In 2022 FLAG organised its first photo competition overseen by member Andrew Wilson. There was a good number of entries from members in both the Leeming and General categories. The photos were sent for judging to Sgt Jimmy Wise a professional and very experienced RAF photographer.

Jimmy said "I have deliberated long and hard over the images submitted and would like to say that I am impressed with the range of imagery supplied. I have made my decisions based upon interest, colour and technical accuracy." The four winning photos are shown below along with Sgt Wise's comments.

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Leeming category - Winning photo from COLIN FAWCETT

Sgt Wise said - "This is a lovely image of a 100 Sqn Hawk T1 synonymous with RAF Leeming until very recently. There are nice clean colours with a good contast between the subject and the background. The photographer has clearly invested their time into this image and has reaped the rewards."

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Leeming category - Runner up photo from PHILIP SEDGWICK

Sgt Wise said - "I was particularly impressed with the panning technique the photographer had employed in this photograph, achieving a sharp image of the airframe with good movement in the background and propellers at 1/80th second".

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General category - Winning photo from TIM CLARIDGE

Sgt Wise said - "An unconventional crop of a US F-15 banking left and catching the light and contrails perfectly separating the subject from the turbulent background. Stunning image full of action reminiscent of a cold war aviation film.

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General category - Runner up photo from PHIL HILLS

Sgt Wise said "A Supermarine Spitfire painted in desert colours beautifully vibrant against a cloudy sky. Good movement in the propeller using a slower shutter speed without substantial loss in the sharpness of the airframe."

As indicated by our photo competition judge, the standard of the images entered was extremely high and selecting the four winning images wasn't easy. It is planned to feature more of the entered images on the website in due course. A sincere thank you to all those who entered images and made our first photo competition such a success.

FLAG Visits and Events

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100 Squadron Hawk T1's on the flightline at Leeming. In 2017 the Sqn celebrated its centenary. Sadly on 31 March 2022, 100 Squadron disbanded bringing to an end to over 100 years of service in the Royal Air Force.


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Leeming's future - in September 2021 the first two Hawk T167's for the Qatari-RAF Squadron arrived at Leeming securing the future of fast jet flying at RAF Leeming. 



Wednesday 14 June 2023 -      FLAG Leeming visit - C-130 Flypast, Intel Briefing, JFACTSU Sim,                                                                                                    RN 845 Sqn detachment and HHA 


Wednesday 29 March 2023   FLAG Leeming visit - UAS, Small Arms Range, MRT and Fire                                                                                                            Section


Wednesday 30 Nov 2022       FLAG Leeming visit - 2 FP and Exercise Yorknite


Wednesday 25 May 2022      FLAG Leeming visit - 90 Signals Unit and 11 Sqn QEAF


Friday 15 October 2021         FLAG Leeming visit - RAFX and QEAF Squadron briefings


Wednesday 18 Dec 2019       FLAG Xmas Lunch


Wed 20 November 2019       FLAG Leeming visit including Exercise Yorknite


Wed 03 April 2019               RAFAT & Scampton Heritage Centre visit


Thurs 21 February 2019    RAF Coningsby visit - 29 Sqn and BBMF


Tues 11 December 2018     FLAG Xmas Lunch & Guest Lecture - Himalayan Venture 2018


Tues 30 October 2018      RAF Leeming visit - ATC and 1oo Sqn


Tues 24 July 18 2018       RAF Fylingdales visit


Thurs 26 April 2018        RAF Leeming visit - 34 Sqn, 100Sqn, Fire Section and UAS


Tues 12 Dec 2017             FLAG Xmas Lunch / Guest Lecture - 135 EAW & Op Biloxi 


Thurs 23 Nov 2017        RAF Leeming visit to 90 SU/Agile Eagle and RTP


Fri 21 July 2017            RAF Leeming Families Day


Wed 19 July 2017         CAS/FLAG visit to Valley - book with Colin Fawcett of CAS


Fri 2 June 2017            CAS/FLAG visit to Lakenheath - book with Colin Fawcett of CAS


Thurs 25 May 2017                      RAF Menwith Hill visit


Tues 28 March 2017                   RAF Leeming visit to 29 Sqn det.

Sat 18 March 2017                     100 Sqn Centenary Event, RAF Leeming


Tues 13 December 2016            FLAG Xmas Lunch / Guest Lecture


Wed 12 October 2016                RAF Leeming visit


Tues 20 September 2016         RAF Mildenhall visit


Friday 22 July 2016                RAF Leeming Families Day


Tues 14 June 2016                   RAF Leeming visit

Wed 20 April 2016,                 CAS/FLAG RAF Valley visit - to be rescheduled


Mon 14 March 2016,              CAS/FLAG Lecture @ Middlesbro' Municipal Golf Club 

Thurs 10 December 2015      FLAG Christmas Lunch & Lecture - RAF Leeming Officers Mess


Thurs 15 October 2015          RAF Leeming visit


Wed 16 September 2015        RAF Linton on Ouse visit


Saturday 6 June 2015           RAF Leeming Families Day


Tuesday 12 May 2015           RAF Mildenhall visit


Wednesday 6 May 2015      RAF Lakenheath visit

Wednesday 15 April 2015   RAF Leeming visit




If you wish the box below can be used to send an e-mail directly to leemingaviation@gmail.com

*Don't forget to add your name!

