Glasgow Airport Movements 2021
Tuesday 1 June marked the start of meteorological summer, the weather was superb, and the UK recorded no COVID 19-related deaths since the pandemic began which combined to create a growing sense of optimism. Portugal was at that time the only major holiday destination on the government`s green travel list, meaning visitors were not required to quarantine on their return to the UK. This obviously led to a surge in demand for flights, and with a review of the worldwide risk situation due a couple of days later, holidaymakers and travellers alike believed that many other countries would be reclassified as safer to visit. However, hopes were shattered as there was no significant change, apart from Portugal moving to amber. This meant holidaymakers would have to self-isolate at home on their return, even if they showed no symptoms of COVID. It wasn`t until 04:00 on Wednesday 30 June that the Balearic Islands (Formentera, Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca), plus Malta and Madeira, were all moved to the Green watch-list, but remained at risk of moving from green to amber at short notice.
Thousands of people employed across the holiday industry, from travel agents and tour operators, to pilots and cabin crew, urged both the Scottish and UK Governments to capitalise on the vaccine rollout in order to safely reopen travel this summer before it was too late. Data from IATA shows that, of the 1.6 million jobs within UK aviation, travel and tourism pre-pandemic, 860,000 have either already disappeared or are sustained only by government furlough.
At Glasgow Airport, staff gathered to spell out the word `HELP` with unused vehicles including fire & rescue appliances, a snow plough and baggage trolleys. on the west apron which would normally be a hive of activity at this time of year. (Photo courtesy of Glasgow Live).
I made several visits to Prestwick Airport this month, more details of which can be found in a dedicated section at the bottom of this page.
On June 11, it came as a shock to many to hear that Dublin-based regional carrier Stobart Air (formerly Aer Arann) announced it had ceased operations and was in the process of appointing a liquidator. Stobart Air referred to the continuing impact of the pandemic which had resulted in almost no flying since March 2020. All 12 Aer Lingus regional flights operated by Stobart Air were cancelled immediately and customers were advised not come to the airport but check the Aer Lingus website for updated information on refund or re-booking options. The longstanding Glasgow - Dublin connection was among those terminated and it appears that, at least for the time being, Aer Lingus now plans to operate its sole Scottish routes from Edinburgh using a Airbus jets rather than alternative turboprops. These shots, likely to be my last ever of a Stobart Air plane, show ATR 72-600 EI-FAU setting off on the return Aer Lingus Regional flight to Dublin on June 3.
Loganair announced that it`s planning to launch a new carbon offset programme from 1 July, which will include a mandatory charge of £1 per passenger to help it reach net zero by 2040. The money raised will be invested in projects around the world to help remove the same amount of carbon from the atmosphere as is generated by Loganair flights. This includes reforestation projects and wind farms that will replace carbon-heavy coal and gas-fired power stations. Later this year, Loganair will also establish a new fund to provide grants to help with the cost of establishing renewable energy projects in the communities that it serves.
Loganair is the only UK regional airline invited to participate in the UK Government’s Jet Zero Council initiative which was launched by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last summer to de-carbonise air travel. The carrier`s Chief Executive Jonathan Hinkles said: "We think it’s right to ask our customers to join us on this journey to carbon neutrality, and the £1 greenskies charge within Loganair’s ticket prices means that we can immediately mitigate the impact of the carbon emissions from every flight. We want our customers to understand just how committed we are to highlighting the need to recognise the impact of each journey - and how a small change for all of us can quickly make a big difference overall." (J. Hinkles photo © Insider.co.uk).
Loganair is an active partner in three future flight projects to design, test and certificate new technology for use in the regional airline sector. Trials of new sustainable developmental aircraft powered by hydrogen and renewable energy are currently underway in the Orkney Islands and it`s hoped such aircraft will eventually be introduced into its fleet.
After a wait of 23 years for Scotland`s national football team to qualify for and then progress into the second round of a major competition, nothing much has changed. As usual there were plenty of lows as well as a couple of highs but despite the unwavering backing of the Tartan Army-led nation, it was shattered dreams all round - at least a whole new generation of Scots were able to experience what it`s like to support their national team in a major tournament.
Steve Clarke`s men went down to the Czech Republic 0-2 in their first match, but facing the Auld Enemy at Wembley was a different proposition. A Nil-Nil draw didn`t do the team justice - they dominated much of the play and by all accounts should have won. They came away with just one point but with their heads held high.
