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GOLDEN JUBILEE FLYPAST REHEARSAL PHOTOS - PAGE 1 of 5
Wednesday 29 May 2002
[Page 1 - Aircraft] , [Page 2 - Aircraft] , [Page 3 - Press/Media] , [Page 4 - Selected Aircraft Enlargements]
[Page 5 - The Jubilee Procession]

The Photos are the personal property and copyright of Joe Bridge

The Golden Jubilee flypast rehearsal took place today (Wednesday 29th May 2002) over RAF Marham. It was touch and go with the weather - a torrent of rain threatened to postpone the event, but luckily there was a cloud break just in time, so the rehearsal went ahead as per schedule, in glorious sunshine.

For safety reasons the aircraft needed a visibility of 6 miles and cloud cover up to 2,000 feet, each group was separated by a gap of 2 nautical miles, having individually grouped over the sea and Southern England before finally converging over RAF Marham for their final approach. The formation was led by a C-17 Globemaster III, and the last aircraft to fly overhead were the Concorde and Red Arrows Display Team, flying their Hawks. The Typhoon Eurofighter was replaced on this rehearsal by a Hawk, though should, as planned be flying over Buckingham Palace with the rest of the formation on Tuesday 4th June 2002.

 

Route maps for the Golden Jubilee flypast over Buckingham Palace 4th June 2002
External Link to the Royal Air Force website

http://www.raf.mod.uk/news/jubfly.html


Eastern Daily Press - News Story Coverage - 30 May 2002

High in the skies over Norfolk, Concorde leads the Red Arrows during a rehearsal for the Golden Jubilee fly-past. It was a dramatic arrival. They flew out of a thick bank of steel-grey cloud into a patch of bright blue sky above the UK's largest operational airbase at RAF Marham. The first hint of their appearance through the distant high-altitude gloom was a pair of landing lights on the leading C17 transport aircraft. The hum of their engines became a deafening crescendo as they reached the station, which was hosting probably its most unusual operation in a long and proud history of service to Queen and country.

Another 26 aircraft followed, in an impressive formation 14 miles long at a speed of 310mph, passing overhead at a height of 1500ft. Bringing up the rear was Concorde, escorted by nine aircraft of the Red Arrows aerobatic team leaving trails of red, white and blue smoke.

"Wow! Fantastic! I can't say more than that," said Sqn Ldr Charles Sandeman, spokes-man for RAF Marham. "You probably won't see anything like that ever again." His station had just fulfilled its unique role in preparation for the royal event of the century by acting as stand-in for Buckingham Palace during a rehearsal of the fly-past for the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The base – once in the sights of enemy bombers during the second world war – became a different kind of target as the 27 aircraft flew overhead at precisely 3.55pm. Everything went according to plan as the formation headed past the air-traffic control tower, designated as the palace balcony for the purpose of the exercise. It is on that balcony that the Queen and her family will stand when they watch the main event on Tuesday at 6pm.

The object of yesterday's rehearsal was for the crews to check their timing and to get the formation exactly right so everything goes according to plan on the big day. It was history in the making for Marham and a world of difference from the station's modest beginning in 1916 as a military night-landing ground which played a vital home-defence role in the first world war. Even greater was its involvement in the second world war – after the airfield's construction on its current site in 1935 – when it was a base for Wellington, Stirling and Mosquito bombers and was attacked by the Luftwaffe. Marham became the RAF's largest frontline station in Britain after a two-year £45m expansion and the arrival of two squadrons from Germany last year. The main function of its four Tornado squadrons, with 52 aircraft, is a bomber attack role and reconnaissance, with a fifth Canberra squadron also involved in reconnaissance.

Two Tornados and a Canberra from Marham are taking part in the fly-past, along with a TriStar tanker, a VC10, two Jaguars from RAF Coltishall and a Nimrod from Scotland, which were all involved in the rehearsal. Also in the formation are BAe146 and 125s from the Queen's Flight and a Eurofighter – replaced yesterday with a Hawk jet for the trial run. The group of aircraft took up station off the coast near Southwold at about 3.30pm and followed a route south of Norwich, Old Buckenham, Shropham, Watton and Swaffham.

Sqn Ldr Sandeman explained: "A formation of this size is complicated and fairly difficult to put together. To make sure everything is exactly right on the day we are making sure these aircraft get some practice at flying together." "There are examples of almost every aircraft in service with the RAF today and we want to show Her Majesty on June 4 the RAF at its best and this is a way of putting every aircraft into the sky at the same time. "People were able to see a lot of aircraft they would not normally see over the skies of East Anglia and that was one of the things that was so fascinating about it." Yesterday's rehearsal was a modern repeat of a fly-past which took place to celebrate the silver jubilee but which did not involve Marham. The event took months to plan.



The Flypast Diagram

C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

Tristar and 2 x Tornado GR4s

Tristar and 2 x Tornado GR4s

Tristar and 2 x Tornado GR4s

Tristar and 2 x Tornado GR4s

E3D Sentry and 2 x Tornado F3s

E3D Sentry and 2 x Tornado F3s

E3D Sentry and 2 x Tornado F3s

E3D Sentry and 2 x Tornado F3s

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