The upcoming retirement of the RAF’s Tornados prompted us to go to RAF Marham to see some of the last flights of this aircraft. Plus with any luck we hoped to F-35 Lightnings flying as well.
We had looked at where to go around the airfield using the Thunder and Lightning website as neither of us had been to Marham before.
RAF Marham is over 140 miles away and took us 3.5 hours to get there. We drove around the perimeter getting our bearings before we joined the cars parked in a field to begin our day.
First F-35B Lightning
We walked down to the fence line and joined the small group of photographers there. The first plane we saw was the daily FlyBe/Eastern passenger plane landing and taking off.
Next we heard on the radio that an F-35 was going to launch – this was to be the first take-off in 2019 of the type.
Within seconds of the above image being taken we heard on the radio that a bird strike had been called.
We heard over the radio the calm voice of the pilot explaining that there were no warning lights on and that he would come round and land.
Then the F-35 Lightning taxied past us.
Second F-35B Lightning
Before the first Lightning landed a second one had taken off.
All waiting .
From the other side of the airfield we saw our first Tornado taxiing towards us…
… and then take-off.
Then the farmer appeared and explained that he was about to start work in the fields and we’d all have to move.
A second Tornado appeared coming down the taxi way as we walked back to the car. This was the Tornado from the top of the field.