This meant the national team needed to win at Hampden on June 22 to clinch a place in the knockout rounds for the first time in their history but it was not to be. They fought back bravely after falling behind to a Nikola Vlasic goal in the first-half and levelled through a superb Callum McGregor strike three minutes before half-time. But outstanding work from Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic ensured it was the Russa 2018 finalists who went through as runners-up. England finished top of the group while Scotland finished bottom with just the single point from their match against England to show for their efforts. (Euro 2020 photos © The Herald / Daily Record / Sky.com).
It was no surprise that members of the Tartan Army ignored pleas requesting them not to travel to London if they didn`t have a ticket for the match against England at Wembley. No fan zone had been allocated by the London authorities which led to mass gatherings in parks and city squares for those who hadn`t pre-booked a seat in a pub or restaurant. The invasion, although raucous was largely peaceful with the Scots, as usual, intent on a party whatever the result but, again, it was no surprise that cases of Coronavirus, particularly in young men, surged soon after their visit.
(Tartan Army photos © Sky News, The Independent / Yahoo News).
Supporters from the Czech Republic and Croatia would have normally descended on Glasgow in their thousands to cheer on their respective teams but COVID restrictions meant that fans from mainland Europe were unable to travel to the city for their scheduled matches against Scotland at Hampden Park. Ukraine and Sweden also ended up playing here but the only football related aircraft brought teams, officials and support staff rather than hoards of supporters. The handful of football-related charters that did appear, including ATR 72-600 SE-MKM (f/v) of Braathens Regional Airlines, are detailed in the `Jet Airliners` and `Turboprops` sections below. Also, some of the visiting biz-jets this month were likely connected with the tournament.
At least EURO 2020 gave a new generation of Scotland fans the experience of supporting their national team in a major competition.
The football-related charters and a pair of Boeing 737-8 MAX making a fuel stop on delivery to Neos in Italy were the most noteworthy airliners this month. Domestic flights began to ramp up with further destinations coming online and Thursday 3 June saw Ryanair`s first foreign holiday flight at Glasgow International for quite sometime. It was operated by Boeing 737-8AS(WL) EI-DHB which made a round trip from Alicante, Spain. This shot shows the second Spanish Ryanair departure which was operated by EI-DPM the following day, in this case to Malaga.
British Airways still has a number of Airbuses at Glasgow, either stored or awaiting maintenance.
As well as the BA jets, the following based charter airliners were present at Glasgow International at the beginning of June: Boeing 737-800s G-DRTC, G-DRTF, G-DRTH, G-DRTW, G-GDFZ, G-JZBF, G-JZHL and G-JZHW, all from the Jet2 fleet, plus Boeing 737-8K5(WL) G-TAWN from TUI. The latter aircraft is still in Sunwing markings.
Each of the Jet2 Boeing 737s stored at Glasgow take to the air every 14 days or so and do several circuits, presumably to test systems or keep the flights crews` hours up. Pictured on the left is Boeing 737-86Q(WL) G-GDFZ returning from one such sortie on June 4, just ahead of an inbound easyJet Airbus. The shot was taken from my back window.
The first noteworthy airliner to appear this month was Air Horizont Boeing 737-484 9H-MPW from Luxembourg which touched down at 23:00 hrs on June 7 with the Scotland football team. Steve Clark`s men could only manage a 0-1 win during their second pre-Euro 2020 friendly, even though the hosts were reduced to 10 men after a sending off. Scotland had previously drawn 2-2 with the Netherlands in their other warm up match.
Other jet airliners visiting in June included A319-131 G-EUPJ British Airways (BA Retro livery) on the 15th and 20th. Ryanair flights continued with Boeing 737-8AS(WL) SP-RKK of Ryanair Sun which operated a service from/to Krakow, plus Boeing 737-8W EI-EFF did likewise from/to Dublin) (16th); Croatia Airlines Airbus A319-112 9A-CTN (f/v) (arrived with Croatia football team from Pula for Euro 2020), plus Embraer ERJ-190SR G-LCAD (f/v) British Airways (17th); Boeing 737-8AS(WL) EI-GJT Ryanair (from / to Malaga), SP-RKE Ryanair Sun (from / to Wroclaw), SP-RSO Ryanair Sun (from/to Warsaw) (18th)...