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Exercise Volcanex 1997  - "Plus ca change"

FLAG member Mick Britton  recalls a previous Anglo-French exercise at Leeming -

Whilst Ex Griffin Strike looked very interesting it reminded me of a previous chapter of Anglo-French military co-operation in the mid 1990s that resulted in the formation of the Franco-British European Air Group that ran a series of Volcanex Exercises, the 2nd of which (in July '97) used Leeming. The French sent a contingent of Mirage 2000s and F1s (interestingly from the same Normandie-Niemen Esc which were here with Rafale) whilst the based F3s and Hawks also participated. The exercise was mainly conducted over Wales as I recall. Attached are a couple of pics of the Mirage 2000s and the badge of the FBEAG which is still in existence but now primarily concerned with CSAR if its website is any guide.

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FLAG 2015 Xmas Lecture - Exercise Northern Venture  or "Around the World at 90 knots"

Our guest speaker at the FLAG Christmas Lunch was Squadron Leader Tony Cowan MBE BA FRIN RAF (Rtd).

A former air cadet, Tony joined the RAF in 1969, training on the JP and Varsity before flying operationally on the C-130 and Nimrod, including the 1982 Falklands conflict in the latter. He was awarded a commendation for long range patrols during this conflict which included a record breaking flight of 19 hrs 5 mins !

Ground tours followed including the Officers Command School, OC Ops Sqn at 399 Signals Unit and MOD Press Office. During these appointments Tony joined 5 AEF flying the DH Chipmunk. This led in 1996 to organizing and leading a long range flight in the Chipmunk to Moscow and back to mark the 50 year anniversary of the aircraft. In 1997 Exercise Northern Venture followed, when Tony with Ced Hughes and Bill Purchase, circumnavigated the northern hemisphere in two Chipmunks. Tony was awarded the MBE in 1998 for services to aviation.

On leaving the RAF in 1998 he flew the BN Islander from DTV airport for the NE police followed by a tour with the Scottish Air Ambulance with the same aircraft. Throughout this period, as a member of the RAF Reserves, he continued to fly with 11 AEF at Leeming on the Bulldog and Tutor.

Currently Tony flies the Cessna 182 and 208B for Peterlee Parachute Centre as well as having a share in a Victa T5 Airtourer. He both a trustee and Regional  Co-ordinator for the UK Civil Air Patrol and also Captain of the Mayor of Durham’s Ceremonial Bodyguard which dates back to 1602. Apart from Her Majesty the Queen, the Durham Mayor is the only person in the UK with a personal armed ceremonial bodyguard.

Exercise Northern Venture YouTube  link     recently uploaded by the family of Sqn Ldr Ced Hughes

Flight International "Exercise Northern Venture " article , 14-20 May 1997 

One of the Chipmunks which participated in Northern Venture is WP962, shown  below displayed in the RAF Museum at Hendon

Photo from the flickr collection of Moshi Anahory


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Read about the Service history of WP962 by clicking on the pdf icon below.

Chipmunk WP962. pdf
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RAPCON website 

An update by Graeme Hewitt

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One of the weblinks featured on the Info Zone page of our FLAG website is "RAPCON" (end of page), the acronyn for the website of the Runhall Aviation Photographers Consortium which features the work of four aviation photographers including myself.

In addition to covering airshows around the world, the galleries feature military exercises and deployments as well as routine operations.

In recent weeks, no less than 13 new photo galleries have been launched on the Rapcon website, all of which reflect a busy 17 days spent by Andrew Jewson and myself at various bases from coast to coast in the USA.  


Our travels took in 4 airshows & visits to "the fence" at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma (AZ) & Naval Air Facility El Centro (CA) in order to witness the biannual Weapons & Tactics Instructor course.  The WTI course attracts participating Marine Corps flying assets from other bases spread throughout the USA and also from Japan.  It is estimated that over 150 fixed & rotary wing aircraft took part in total.


Included in the photo galleries referred to above, is one gallery dedicated to USMC Squadron VMFA-121 which started working up operations late 2012 with the F-35B Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter).  By July 2015, the squadron was able to declare initial operational capability (IOC) with 10 aircraft up to fighting standard & ready for deployment.  The F-35B is currently on order for the Royal Air Force and  Royal Navy and indeed first production aircraft are already in use for training RAF aircrew at Edwards AFB (CA) and for RN aircrew at MCAS Beaufort (SC).  We should see the first of these arrive in the UK by 2018.

We hope you enjoy browsing the photo galleries by following the      rapcon weblink


Leeming's Gate Guardian - A Brief History by Mick Britton

Earlier this year, as described in the feature in the Lee Zone of the website, Leeming replaced its Javelin Gate Guardian with a Tornado F3.

