Watch Three RAF C-130Js Fly Through The Mach Loop For The Last Time Last Week

C-130J Mach Loop


C-130J Mach Loop
The three C-130J throughout their last cross by means of the Mach Loop (Picture credit score: screenshot from Ben Ramsay’s vide)

Three C-130Js carried out a farewell flypast throughout the UK and in addition flew one final cross within the Mach Loop.

On Jun. 14, 2023, the Royal Air Power bid farewell to the C-130 Hercules with a flypast that introduced three J-model plane from their homebase at RAF Brize Norton across the nation. Flying over RAF stations and locations of significance to the plane’s historical past, it was a becoming goodbye in preparation for its retirement scheduled later this month, on Jun. 30, 2023.

The three C-130Js have been ZH870, flying as OMEN1; ZH868, OMEN2; and ZH871, OMEN3.

The OMEN formation flew to the Nationwide Memorial Arboretum, RAF Cosford, Valley, Lossiemouth, Leeming, Waddington, Cranwell, MOD Boscombe Down and naturally the previous RAF Lyneham. And, as a part of the farewell tour, the flight additionally carried out one final cross within the Mach Loop the place our buddy Ben Ramsay of UK Aviation Movies shot the footage you’ll find beneath.

Watching the final low degree cross

“Right this moment was a fairly solemn day. I’ve been watching and filming these Royal Air Power workhorses for years within the Mach Loop, however at the moment was their final low degree sortie,” Ben wrote within the remark to the Youtube video. “While it was completely superior to see three Hercs emerge from the Bwlch cross, it was unhappy to see them fade into the gap over Tal-y-llyn Lake and out to sea for the final time.”


Axed by the Protection Evaluation

The UK operated round 85 C-130s by means of its almost 60-year profession. In 2013, the service had already retired the C-130K models and, in March 2021, the UK’s Authorities revealed an Integrated Defence Review that launched a number of vital adjustments to the British army. “The Royal Air Power will retire the BAe146 as deliberate by 2022 and take the C130 Hercules out of service by 2023. The A400M Atlas drive will enhance its capability and functionality, working alongside C 17 Globemaster and Voyager transport plane and tankers,” the doc acknowledged.

Initially scheduled to stay in service till the mid-2030s, the remaining 14 C-130J plane, which first entered lively service with the RAF within the late Nineties, can be retired inside the finish of this month.

RAF’s workhorse

Since 1999,  the Hercules has been the RAF’s main tactical transport plane, also known as the “workhorse” of the RAF’s Air Transport (AT) fleet. The combination of C.Mk 4 and C.Mk 5 variations of the C-130J-30 and C-130J operated by Nos 206, 47 and XXIV Squadrons at RAF Brize Norton in numerous roles: they have been used primarily to hold troops, passengers or freight; for aeromedical evacuation; airborne supply of personnel or shops by airdrop, and help to Particular Operations.

In accordance with the RAF web site: “The plane is extremely versatile, with the power to airdrop a wide range of shops and paratroopers, and function from pure floor touchdown zones. To conduct these missions it’s important that Hercules crews are extremely expert in low-level flying. The plane performs in the identical roles at night time utilizing night-vision goggles (NVGs), whereas station maintaining tools (SKE) allows it to stay in formation throughout poor climate. Lengthy-range capabilities are enhanced with air-to-air refuelling, whereas the Air Survival Rescue Equipment could also be mounted within the cabin for search and rescue missions, enabling the Hercules to airdrop life rafts and emergency provides.”

The plane is especially beneficial in disaster situations as it may be operated from unprepared and semi-prepared surfaces by day or by night time. Its most unrefuelled ferry vary is 3500 NM, which might be prolonged to over 4000NM by air-to-air refuelling. Furthermore, the C-130s are fitted with defensive infrared countermeasure tools, with some plane used for particular duties additionally that includes enhanced defensive-aids suite comprising a Skyguardian radarwarning receiver, a chaff and flare countermeasure shelling out system and a missile method warning system.

In 2011,  through the Libyan disaster which ultimately led to the Air War in Libya, the RAF C-130s have been tasked to rescue oil staff that have been trapped within the desert. The airlifters took off from Malta and flew over the Mediteranean, referred to as Tripoli air site visitors management, defined who they have been and what they have been as much as, they received no reply from the controllers, subsequently continued at low degree as soon as over the desert and in hostile airspace.

The C-130Js’ workload must be primarily picked up by A400M Atlas transports. The service has acquired its first of twenty-two Atlas on Nov. 14, 2014. The Atlas plane are assigned to the Nos 70 Sqn and the 24 Sqn, that’s Air Mobility Operational Conversion Unit. The 206(R) Sqn, appearing because the Heavy Plane Check and Analysis Unit, primarily based at MoD Boscombe Down however with a flight detachment at RAF Brize Norton flies the A400M on mortgage from different squadrons when required to undertake particular testing actions.

BTW, on the day of the farewell tour, the three plane didn’t get better to Brize Norton as deliberate, however diverted to RAF Fairford due to points with the temperature of the tarmac.

David Cenciotti is a journalist primarily based in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and skim army aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and plenty of others, protecting aviation, protection, struggle, business, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with completely different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Power, a personal pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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