A321-251NX G-UZMD (f/v) easyJet (from/to Gatwick), Boeing 737-8AS(WL) SP-RKS Ryanair Sun (from/to Krakow), Boeing 777-236(ER) G-YMMU BA (PPE flight from Bangkok) (20th). Airbus A319-112 9A-CTN returned (21st); Boeing 737-8K5(WL) G-TUKO (f/v) TUI (24th); Ryanair Sun Boeing 737-800s continued with SP-RKL (f/v) (from / to Wroclaw) and SP-RSS (from / to Warsaw) (25th); Airbus A320-251N G-TTNK British Airways (26th).
This is BA Boeing 777-236(ER) G-YMMU arriving from Bangkok at 09:10 hrs on Sunday 20 June.
Boeing 737-8K5(WL) G-TUKO (f/v) is one of the latest additions to the TUI fleet having only been delivered in February. It made its inaugural visit to Glasgow Airport when it landed at 15:30 hours on Thursday 24 June and parked up on Stand 40 where it remained for the rest of the month. The shiny new airliner sports the company`s TUI fly livery.
Above: easyJet Airbus A320-214(WL) G-EZRT makes a `05` arrival on June 20.
Please bear in mind that all my images are subject to copyright. They are not free to use and have been embedded with a digital watermark.
A second pair of Boeing 737-8 MAX airliners destined for Italian carrier Neos routed through Glasgow on Wednesday 9 June: EI-RZC (f/v) and EI-RZD (f/v) were each on the ground for around an hour here to refuel. The first two of the type for Neos, namely EI-RZA and EI-RZB, did likewise in March this year. I saw EI-RZC lift-off as I was parking in Inchinnan Drive but managed to snap `RZD`s departure.
Neos was launched as a Joint Venture between Finanziaria di Partecipazioni (IFIL) and TUI, which sold its shares in the carrier to Alpitour in 2004. Based at Milan Malpensa Airport, with bases at Bologna Airport and Verona Airport, the airline operates services to destinations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Two other MAX 8 737s also on delivery from Boeing Field, Seattle, but destined for TUI fly Netherlands, had been scheduled to route through Glasgow later in the month but in the end flew down Scotland`s east coast directly to Amsterdam Schiphol.
On 10 June, Boeing 737 PH-BGI (not photographed) worked one of the day`s Amsterdam - Glasgow services making a change from the KLM Cityhopper Embraer Regional Jets which have become the norm in recent times. There are now three of these flights per day.
Above Left: Ryanair Sun 737-8AS SP-RKS about to depart for Krakow on Sunday 20 June.
KlasJet`s LY-KDT parked beside Croatia Airlines A319-112 9A-CTN (f/v) on the west apron.
(See Biz Jet section below for additional views of KlasJet`s 737 LY-KDT landing on 12 June).
Ukraine played a knockout match against Sweden at Hampden Park on Tuesday 29 June. Ukraine International Airlines provided their national team`s taxi with Embraer ERJ-195AR UR-EMG (f/v) being utilised on both occasions. The airliner first appeared on Monday 28 June, touching down from Bucharest at 12:10 hrs. It was airborne again in just over an hour but reappeared mid-afternoon on Wednesday 30 June, this time from Kyiv (Kiev), to take the victorious Ukraine team (below) to Rome for their next clash. Ukraine had beaten Sweden 2-1 to set them up with a match against England in Italy`s National Stadium on 3 July.
Apart from ATR 72-600 SE-MKM (f/v), a Euro 2020-related charter from Gothenburg on 28 June, there wasn`t much doing. The Braathens turboprop brought the Swedish nation team to Glasgow for their knockout match against Ukraine at Hampden. Occasional visits by Loganair ATR 42s G-LMRA and G-LMRC made a change from the carrier`s based Saab 340s and Twin Otters. Loganair ATR 72-600 G-FBXB (f/v) made its first visit to Glasgow Airport when it touched down late afternoon on Sunday 13 June.
Above: Loganair Twin Otter G-BVVK parked in the sunshine outside the company hangar.
ATR 72-202(F) EI-FXK was snapped for the second time this month as it came in to land on 22 June.
ATR 72-600 SE-MKM (f/v) arrived with the Swedish football team at 09:25 hrs on the 28th.
