Retiring Hercules aircraft makes flypast over Lincolnshire
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Dozens of enthusiasts gathered around Cranwell airfield and outside College Hall gates to catch a glimpse, take photos or video of the mighty trio.
The Hercules has operated across the globe supporting UK military and humanitarian relief operations since going into service in 1966.
The RAF is switching over to its Atlas (A400) fleet of 22 aircraft and other transport aircraft from the Hercules of 47 Squadron at the end of June.
Former instructor at RAF Cranwell, Carl Hartford, of Caythorpe, was a navigator in Hercules with 30 and 70 Squadrons and was outside College Hall to watch them rumble over.
He said he had mixed emotions: “It served itself with distinction, operated in many different roles and did us proud, but I’m also sad. It is a fabulous aircraft and a real shame it no longer has a future in the Air Force.”
He recalled it was a noisy environment with lots of vibration, but a great aircraft to fly. “The cockpit was like flying in a greenhouse - you had a great view – and I made some really good friends.”
It took him from Greenland to the Middle East, Caribbean to South America, but his favourite experience was flying low level: “Flying anywhere at 250 feet cannot be beaten.