RAF Brize Norton - 9th & 10th December 2023

09/12/2023

On Thursday, December 7th, a Royal Australian Air Force Airbus KC-30 MRTT arrived at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Rumours suggested that it was planned to fly onto RAF Brize Norton on Saturday, 9th December. Armed with this knowledge, I decided to make the hour drive into Oxfordshire hoping to catch the aircraft. Aussie KC-30s certainly aren't frequent visitors to the UK, so I prayed for this to come off. And that it did! Departing Germany at around 1 pm, ASY800 flew across to Britain, landing at 14:36. While on approach, the aircraft encountered strong winds, so the crew decided to go around, kicking in some power and passing overhead. The second attempt was successful. However, the entire shoot was put into jeopardy when the aircraft slowed down at quite a rate and disappeared behind the hangar blocking our view of the runway, almost as if they had vacated the runway at the midsection. Luckily the aircraft did roll to the end of runway 25, in some fantastic light, I must add. 

It departed for Ramstein on Sunday, 10th December at 06:56.  

Royal Australian Air Force Airbus KC-30A MRTT A39-005 ASY800

Also rumoured to arrive on December 9th was the Royal Canadian Air Forces' newest aircraft, the CC-330 Husky. This aircraft is painted in the Canadian Government scheme. I was up for catching it landing until I learned it was scheduled to arrive at 10 pm. The aircraft touched down on runway 25 at 21:05. It was suggested that it would depart the following day at 15:00, so I chose to head across in the daylight! The aircraft called Brize ground for engine start at 14:45. It then received taxi clearance and held short of the runway as 2 other aircraft (seen below) returned to base. At the last light of the day, Canada's first Husky received take-off clearance and departed for Tampa International Airport, Florida. It returned to its home base of Ottawa International Airport, the following day. In time, Canada will operate 9 CC-330 Huskies, with 4 planned to be Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft. Besides 330002, all CC-330s will fly out of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario. 

Royal Canadian Air Force Airbus CC-330 Husky 330002 CANFORCE3407

Arriving into Brize on Sunday afternoon was an RAF A330 from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus. Seen below is ZZ338 overflying the base before landing and taxying clear of the active runway. 

Royal Air Force Airbus Voyager KC.2 ZZ338 ASCOT2301

Arriving only minutes after ZZ338 was this Air Tanker Airbus A330, displaying Jet2 markings. The aircraft flew from Manchester Airport to Brize. 

Air Tanker Airbus A330 G-VYGL TOWLINE549