Only one corporate stopover from last month, namely US-registered Raytheon Hawker 800XP N838BB (right) which had arrived on 31 May. It resumed its journey at 11:40 hrs on June 1. As Cessna CitationJet CJ2 G-NOCM is now based, its comings and goings won`t be recorded. June 2021`s visitors kicked off with Citation XLS G-NJAB (f/v) and CitationJet CJ2 D-INOB of Atlas Air Service (1st); Gulfstream G-VII G-ULFX (f/v), Embraer Legacy 650 G-SUGR from Bristol, Embraer Phenom 300 G-KRBN and CitationJet CJ3 2-TEAM (2nd); // Embraer ERJ-145LU G-OFLX (f/v) and Dassault Falcon 2000EX CS-DLK (3rd); Cessna Citation XLS OE-GJM (f/v) Pink Sparrow (5th); CitationJet CJ4 M-KNOX (7th)...
Citation XLS G-NJAA (8th); CitationJet CJ2 D-IWIR and Embraer Legacy 500 G-MSFX (f/v) (9th); Smartjet Hawker Beechcraft 400XP SP-TAT was routing Faro - Glasgow - Malaga (10th); Citation XLS CS-DXN (11th); KlasJet VIP Boeing 737-500 LY-KDT arrived with Czech football team from Prague for Euro 2020, plus Cessna 680A Citation Latitude CS-LAS and Raytheon Hawker 900XP F-HFCS (f/v) (12th); Bombardier Global 6000 CS-GLF, Dassault Falcon 2000EX CS-DLK (made 2 visits AM) and Phenom 300 G-JMBO (13th).
KlasJet VIP Boeing 737-500 LY-KDT arrived with Czech football team from Prague for Euro 2020 on June 12.
LY-KDT returned late afternoon on Monday 14 June to collect the victorious Czech team after they beat Scotland 0-2 at Hampden.
(On 3 July, the Czechs lost 1-2 to Denmark and exited the competition).
Embraer Phenom 300 G-KRBN about to touch down on Runway 05 on the morning of June 2.
Biz-jets paying a visit continued with Embraer ERJ 135BJ Legacy 650 D-ARMY Air Hamburg, Cessna 680A Citation Latitude CS-LAS, Citation Encore D-CAPB and Citation XLS G-NJAB (14th); Citation Bravo G-SPRE and Phenom 300 G-JMBO (plus other visits later in the month) (16th); KlasJet Boeing 737 LY-KDT made its second visit this month, returning for the Czech football team`s next Euro 2020 match. Also appearing was KlasJet`s blue and white-liveried Boeing 737-522 LY-JMS which I didn`t manage to photograph, Gulfstream G-IV N478GS and Citation XLS G-NJAB (17th); Gulfstream IV N478GS returned, plus Air Hamburg Embraer Legacy 650E D-AFBS (18th); Embraer Legacy 650 G-SUGR (19th); Falcon 7X G-MATO (20th)...
The last batch of corporate arrivals were Embraer Phenom 300 D-CROG (f/v) Air Hamburg (21st); Embraer Legacy 650E D-ARMY Air Hamburg (22nd); Cessna Citation M2 G-KSOH (f/v), CitationJet CJ4 M-KNOX (plus other dates) and Hawker Beechjet 400 SP-TTA (22nd); CitationJet CJ2 G-JNRE, Citation Excel G-IPAX, Citation Bravo G-SPRE and Embraer Phenom 100 PH-CPI (f/v) (23rd); Beechjet 400XT OK-JFA (24th); Learjet 45 OY-GIC (f/v) and Pilatus PC-24 9H-JZM (f/v) (25th); Embraer Phenom 300 2-EMBR (26th); Citation XLS G-GAAL and Citationjet CJ2 (27th); Boeing 737-3L9(WL) G-SWRD 2Excel Aviation, Falcon 2000EXs G-NJAD (f/v) and CS-DLK, Raytheon Hawker 900XP F-HEME (f/v), Raytheon Hawker 750 9H-BSA, Learjet 45 M-MRBB, Citation Excel G-IPAX and Citationjet CJ2 G-SONE (28th); Embraer ERJ-145EP G-OWTN BAe Systems, EMB-135BJ Legacy 650E D-AIRV (f/v) Air Hamburg, Dassault Falcon 2000 VT-RVL (f/v), Falcon 7X M-CELT and Phenom 300 OE-GGO (f/v) (29th); Citationjet CJ2 G-SONE returned (30th).
