Threshold Aero RAF Brize Norton Nightshoot

20/01/2024

On December 2nd, 2023, a surprise announcement on Threshold Aero's social media page informed followers that a night shoot was to be held at RAF Brize Norton on January 20th, 2024, with gates opening at 13:45. Generally, I turn away any night shoot opportunity as I'd much sooner see the aircraft in the day, this was slightly different, however, for multiple reasons. The event starting in the early afternoon allowed me to get some half-decent shots in the daylight before nightfall, which was imperative as I'm useless at nighttime photography! For it to be so close to home for me was another winner, as I've caught the entire Brize Norton fleet and wouldn't be as miffed if all my photos turned out awful.  

The event details stated that a Boeing C-17A Globemaster III of 99 Squadron and an Airbus A400M Atlas C.1 would be positioned on the south side of the base for spotters to get a closer look at. On top of this, it was mentioned that the A400 would be performing an engine run at around 17:00. 

The day finally came around, and as planned we arrived on time for the gates opening, to make the first bus on and the first bus off! Unfortunately, during the safety briefing before us being let loose, it was announced that we were given two broken aircraft. This meant that the C-17 had no power to it at all, and while the A400 did have power, its engines were unserviceable, ending any chance of an engine run. This was made up for because while on base, a C-17 returned from Bardufoss, Norway, where it had flown earlier that day. 

I must admit that while the daylight portion of the shoot did drag, the dark portion flew by! And, with a lot of trial and error, I took my first few night shoot photos. I have to say that I'm chuffed with the result!

It must be said that without the likes of Threshold Aero, the Royal Air Force Association, and the rest of the team at RAF Brize Norton, events like this one would not have been possible, and I thank them all profusely for all of their hard work in giving us what was a fantastic evening. Swag was available to purchase from 30 Squadron, who operate the A400M, and 99 Squadron, who operate the C-17. They had lots available, and it was very reasonably priced.

RAF Airbus Voyager KC2 ZZ336

RAF Airbus A400M Atlas C.1 ZM403

RAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III ZZ173

RAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III ZZ175

RAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III ZZ177 ASCOT6683

RAF Westland Puma HC.1 XW236