Noisy skies


in Bombs and rockets, Daily updates, Oxford

Somerville College, Oxford

During the last day or so, there has been an unusually large amount of military air traffic over Oxford. Less than a minute ago, I saw a 101 Squadron Vickers VC-10 fly overhead, northwards (official site). The VC-10 is fairly unmistakable, due to the engine configuration: two on either side of the fuselage, back near the tail. Last night, we saw at least three large, slow moving transports heading in the same direction. I would have suspected that it was a Boeing C-17 Globemaster, from the 99 Squadron but apparently they only have one of those (official site).

They are probably flying to Brize Norton: the largest airbase operated by the Royal Air Force. It is located just eighteen miles west of here, between Carterton and Whitney. It might be an interesting place to visit at some point.

Quite possibly, the volume of traffic is connected with the recent British announcement that they are pulling forces out of Iraq. With 1,600 troops returning to the UK during the next few months, there must be a lot of gear and people to move around.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan February 28, 2007 at 4:38 pm

There are actually five RAF stations in Oxfordshire:

RAF Bampton Castle
RAF Barford St John
RAF Benson
RAF Brize Norton
RAF Weston-on-the-Green

Anon @ Wadh February 28, 2007 at 5:02 pm

It is appropriate that you used Somerville, where Lady Thatcher studied, as the image for a post all about shipping British troops around the world…

Anon @ Wadh February 28, 2007 at 10:33 pm

I had never really wondered about the airplane noises. I suppose I took them for commercial jets flying to London.

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