BAe Systems Embraer ERJ 145LU G-OFLX (f/v) on June 3, on the ground here from 09:40 until 16:25 hrs, was routing Farnborough - Glasgow - Warton.
Raytheon Hawker 750 9H-BSA and Cessna 680A Citation Latitude CS-LAS.
Global 6000 CS-GLF burns some tread on landing. Sunday 13 June 2021.
Above: Air Hamburg Embraer Legacy 650E D-AFBS shortly before departure on June 19 and (right) Pilatus PC-24 9H-JZM (f/v) on June 25.
Another Euro 2020 charter, Boeing 737-3L9(WL) G-SWRD of 2Excel Aviation, callsign `Broadsword 21`, arrived on 28 June.
Founded in 2005 by two Royal Air Force pilots, Andy Offer and Chris Norton, 2Excel has grown from five people and four aerobatic aircraft to over 400 people and a fleet of thirty planes. In 2018, 2Excel Aviation became 51 per cent employee owned through the creation of an Employee Ownership Trust. Now entering its 15th year, with an annual turnover of more than £45m, the company is successfully bidding for and winning contracts against much larger competitors in various fields. With bases at Sywell Aerodrome, Stansted Airport, Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Lasham Airfield, 2Excel’s customers include Government Departments, the defense and oil industries, airlines and airline brokers.
The executive area at the airport was fairly busy when I passed by, mid-morning on Tuesday 29 June. Sweden were playing Ukraine at Hampden and it`s likely that some of the corporate jets and biz-props were visiting in connection with the match. Helicopter G-XXEB, however, was here on Royal business (see below).
Lastly, a shot of Falcon 2000 VT-RVL (f/v) which remained parked on Taxiway Alpha on the north side of the airfield for several days at the end of the month.
Diamond DA62 G-JAAM was parked on the Gama apron on Sunday 14 June.
As usual, Beech twin props calling in at Gama Aviation for maintenance made up the bulk of the general aviation movements. Stopping over from May were Cirrus SR22 2-MCLN and Irish-registered Piper Cherokee EI-CIF (below left). It looks as though the latter aircraft may have taken up permanent residency at the Flying Club.
Visitors to Glasgow Airport during June 2021 included Pilatus PC-12/47E F-HGET (f/v), King Air 200 G-FSEU (plus other dates), Diamond DA62 G-JAAM and AW189 G-MCGR HM Coastguard (2nd); King Air 200s G-JMAW (f/v), G-NIAA again and G-FLYK (also visited later in the month), Airbus Helicopters Eurocopter EC135-T2 G-SENS, plus Beech 58 Baron N266EA overshot Runway 23 at 13:40 and 14:00 hrs (4th); Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP G-EGCD (f/v) and AgustaWestland AW189 G-MCGR. The Coastguard helicopter had been on a call-out to Arran before stopping at Glasgow to refuel. It then headed out towards Tiree (5th); Beech C90GTx King Air M-TSRI, Robin DR 400/140B Major G-CHOE (f/v) and Piper PA-28 Cherokee Archer III G-LOGN (f/v) (7th); Pilatus PC-12 M-YBLS, Diamond DA62 2-SALE (plus other visits), PA-28R Cherokee Arrow II G-BAMY, Cessna 172S Skyhawk G-JMKE (f/v), plus AW189 G-MCGT HM Coastguard (8th); Sikorsky S-92A G-MCGL HMCG (9th); Super King Air 350 G-SRBM (10th)...
June`s GA visitors continued with Piper PA-46-600TP Meridian G-ETET (f/v) and PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage G-DNOP (11th); Diamond DA62 G-JAAM made a second appearance, plus PA-28-151 Cherokee Warrior G-BNNT (f/v) called in for the first time (12th); King Air 200 G-JASS (13th); King Air 200 M-CDMS, Piper PA-28R Cherokee Arrow II G-ETLX (f/v) and Rockwell Commander 114A G-NATT, plus PA-34 Seneca V G-GSYS overshot Runway 23 at 15:00 hrs (14th); King Air 200 G-IASC (15th); Pilatus PC-12 M-YBLS again, plus King Air 200 G-FPLD, Rockwell Commander 114B G-ELCH (f/v), Fuji FA-200-180 Aero Subaru G-BBRC and Cessna 182R Skylane G-OPST (16th)...
