold, it was announced that the flypast will involve only the Rotary Wing and The RAF Aerobatic Team The Red Arrows. Due to this, the aircraft that would no longer be involved returned to their respective bases.

The first arrival was one that we weren't expecting to see at Brize, in the form of The Red Arrows. For reasons unknown to me, the Reds chose to come to Brize for fuel instead of Bournemouth, where they were originally slated for arrival. Between 14:00 and 14:10, all 9 Hawk T.1s landed. They took off later that day destined for Nice, and eventually onwards to Tanagra Air Base in Greece to finish their training as part of Exercise Spring Hawk 23. 

BAE Systems Hawk T.1 XX219 REDARROW1 

BAE Systems Hawk T.1 XX310 REDARROW2 

BAE Systems Hawk T.1 XX278 REDARROW3 

BAE Systems Hawk T.1 XX323 REDARROW4 

BAE Systems Hawk T.1 XX319 REDARROW5 

BAE Systems Hawk T.1 XX177 REDARROW6 

BAE Systems Hawk T.1 XX245 REDARROW7 

BAE Systems Hawk T.1 XX311 REDARROW8 

BAE Systems Hawk T.1 XX325 REDARROW9

The next arrival was Airbus Voyager KC.2 ZZ337 TARTAN. This was the only heavy that used almost all the runway to land, and I'm thankful something did!

RAF Airbus A330 Voyager KC.2 ZZ337 TARTAN

Unfortunately, the next 3 arrivals never made it as far down the runway as I was hoping, and as such, I have no photos of either the Airbus A400M Atlas' or the Boeing C-17A Globemaster! Whilst it was a shame, I'm lucky to live local enough that I often see all Brize-based assets, so it's not like I won't ever see them again!

The final arrivals were the C-130J Hercules, an aircraft that is to be retired from RAF service by the end of next month. The hercs also came off of the runway early, but luckily my positioning meant I was next to where they parked, so I had no excuse to miss them, apart from my dodgy camera, maybe! It was expected that the Coronation would be its last public appearance, but there is a good (but unconfirmed) chance that they will pass over London for Trooping The Colour on June 17th, let's hope the weather holds up for it!

RAF Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules ZH865 GRIFFIN2

RAF Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules ZH867 GRIFFIN3

The Kings Coronation also saw lots of the world's leaders arrive into Britain to witness the occasion. Most aircraft went into Stansted Airport, but the Bahraini King arrived into RAF Brize Norton on board his Boeing 747. From Brize, he was transported to London via helicopter. We arrived at Brize just as BAHRAINI1 was requesting taxi to the active runway. Seen below is the departure of both the 747 and both helicopters. Yet another world leaders aircraft ticked off the list, and a great one at that!

Bahraini Royal Flight Boeing 747 A9C-HMK BAHRAINI1

Starspeed Limited Leonardo AW-139 G-RBHF

Bahraini Royal Flight Leonardo AW-139 A9C-HIA