Queens Platinum Jubilee - RAF Brize Norton 

13/06/2022

On June 2nd 2022 the Queen publicly celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, as well as her unofficial 96th Birthday, known as Trooping the Colour. To celebrate this occasion, the RAF flew 70 aircraft over London, more specifically Buckingham Palace, in the space of 6 minutes. 

Naturally, RAF Brize Norton played a part in the celebrations by sending a total of 7 aircraft across. These were:

RAF Airbus A330 Voyager KC.2 ZZ336 MADRAS71
RAF Airbus A330 Voyager KC.2 ZZ338 TARTAN72
RAF Airbus A400M Atlas C.1 ZM414 GRIZZLY1
RAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III ZZ175 GRIZZLY2
RAF Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules C.4 ZH866 OMEN3
RAF Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules C.4 ZH868 OMEN1
RAF Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules C.4 ZH869 OMEN2 

Having overflown the Palace, the aircraft started heading back to their respective bases. Being at Brize gave me a good chance to catch multiple different types, and it certainly didn't disappoint. First, 2 Eurofighter Typhoons passed overhead (including Blackjack) in a close formation with 2 Lockheed Martin F-35Bs. The next overflight consisted of a flight of 4 F-35s. A quick glance at a tracking app showed that 4 BAE Systems Hawk T.2s were nearby, and less than a minute later all 4 were visible passing to the south of Brize. Later in the day, 4 Beechcraft Texan T.1s went over heading back to RAF Valley, having stopped for fuel at RAF Benson. 

Of course the main attraction that day was the Brize based aircraft arriving back, and it went better than I could've ever imagined. The first A330 to arrive back was ZZ338, overflying the base from the south before joining the circuit to land. Soon after came  Voyager ZZ336, more commonly known as Vespina. The aircraft came over the west end of the runway from the north and broke off into the circuit for runway 25. 

Next up was GRIZZLY flight, overflying the base from the south in formation before breaking off to land back at the Oxfordshire base. That was a sight for sure!

By far the highlight of the day came when the 3 C-130s of OMEN flight returned. They overflew the base from the north in the same formation seen over London. Having made a left turn still in the formation, the Hercs then proceeded to fly straight down runway 25 with each aircraft peeling off to join the circuit and land. Watching them fire down the runway and break off, one of which was directly overhead, is something I certainly won't forget, and I'm thankful to have documented it in photo form.