Above: Manx-registered Pilatus PC-12 M-YBLS. Friday 11 June 2021.
Mooney M20J G-OBAL (17th); King Air 350 G-SRBM again (plus other visits), PA-28RT-201T Turbo Arrow IV G-EXAM and Cirrus SR-20 GTS G-TAAC (f/v) (18th); Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage G-DNOP, plus AgustaWestland AW109S Grands G-LITO (f/v) `Castle 06` and G-ORCD `Castle 22` (20th); King Air 200 G-IASA (21st); On Tuesday 22 June, King Air 90 G-WKTS flew up from East Midlands to carry out survey work over the central belt, much of the elongated circuits between the Firth of Clyde and the southern end of Loch Lomond to the Forth Valley. Reims-Cessna F406 Caravan II D-ICCC (f/v) Air Taxi Europe (23rd); King Air 200 G-OLIV (25th); Cessna 172S Skyhawk G-UFCE (f/v) and Cirrus SR-20 G-PHAT (f/v) (26th); King Air 350 G-SRBM again (27th); King Air 200 G-FLYW and Cessna 208 Caravan floatplane G-LAUD (28th); King Air 200s G-JASS and G-FLYW, plus Sikorsky S-76C G-XXEB (29th); King Air 200s G-FLYK, G-FLYW and G-VALK, King Air 90GTi N95VB, plus S-76C G-XXEB returned (30th).
Mooney M20J G-OBAL (below) was snapped on Area W early on Friday 18 June after a night stop. It was routing from Elstree to Perth. The M20 was the 20th design from Al Mooney (12 April 1906 – 7 May 1986), and his most successful GA model. Since the M20`s first flight in 1953, the series has been produced in many variations, from the wooden-wing M20 and M20A models of 1955, to the M20V Acclaim Ultra that debuted in 2016. More than 11,000 aircraft in total have been produced. The Mooney M20 is instantly recognisable by its unique tail fin with a vertical leading edge and although the tail fin looks as though it`s `leaning forward`, it is actually approximately vertical in level flight, depending on trim setting. The entire tail assembly pivots at the rear of the fuselage to provide pitch trim.
In November 2008, the company announced that it was halting all production as a result of the late-2000s recession, but would still provide parts and support for the existing fleet. With the injection of Chinese capital after the company's purchase, production of the M20 resumed in February 2014. Since then, the company has released two more M20 models.
Cessna 172S Skyhawk G-UFCE which landed at Glasgow for the first time on 26 June was one of four light aircraft from the Ulster Flying Club which visited Prestwick Airport earlier this month. (See the Prestwick section at the bottom of this page for photos).
Below: Super King Air 350 G-SRBM was back on Area Juliet on Tuesday 29 June joined by several biz jets including Raytheon Hawker 750 9H-BSA.
HM The Queen began a four-day visit to Scotland at the end of the month during which she was introduced to Scotland’s other national drink, Irn Bru, during a tour of AG Barr’s factory in Cumbernauld, where the iconic soft drink is manufactured. This was her first official visit north of the border since the death of her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. She was accompanied during the factory tour by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, who, unlike his mother, opted to sample some of Scotland`s `other national drink`. In recognition of the product`s world famous advertising slogan, he declared “you can taste the girders in it” .
Royal taxi Sikorsky S-76C++ G-XXEB, pictured below parked on Area Juliet on the 29th, landed at 09:45 hrs. This chopper is one of a pair leased by the Royal Family and is regularly used by the Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, himself a former RAF Search and Rescue pilot. Unsurprisingly this has led to G-XXEB being candidly known as `Heir Force One`. it remained on the ground here until 13:35.
In the afternoon, the Queen reopened the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders’ Museum at Stirling Castle. As the longest-serving patron of the regiment, she was invited to unveil a plaque to commemorate the museum reopening after a three-year renovation. The Queen was also presented with the keys to the castle before being taken on a tour to see some of the 5,000 military artefacts and documents on display in the museum which is located in one of the oldest parts of the world famous fortress.
Having been named as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on her 21st birthday by her father, King George VI, the Queen remained patron until the regiment was incorporated into the Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006. She was obviously delighted to met greeted by the four-legged regimental mascot which I photographed during the Armed Forces day at Stirling back in 2014. This was only the second time that Armed Forces Day, originally known as Veterans` Day, was held in Scotland, coincidentally on the same weekend that the city marked the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. (HM Queen at Stirling photos © Argylls.co.uk / BBC / UKnews).
