I have been visiting RAF Marham since starting my career in Photography at the end 1999. Always having a love of aviation and in particular the noise and speed of the military fast jets. The Tornado and RAF Marham are as familiar as bread and butter or fish and chips having first arrived at the Norfolk base in the year of my forth birthday 1983. Relatively recently it was announced that the Royal Air Force would acquire the new F-35B Lightning to operate from a land base and the new breed of Royal Navy Carrier. The Tornado reluctantly being dragged into retirement RAF Marham was to be the F-35's new home.
In July 2016 three F35's made a 'flying' (sorry) visit to Marham. They did a couple of flypasts before a solo slow hover past but no tyres on tarmac and it was all very exciting but all too brief.
(The Tornado ever present reminding everyone who is still in charge, for now!)
Jump forward just shy of two years to June of this year and the exciting news that the first four F35's would be arriving at their new home well ahead of schedule. RAF Marham was besieged by avid aviation fans lining all roads around the perimeter keen to glimpse the new hi-tech replacement to the cold war 'Tonka' that has become part of daily life in the skies of Norfolk. Flying non-stop from Beaufort on the East coast of the United States the four planes made a single pass before peeling round to land in front of senior military officials, a gathered chosen few and the waiting media. History made!
Barely two months later and aviation royalty received a visit from real royalty. HRH The Prince of Wales was shown round the stealth aircraft by Station Commander Group Captain Cab Townsend and F-35 pilot 617 Squadron Wing Commander John Butcher.
(There are no exceptions to the FOD check.)
(It wasn't planned for the future King of England to climb into the pilot seat but clearly given half a chance he wasn't going to miss an opportunity like that.)
(Royal Air Force Marham Station Commander Group Captain Cab Townsend)
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