With the year drawing to a close, Glenn Beasley made a mad dash to RAF Coningsby to catch a few Typhoons and the setting sun…
With the days approaching just about their shortest as the year draws to a close, you might think that without an early start, it’s not really worth making the effort. But with a very pleasant winter’s day in progress I headed up to Coningsby for a little over two hours’ action one afternoon in the first week of December.
I hadn’t frequented ‘Fightertown’ since the deployment of the Saudis in September, and as then it was quite busy with enthusiasts; not surprising given the superb winter light on offer. Without doubt, this is my favourite time of year to shoot – during the short winter days, the heat haze gone, the low light offered by the sun is fantastic, the air is clear and the deep blue of the sky makes for perfect photographic conditions.
Immediately on arrival, Typhoons began launching for their afternoon sorties and 14 in total departed wearing a mixture of squadron marks, namely 3(F), 6, 11, 29 and 41 Squadrons respectively. The first recoveries didn’t start until after 1500, so my target of a good sunset seemed to be going to plan.
In truth, there were more low approaches than touch and gos, and a large flock of birds circling the Runway 25 end were doing their best to get in the way. It was also worth noting how quickly the sun disappears at this time of year with the days so short, but there were enough ‘keepers’ from the ‘golden hour’ to make the short trip into Lincolnshire worthwhile.
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