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We have had friends at Lakenheath airbase for a long time, resulting in many join-ups with USAF assets in previous years. For this season, in great corporation with the Liberty Wing, we organized a 1-day project that was all about American airpower. Our host ‘Evil’ had made it sure that the Skyvan photoship could land and operate out of Lakenheath itself, a true priviledge!

On the first photomission we had an air to air join-up with the MC-130, one of the more rare C-130s in Europe, as they will normally not participate in a lot of airshows outside RIAT. Our second guest was the OV-22 Osprey, this tilt rotor aircraft/helicopter remains an impressive sight. We got a chance to see the pilots show various angles of their giant rotors, and of course present the Osprey to the photographers from different photo angles the Skyvan photoship can offer.

Unfortunately our first F-15E had an emergency and the join-up was cancelled. Last minute operational commitments also prevented the KC-135 from participating. But once back on the ground we had a nice surprise in the form of a fantastic presentation on the capabilities of both the F-15E and F-35, both presentation were given by actual fighter pilots.

The highlight of the day was the second flight were we got a 4-ship with two Strike Eagles and two F-35s, giving the photographers plenty of opportunity to capture different formations, flybys, close –ups and some break manoeuvres.

Unfortunately the biggest problem on the day was the pretty shitty weather, but we were all very happy in the end that we got to fly and catch all the USAFE assets. For our next season we already ordered the good weather, and hopefully we will be able to continue a great tradition, where the day before we start with all the RIAT photomissions we get to fly with our friends from Mildenhall and Lakenheath. Go Liberty Wing!!


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