Avro 3 Sisters
I arrived at RAF Waddington in complete excitement of what the day was about to bring.
21/08/14 a date for the history books (mine).
As anticipated the turn out was massive. A large crowd had formed at both the WAVE and PAVE at Waddington with the PAVE selling out just after 9 o’clock. But I had my spot.
The word from the crowd and web was the Lancaster’s were due in at 10:00 as XH558 had travelled down the night before. but before the main event we had a ED-3 Sentry keeping us entertained.
I kept checking Twitter and Facebook for any information to keep myself up to speed.
Then it began…
2 Hawks from 100 Squadron came in low and fast to signify the day had started. They did several circuits of RAF Waddington in close formation.
As the crowds of people were watching a few mutters rippled though the crowd. Looking towards the south just over the tops of the trees were two black lines one in front of the other. The Lancaster’s were coming!
As ever they arrived in style with a fly past down the runway for the crowds to see.
Now I’m not normally one for crying but seeing these two old Avro’s together with the sound of 8 Merlin’s did bring a tear or two to mine and many others eyes.
The two Lancaster’s then split and turned to the left to come in for landing.
A massive buzz came though the crowd as they taxied into position ready for the meeting.
It was now XH558’s turn to be the focus as she began taxiing into position.
Now at this point to keep the crowds entertained we got a fly past from the RAF BBMF Dakota and a Typhoon which also did a touch and go. Not bad to say it was £5 for my ticket.
The stage was set as the aircraft were moved into position.
VeRA (FM213) to the left, XH558 in the middle and Thumper (PA474) on the right. the media then began to get their photos and stories. Speaking to the folks around me one had travelled from Cumbria to witness this one off event and thanks to the help of MP’s and police I got some shots from in front of this great trio.
The time then came for this historic event to end! Watching the 8 Merlins smoking as the fired up was a joy to see followed by the ignition of the Vulcans 4 Rolls-Royce Olympus.
Thumper taxied out first followed by VeRA to hold for take off. XH558 followed them down the taxi way and parked infront of me!!! Got some great photos at that point. Then as quick as it started they were off for the Historic formation fly past. All day the rumor was the formation would fly over Waddington even though the RAF Waddinton website said not.
In my opinion XH558 did a fantastic take off, holding on the brakes with the engines on full chat!!
She then rocketed down Runway 20 and jumped into the sky!!!
That was it the day was over… Or was it?
While getting myself ready for my travels back up north on my motorbike the crowd which was dispursing started mumbling followed by shouting “there coming back” and low and behold there they were in formation heading towards Lincoln. The Vulcan with a Lancaster either side and a Hawk to complete it.
A fantastic day for all there and involved.
Well thats enough from me.
Footnote: Dale currently holds the record for long distance #WristbandSelfie by posting a picture of his #twitterVforce band from Melbourne, Australia.