RAF Lakenheath - 28th & 29th December

RAF Lakenheath - 28th & 29th December

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Sat 31 Dec 2016, 1:51 pm

Some shots from Lakenheath this week. Woke up in Essex to thick fog on Wednesday, but having been reassured that the iPhone was correct and it was indeed clear at Lakenheath, set off a little later than planned. Four F-15Es straight in on the ILS was the only reward, as the fog did roll in and curtailed flying for the day, forcing everything that couldn't RTB to divert to Germany.

Forecast for a repeat the next day, it was clear here early doors, so headed up again hoping for the best. Turned out to be a lovely day without a cloud in the sky, although needn't have arrived so early - three hours after parking up, we finally had some movements!

Keen not to take the same side-on shots as I have done on my last few visits, I decided to try and get the front 3/4 close-up I'm yet to nail. I'm still not happy with them, and kind of regret the decision as I feel I wasted the good light and should probably have taken the low hanging fruit, but here's some that didn't end up in the bin.

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-03 'LN' - 492nd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 01-2002 'LN' - 494th Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle 84-0001 'LN' - 493rd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle 86-0154 'LN' - 493rd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 97-0218 'LN' - 492nd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-0603 494th Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-0334 'LN' - 494th Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 01-2000 494th Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-0317 'LN' - 492nd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 98-0135 'LN' - 492nd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-0335 'LN' - 494th Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-0317 'LN' - 492nd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-0315 'LN' - 492nd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 98-0134 'LN' - 492nd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 98-0134 'LN' - 492nd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 91-0303 'LN' - 492nd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr

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McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 98-0134 'LN' - 492nd Fighter Squadron, USAFE by Dan B, on Flickr
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Re: RAF Lakenheath - 28th & 29th December

Postby gary1701 on Sat 31 Dec 2016, 4:19 pm

Nice Dan, looks like we were pretty much working the same area during the afternoon. Getting a decent exposure off the underside of those things without overexposing the sky is pretty difficult and these have come up a treat. I feel a bit guilty rolling up at 10:30 just as the action was starting!

Gary
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My name's Wild Bill Kelso, and don't you forget it! - John Belushi, 1941.
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Re: RAF Lakenheath - 28th & 29th December

Postby CJS on Sat 31 Dec 2016, 9:14 pm

Liking these very much Dan, especially the 3/4 head on shots, I'd say you pretty much have nailed them!

I always wonder why any F-15 shot I see from Lakenheath they are always armed in one way or another - are they actually armed or are they dummy missiles and what not?

Cheers, thank for sharing them :up: , glad you got lucky with the weather on day 2 and happy new year. :clap:
"Forewarned is forearmed"
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Re: RAF Lakenheath - 28th & 29th December

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Sat 31 Dec 2016, 10:30 pm

CJS wrote:Liking these very much Dan, especially the 3/4 head on shots, I'd say you pretty much have nailed them!

I always wonder why any F-15 shot I see from Lakenheath they are always armed in one way or another - are they actually armed or are they dummy missiles and what not?

Cheers, thank for sharing them :up: , glad you got lucky with the weather on day 2 and happy new year. :clap:

Thanks. Happy new year to you too.

They're training rounds, which you can tell from the blue bands on them. Live missiles have yellow and brown bands on them, which IIRC denote live electronics and explosives respectively.

The item on the inside of the starboard pylon (with the three 'spikes') is an ACMI pod. That's a pretty standard load out for training ops. Sometimes the F-15Es will also go out with air to ground training rounds too.

There was a lot of chatter on the air-to-air frequencies about engagements - from BVR right down to dogfighting with canons. There was a de-brief carried out by some of the crews whilst they were sat with the engines running as the fog closed in on Wednesday, talking about their morning sortie and the plan for the afternoon flight. Quite interesting to listen to, in the absence of any movement.
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Re: RAF Lakenheath - 28th & 29th December

Postby gary1701 on Sat 31 Dec 2016, 10:37 pm

CJS wrote:Liking these very much Dan, especially the 3/4 head on shots, I'd say you pretty much have nailed them!

I always wonder why any F-15 shot I see from Lakenheath they are always armed in one way or another - are they actually armed or are they dummy missiles and what not?

Cheers, thank for sharing them :up: , glad you got lucky with the weather on day 2 and happy new year. :clap:


Hi there,

You got it right with the dummy missiles, they're all carrying a standard training fit. On the F-15E's and going from the left hand side to the right you have a AIM-120 AMRAAM drill round (note - no fins) on the outboard rail (station 2A), nothing on the inboard. On the forward fuselage shoulder station, under the intake you have a SNIPER targeting pod, when the F-15E was introduced this was a LANTIRN targeting pod but they replaced that obsolete pod some years ago. On the fuselage station under the other intake is the LANTIRN navigation pod, which is the only fit on that station. The inboard rail on the right hand side (station 8A) has a ACMI training pod and the other side (station 8B) a drill AIM-9M Sidewinder. If the air-to-air missiles were live you would see yellow and brown banding round them, not blue - not to mention fins fitted!

Hope Dan's okay with me putting this up, but this is a live AIM-120 fitted to a RAF Typhoon. For some reason that I don't know, the radome shape varies, some are more pointed than others, you can see it clearly on Dan's pics.

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The C models carry the same missile combination except that they - usually - carry the later AIM-9X Sidewinder with different forward and rear fins. No pods on them obviously. The later Sidewinder hasn't made it to the F-15E community yet.

Hope that helps.

Gary

Edit: sorry Dan, you posted while I was typing!
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Re: RAF Lakenheath - 28th & 29th December

Postby toom317 on Sun 01 Jan 2017, 8:02 pm

LN Strike Eagle wrote:
CJS wrote:They're training rounds, which you can tell from the blue bands on them. Live missiles have yellow and brown bands on them, which IIRC denote live electronics and explosives respectively.


Yellow= High Explosive
Brown= Solid Propellant/Rocket Propellant

Training rounds tend to have most, if not all, of the electronics on live warheads, as they still use the electronics to aquire targets during training. Sometimes referred to as Aquisition Rounds.
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Re: RAF Lakenheath - 28th & 29th December

Postby Joerg on Mon 02 Jan 2017, 7:54 pm

gary1701 wrote:
CJS wrote:.... For some reason that I don't know, the radome shape varies, some are more pointed than others, you can see it clearly on Dan's pics.


Up until a few years ago the pointy noses were used on live missiles only and the blunt ones on acquisition rounds. As I was told the pointy noses apparently have better aerodynamics and improve missile range. Starting around Op Odyssey Dawn live missiles could be seen fitted with blunt noses. I have no clue as to why they fitted the blunt nose cones to live missiles or why pointy ones on acquisition rounds. Also what´s the point in having 2 nose cones at all.... :dizzy:

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Joerg
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Re: RAF Lakenheath - 28th & 29th December

Postby sovietjet on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 4:32 pm

I think the 3/4 shots are way more interesting than side-ons. Nice job!
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Re: RAF Lakenheath - 28th & 29th December

Postby CJS on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 9:23 pm

Sorry I never got back to you - thanks for the info chaps, interesting to know. :up:
"Forewarned is forearmed"
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