The Royal Air Force is bidding farewell to Hercules with a flypast on the 14th of June spanning the entire United Kingdom – here’s when and where you can watch.

The Hercules has been a vital part of the RAF since its first arrival in December 1966. In the press release, it was mentioned that “The first Hercules arrived at Marshall’s of Cambridge in December 1966. Since entering RAF service, originally with 242 Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Thorney Island, it has operated across the globe in support of UK military and humanitarian relief operations.

The flypast will feature three Hercules aircraft, flying across various locations of significance to the Hercules service and 47 Squadron.

TimeLocation
10:00Depart RAF Brize Norton
10:25National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas
10:34RAF Cosford
11:22RAF Valley
11:48FS Aldergrove
12:51RAF Lossiemouth (with Typhoon escort)
14:08RAF Leeming
14:10RAF Topcliffe
14:23Beverley
14:34RAF Waddington
14:38RAF College Cranwell
14:58Cambridge Airport
15:04RAF Mildenhall
15:15Colchester Garrison
16:22MOD Boscombe Down
16:25Salisbury Plain (West Down Camp)
16:32MOD Lyneham
16:36Royal Wootton Bassett
16:39Defence Academy of the UK, Shrivenham
16:43Dalton Barracks, Abingdon
16:50RAF Halton
16:55RAF High Wycombe
17:05RAF Brize Norton

The press release outlines a detailed schedule, commencing at 10:00 from RAF Brize Norton and ending at the same location at 17:05, after traversing through locations such as the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, RAF Cosford, RAF Lossiemouth with a Typhoon escort, and many more.

In addition to celebrating the illustrious service of the Hercules, the flypast also marks the transition phase of the RAF as it moves towards employing the Atlas (A400) fleet. The press release states that “The transition to the 22-strong Atlas (A400) fleet and other air mobility aircraft has been ongoing for some time. 47 Squadron and the Hercules will continue to deliver on operations supporting UK defence objectives until 30 June 2023.

You can read more by clicking here.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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rmj
rmj (@guest_730425)
11 months ago

with all the cuts in the armed forces over the last 3 years, has anyone kept a tally of what’s gone and what’s come in? Apart from 2x Dassault Falcons replacing BA146 and 2x PBs for Gibraltar, across the 3 services has anything new actually come in as it all seems to be cut, cut, cut

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_730430)
11 months ago
Reply to  rmj

In reality it is just rolling cuts that have carried on in a steady drum beat since 1990.

If the government was actually ‘serious’ about maintaining capability, it would have ordered 8 additional A400’s to replace the J fleet.

It didn’t and in reality has no intention of doing so. I dare say it will be considered in SDSR 25, I won’t hold my breath….

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_730455)
11 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

That’s right John ,can’t see them ordering any new A400s no intention of it.😟

MR_Wales
MR_Wales (@guest_730464)
11 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

There were an additional 4 A400m’s put into the defence estimates about 5 or 6 years ago amid a fanfare that they were to replace the capability gap created when the C-130J’s retired. The following year they had disappeared. It’s taken over 10 years to get the 22 A400M’s that we have into service.

Micki
Micki (@guest_730433)
11 months ago
Reply to  rmj

British ministry of defence, alias ministry of cuts.

Sean.
Sean. (@guest_730460)
11 months ago
Reply to  rmj

“over the last 3 years“…“has anything new actually come in”

Well off the top of my head…

• HMS Anson
• HMS Audacious
• RFA Proteus
• RFA Stirling Castle
• RNMB Harrier
• RNMB Hebe
• XV Patrick Blackett
• ~16 x F35B aircraft
• 9 x P-8 Poseidon
• Martlet missile

with 3 x E-7 Wedgetails this year.

And I’m sure I’ve missed lots 🤷🏻‍♂️

rmj
rmj (@guest_730951)
11 months ago
Reply to  Sean.

These replaced other platforms that were scrapped GR4, T-boats, Sentry – I see no growth just cuts with a sprinkling of replacements that don’t fill the void.

Graham
Graham (@guest_730462)
11 months ago
Reply to  rmj

On the army side:
Rapier has gone out and Sky Sabre coming in, but I am not sure if the full amount have been delivered to 16 AD Regt RA, Trg Org and Depot stock.
Have lost (or soon will lose) a further 79 CR2s (227-148).

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_730467)
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham

Sky sabre is a good system however won’t get no were near the numbers we had for Rapier back in the day.And for CR2s that’s an other argument .🙄🇬🇧

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_730484)
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Sky Sabre is capable and will take out relevant threats efficiently.

Rapier was close to useless as it was far, far too dependant on operator skill.

So what do we want?

Loads of garbage, Russian style; or

Something g that works properly, NATO style?

With Ceptor-ER etc this will turn into a superb system that is highly cost effective.

