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RAF 100 AT COTSWOLD AIRPORT

As part of the ongoing events around the UK, a Centenary Baton Relay is being passed via 100 sites over 100 days in celebration of 100 years of the Royal Air Force. This week that baton passed hands leaving what was once RAF Kemble, a previous home of the Royal Air Force Red Arrows, to cross the Cotswolds ending at MOD St Athan, home of the Defence Colleges of Aeronautical Engineering, Electro-Mechanical Engineering and Communications and Information Systems and No 6 Flying Training School, University of Wales Air Squadron.

All Imagery by: Shadow Shots www.shadow-shots.com

Cotswold Allure Magazine was invited to part take in the special baton and flew as part of the five aircraft flown by the RAF Lyneham Flying Club under the leadership of Kev Turner with a number of pilots were either current serving or ex-serving personnel from the RAF. The spectacular day started with the passing of the baton between SAC Sophie Smith and SAC Becky Barton, both from RAF Wyton, under the bright blue Cotswold skies and the static guardian of the Red Arrows Gnat.

 

A number of people had gathered to witness the event and wish the formation luck such is the high regard that the Flying Club and Cotswold Airport is held in the locality. After a detailed brief and preparation and in the delightful surroundings of the Cotswold Airport, the amassed audience bid farewell to the formation as it took to the air.

RAF 100 Baton

 

RAF Kemble has been in existence since August 1936 and transferred from a military base in 1993. However, in 2009 it changed to become the Cotswold Airport and has provided a much needed airfield facilitating a multitude of daily visitors for many local events, including Badminton and the  Cheltenham Races. Not only that, it has been a long standing recycling centre for the airline industry and a number of jumbo jet can been seen from the A429 passing to the south.

 

It cannot be missed as they even have a specialised Boeing 747 primed and ready for your party or even to exchange your wedding vows. And as the summer months approach, keep an eye out for their Open Air cinemas and Revival Festival, which are always well attended. And obviously, there a number of flying clubs offering their services to get you to that first solo up to your Private Licences. If that all sounds like it is too much, you could just go for a delicious nibble at the AV8 café to soak up the quiet yet exhilarating history and live action.

All Imagery by: Shadow Shots www.shadow-shots.com

Cotswold Allure Magazine enjoyed the hour long formation flight that took in the many sights of the Cotswolds, including Malmesbury Abbey, Castle Coombe Racing circuit, Coresham, Colerne, Bristol and the two Severn Bridges, before arriving at MOD St Athan.

The flight was seen from the ground by a number of local schools and general public, with a number of others via social media. However, it did not take long before the Baton was whisked away on its next journey around the south of Wales continuing its 100 day trek across the UK.

Whilst the formation refuelled, it was apparent how successful the venture had been with many people resorting to social media, begging for the formation to return and at what time would they be overhead. Luckily, the weather held out and the five aircraft left together to cross back to the Cotswolds and allow the public to see this quite rare event arrive back safely at Cotswold Airport.

The sense of satisfaction of a job well done was evident on everyone’s faces and the chance to partake in a small element of the RAF’s 100 year history celebration with Cotswold Airport was a remarkable experience.

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