One of the final batch of eight Tornado F3s built by BAe at Warton for the cancelled  Omani order, constructor no. AT044 was delivered to the RAF (who were forced to takeover the order much against their wishes as they felt no need to increase the fleet)  at Coningsby on 11 September 1992, serialled ZH552.  Originally operated by 56 ( R ) Sqn. the F3OCU, coded AZ, it was briefly loaned to the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) the following year  for trial work on the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) being returned after two months away. In June 1994 it was passed to the Air Warfare Centre (AWC) that was responsible for developing F3 tactics and doctrine which operated it for two years. After a brief loan spell with XI Sqn. at RAF Leeming in 1996 the a/c returned to Coningsby for operation with 29 Sqn. coded BS being subsequently (upon disbandment) passed to V Sqn. who coded it CH in October 1998. Over the next few years it served with  both the remaining Coningsby squadrons , being coded AB with 56 ( R ) Sqn., before a year’s service with XI Sqn. at Leeming between October 03 and September 04 (almost certainly in unchanged markings and codes ). On its return home it moved, as part of the 56 ( R ) Sqn. complement to RAF Leuchars, thereby completing the set of F3 bases and upon the change of the tail code system gained the letters ST. Subsequently, if briefly, it served with both the other Leuchars squadrons, nos 43 and 111, who gave it the codes HW, in July 09.  With the retirement of the type from RAF service in March 2012 ZH552 was fortunate to escape the demise of its sisters when it was selected to serve with the small fleet of four F3s operated by QinetiQ  for carrying out trials of the Meteor Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile at Boscombe Down.  Although not one those specially modified to actually fire the missile it was used as a chase plane from which the firings were recorded on a hand held camera and this explains the four black cine camera mission symbols on the fuselage forward of the air intake. The trials were completed at the end of 2012 and all four of these aircraft were delivered to RTP at Leeming in July 2013. ZH552’s second lucky break was to be the last F3 scheduled for processing at the time when the decision was taken to dispose of Leeming’s long standing Javelin gate guard. For a station with a proud tradition a replacement was obviously required and what could be more appropriate than the last surviving F3 on the premises ! The F3 also has a FLAG link in that the logbook of our President , AVM Phil Roser  records hours flying sister aircraft (ZE/ZG a/c) while Station Commander at Leeming.           


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Above - ZH552 at Coningsby in the markings of 29 Squadron after its brief loan spell with XI Squadron at Leeming in 1996 - M. Britton

Below - Pristine and purposeful ZH552 returns to Leeming displaying the crests of all three Leeming F3 Wing Squadrons - C. Fawcett 

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Members' Photo Gallery

MemMber Colin


Paul Rainford's four photos show some of the flying action during the first week of Joint Warrior 15-2 at RAF Leeming. For more of Paul's photos link to his collection found on     


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For more of Colin's photos link to his collections found on   flickr            and             photobucket


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Colin captured this 29 Squadron Typhoon departing Leeming during the FLAG visit on 15 October 2015

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Vulcan XH588 low over the Lake District during its Northern Route flight on 10th October photographed from Helm Crag by Colin Fawcett

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Indian Air Force SU-30's  at RAF Coningsby during  Ex Indradhanush- from Colin Fawcett's photos.  For more of Colin's photos link to his  

collections found on 

flickr                   and             photobucket

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Dave Thompson took this sad photo of Leeming's Javelin FAW4 gate guardian prior to the departure to its new home at The Jet Age Museum, Staverton, close to the original Gloster factory. XA634 spent most of its flying life as a trials aircraft for air refueling tests after modification by Airwork Limited.

Now replaced, as hoped for, by  Tornado F3 - see Lee Zone.

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FAF Mirage 2000N which particicpated in Capable Eagle at RAF Leeming               Photo by Colin Fawcett

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A sad reminder of Leeming's F3 glory days was this XXV Squadron "relic" seen during a FLAG visit to the RTP Facility in December 2012.                                                                      Photo by Linda Hornby

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- 100 Sqn Hawk XX285 in its anniversary colours displayed during the XXV Sqn Photo Day at Leeming 29 March 2008. Photos Leeming Aviation

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- In the expert hands of  FLAG Dep OIC Flt Lt James Harris,  XX285 makes a low pass during Leeming Families Day in 2009.

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BBMF Spitfire PR XIX, PM631 from Coningsby displays its classic lines also at Families Day 09.


Spitfire PM631

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Modern classic lines, but faster andlouder, Typhoon FRG4 of 3Squadron, Coningsby, is displayed by Sqn Ldr Scott Loughran.

3 Squadron

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With four Merlins in perfect harmony the BBMF Lancaster approaches crowd centre.

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 PA474 in the markings ofEE139, the "Phantom of the Ruhr, which flew its first 30 ops with 100 Sqn , currently flying Hawks at Leeming.

Phantom of the Ruhr


Photo by Linda Hornby

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Hurricane 11c, PZ865 completes the BBMF display at Families Day,  a highlight of the FLAG year.


Hurricane PZ865

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Close up with the Sea King of 202 Sqn as the winching demo begins at Leeming's northern HAS area.

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Families Day 2010 included this100 Sqn Hawk display team which included our FLAG OIC Sqn Ldr Al Dolding.

Why not "Team Excalibur" as agreat name ?  

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Two participants in Exercise Joint Warrior 14-1 at Lossiemouth . Photos by Bernie Hinds