Steve
Steve (@guest_730434)
11 months ago

There really should have been an independent enquiry into Sudan/afgan evacs before making this decision. A focus on whether we could have got more people out, if we had more transport planes should have been one of the questions. At least then we would have an idea if the capability cut is warranted or not. Kinda surprised there hasn’t been enquiries for these. Putting aside the transport topic, I’m sure there are other lessons to learn, which won’t be learnt if not discussed in public. Even if everything went close to perfection, there is always something to learn for next… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_730722)
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Looks like the treasury demands cuts & that’s the end of the story, for whichever dept. When it’s cuts before rational, you know the country’s screwed.

Maru
Maru (@guest_730457)
11 months ago

Will it fly over Lowestoft Suffolk

Graham
Graham (@guest_730461)
11 months ago

Have any other air forces retired the Herc?
Also, alarming that CAS admits there will be a capability gap for some time – why is that allowed to happen – why did they have to be retired before a capability gap could be closed out?

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_730469)
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham

IT’S absolutely crazy Graham .

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_730475)
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

It is crazy, but in reality just carries on the never ending rounds of cuts, one after the other. Back when the A400 was the embryonic FLA (Future Large Aircraft), a four jet powered airlifter of approximately A400’s size, the RAF decided on a fleet of 50 to meet it’s requirements. Then the project mired neck deep in the thick stogey mud of European beurocracy, with some idiot deciding we had to develop brand new turboprop engines instead of using a proven turbofan and it went wrong from there!! Net result for the RAF is a fleet of 22, years… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_731028)
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham

Yes. Brazil (they will mantain the refuelling versions) , Portugal, Netherlands with Embraer C-390

Graham
Graham (@guest_731132)
11 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Thanks Alex. Those are not really power-projecting, expeditionary warfare countries. I think we should have retained at least some C-130s.

Challenger
Challenger (@guest_730477)
11 months ago

There’s a lot of big talk about an Indo-Pacific tilt and engaging globally but the means to preposition equipment or move kit/people in a hurry are being continually eroded. The news that RFA Wave Knight & RFA Wave Ruler will now be sold roughly coinciding with the Hercules fleet being ditched and RFA Fort Victoria being laid up speaks volumes. The first full Carrier Strike Group deployed for 6 months in 2021 and the next won’t be until 2024 at the earliest and with rumours of more frigates being scrapped and the RFA at an even lower ebb it’ll be… Read more »

Knight7572
Knight7572 (@guest_730747)
11 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

The Wave Class Tankers are not being sold off yet

Geoffi
Geoffi (@guest_730482)
11 months ago

Possibly the worst decision made since the legendary 1957 and 1966 Defence White Papers….

Andrew
Andrew (@guest_730489)
11 months ago

Never should be retired thats simple however as flypast flights go this is also pretty pathetic. The germans went to more airports as a farewell in the UK with there C160 then whats offered here. Nothing for prestwick, IOM or any other location they frequently trained at.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_730509)
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Are you really saying 22 location’s isn’t enough for a farewell flypast??

Andrew
Andrew (@guest_730608)
11 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Are you suggesting that just 22 locations adequately represent the 56 years of exceptional service rendered by this remarkable aircraft? I believe a more comprehensive approach is necessary to truly honor and pay tribute to such a significant aviation icon. Furthermore, although you raise the numerical value of “22” and it may initially appear substantial, it loses its impact if we consider that a significant proportion of these locations are concentrated in the southeastern and southern region of England. This leaves Lancashire, Scotland (with the exception of Lossiemouth), the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and Cornwall without proper representation,… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_730628)
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

I think 22 locations are perfectly reasonable, considering the locations are most major RAF stations. Tornado didn’t do that many when it retired. Hercules had a fantastic career. But you can’t add a flypast locations just because it took part in a exercise at some point in its 50 odd year career. There has to be a limit.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_730725)
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Used to see them regularly here on the East Anglian coast, Lowestoft way. But nothing within 50+ miles of here. Hopefully we’ll have them reprived, or just have to buy new to restore the capability in a few years time.
Reality is our military can only do less with less. Buzz words & afforisms just don’t cut it.

Last edited 11 months ago by Frank62
John
John (@guest_730497)
11 months ago

Prob is a400 is at present incapable of launching sf boats which hercs could do ! No procurement at present to redress the issue for a400 a/c.

Last edited 11 months ago by John
Knight7572
Knight7572 (@guest_731395)
11 months ago
Reply to  John

And where is the proof of your claim

John
John (@guest_731437)
11 months ago
Reply to  Knight7572

It’s a known issue and has been admitted by mod. Try looking for yourself !!

Mikeytee
Mikeytee (@guest_730511)
11 months ago

From all the comments I’ve seen over the last few years I don’t see our armed forces being fit for purpose anymore. The rundown began in the sixties with the withdrawal from East of Suez and since then budgets for the services has been run by politicians who see the defence budget as a pot of gold with money being taken away and used for Social services and the NHS etc and is not likely to return. I hate to say it but all our defence short-comings, not enough fighter aircraft, ships, men, ammunition and missiles wont show unless there… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_730518)
11 months ago

I would have bought 9 new to replace the 14 old RAF C-130J. First buy 3 more A400M, to make 25, the original RAF number. Then copy Germany & buy 3 new C-130J + 3 KC-130J.

Knight7572
Knight7572 (@guest_730646)
11 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

who will pay for it?

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_730679)
11 months ago
Reply to  Knight7572

Who pays for anything? HMG spends over £700 billion a year. They say they are broke, but always find funds for their pet virtue signalling project.

Knight7572
Knight7572 (@guest_730745)
11 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

To be honest, I am really getting sick and tired of people saying we should get more Hercules, we do not need the Hercules anymore, it is very old and too small given the British Army equipment coming in future

To be honest, we would have had this same problem if the Royal Air Force had gotten the British made Hawker-Siddeley HS.681 Aldershot as it was supposed to

We have better options avalible and the A400M issues are more down to the Europeans being not so great at joint procurement

Last edited 11 months ago by Knight7572
Klonkie
Klonkie (@guest_730769)
11 months ago
Reply to  Knight7572

I respectfully disagree with your assessment Knight 7572. It is a thoroughly updated capable platform and fulfils a spes. forces role which the A400 does not. That being said, my concern is the reduction in assets. I’d be comfortable if they replaced the C130 with additional A400s now.

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_730820)
11 months ago
Reply to  Knight7572

France & Germany have both bought more A400M than Britain has, yet they have also bought small numbers of new C-130J/KC-130J, for missions that A400M is not suitable for.

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_730989)
11 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

So what are our plans for those missions we currently use Hercules for that we can’t use a400’s for …
I know maybe the French or Germans can lend us some of theirs – if they aint doing anything with em at that specific time…they’ve always been most helpful in the past …

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_730995)
11 months ago
Reply to  grizzler

We have no ability to air refuel “low & slow”, which we would get with KC-130J.

Klonkie
Klonkie (@guest_731033)
11 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Hi John. I believe the current J’ s have an out of service date circa 2028. So probably a good 5 years left in the airframes without the need to re spar and for new engines etc.

Knight7572
Knight7572 (@guest_731044)
11 months ago
Reply to  Klonkie

I would remind people, the Super Hercules is unable to fit Ajax whereas A400M can plus keeping it around for the Super Hercules around for Special forces does not justify the cost

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_731089)
11 months ago
Reply to  Knight7572

A400m payload is 32 tons with good range or 37 tons short range. A fully loaded 42 ton Ajax is not being lifted by an A400M.

Knight7572
Knight7572 (@guest_731112)
11 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

The A400M carry 81,600ib payload also Ajax is more than an APC remember and the Hercules is too small

Last edited 11 months ago by Knight7572
Klonkie
Klonkie (@guest_731371)
11 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

aah you stole my thunder John,but well said. There is also much mote to airlift capability/logistics than carrying an Ajax.

Kieran
Kieran (@guest_730521)
11 months ago

Will it fly over north east as Newcastle

Jack Matthews
Jack Matthews (@guest_730666)
11 months ago

What is happening with the withdrawn aircraft? Are they being sold?

Graham
Graham (@guest_730684)
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack Matthews

We sell all our old kit, or gift it to a deserving country eg Ukraine. Very rare that old kit gets melted down.

Rob Moffitt
Rob Moffitt (@guest_730682)
11 months ago

But not Thurleigh where it was first assesed in 1966 or 1967?

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_730822)
11 months ago

Are they missing out Aldershot/Farnborough?

James
James (@guest_730875)
11 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I was surprised at that – Plus Credenhill, mind you I’d think its hard to find any military airfield where a hercules hasn’t landed, not to mention any part of the military that hasn’t been involved with the Herc at some point.

James
James (@guest_730865)
11 months ago
James
James (@guest_730866)
11 months ago

I was on a project that involved visiting multiple sites in Afghanistan – I flew on Italian, British, American, German and Spanish C130 Aircraft – amazing experience, especially hearing the popping as flares were fired. The feeling of near weightlessness during the tactical landings. I remember a few times not even realising they’d landed as the touchdown was so soft. During one flight we flew that low trucks were driving up the sides of mountains above us! This aircract could and should go on forever, I appreciate that at somepoint an airforce needs to move with the changes, but this… Read more »

ROF Chorley
ROF Chorley (@guest_730938)
11 months ago

Why did the government allow most of the Royal Ordnance Factories to close down? One in particular ROF Chorley in Lancashire was a massive site that could have accommodated all the smaller sites and become a RO supersite to manufacture ammunition from start to finish all in one place, an ideal solution for manufacturing stores for the armed forces, all the infrastructure was there different types of filling buildings and magazines, a complete missed opportunity for a peace time manufacturing facility.

Chris Rolfe
Chris Rolfe (@guest_731156)
11 months ago

I see once again the South East miss out on yet another important flypast. It’s as if the SE East doesn’t evem exsist.

Mick
Mick (@guest_731571)
11 months ago

Any aircraft Nick named fat Albert had no place in todays RAF it would offend the masses and the ground crew by its presence, lol