More information and plenty of photos taken during the UK Armed Forces Day at Stirling can be found on my Glasgow Airport June 2020 Movements Page.
The Queen was staying at Holyrood House, her official residence in Edinburgh, during her time in Scotland. Her `taxi` returned to Glasgow Airport on the morning of 30 June, bringing Her Majesty and Princess Anne to the city for a visit to the Children's Wood Project in Maryhill. This was the security detachment and escort, including police motorcycle outriders, waiting on the executive area for the VIPs to arrive.
(Following images all courtesy of BBC News)
At Maryhill, the Royals chatted to local young people about the benefits of the Wood Project and their experiences of the outdoor space, particularly during the pandemic. As part of a volunteering session at the beekeeping area, the two also heard from local beekeepers who lend their time to maintaining the wood’s beehives, before meeting a group of community gardeners tending to their allotments.
Next, the Queen visited the Glasgow facility of AAC Clyde Space and Spire, a company that specialises in small satellite technologies and services that enable businesses, governments, and educational organisations to access high-quality, timely data from space. The monarch was curious to learn more about the products created at the facility and how they are applied in space technology. She was delighted to hear some of the satellite technologies and services created by the company gather data used for weather forecasting.
Not a great deal of military activity this month. On Tuesday 1 June during a training sortie, Lossiemouth-based P-8A Poseidon ZP804 callsign `Stingray 01` made five circuits / touch-and-gos via Runway 23 between 12:25 and 13:20 hours.
The same aircraft returned on the afternoon of Tuesday 22 June mid-afternoon for several touch and gos and an overshoot after doing several go-arounds at Belfast International. On this occasion ZP804 was using the callsign `Stingray 03`. I snapped the aircraft on both occasions from the window, and although the weather was far better on the 22nd with excellent visibility, heat haze was problematical...
Royal Navy Westland EH101 Merlin HM1 ZH845 `TIGER 63` overflew the airfield South to North at 14:15 hrs on the afternoon of Friday 4 June then reappeared just over an hour later, diverting in tech after declaring a 'PAN' emergecncy. PAN-PAN is the international standard urgency signal that someone aboard a boat, ship, aircraft, or other vehicle uses to declare that they have a situation that is urgent, but for the time being, does not pose an immediate danger to anyone's life or to the vessel itself. The chopper landed without incident and remained on Area Juliet until 19:00 hrs on Monday 7 June.
Below: The last military aircraft to make an appearance at Glasgow Airport this month was Airbus A400M Atlas C.1 ZM406 `RRR 474` which did an overshoot of Runway 05 around midday on Tuesday 29 June whilst on a training sortie. This shot was taken from my doorstep as the big transport continued its climb out, but I was looking directly into the sun resulting in a grainy image.
Construction & Development
With the new footbridge over the Black Cart Water now in situ, it won`t be too long before the ancillary work is completed.
A substantial piece of ground has already been cleared on the Abbotsinch Rd (east) side of the crossing and the available space on the west side beside the Runway 23 lights is being extended. The footway / cycleway will meet the busy A8 Greenock Road here so pedestrian lights will likely be put in place as a safety feature. There`s a bend immediately west of this location with trees and a bank of vegetation restricting visibility. Whether this will be addressed before the new bridge opens remains to be seen.
A new pipe channel (above) has been dug northwards across the field from the A8, just east of the runway lights.
The north end of Abbotsinch Road was realigned this month to accommodate the work on the east side of the new Black Cart crossing.
Two of the new buildings on the development area are already in an advanced state of construction.
Much of the skyline around the airport, unchanged for decades, has already altered beyond recognition.
The world famous Inchinnan Bascule Bridge over the White Cart Water, remains an instantly recognisable local landmark.
(Photos above and below left © Renfrewshire Council / Daily Record)
As part of the new development project, a new crossing over the White Cart, although far from compete, is already in place further south. This new pedestrian / cyclists-only bridge will link Wright Street in Renfrew with the business park, avoiding busy thoroughfares and saving a detour of several miles for many.
Also in Wright Street, a large tract of waste ground below the Renfrew heights has been purchased for housing. Although the estate is in an early stage of development, the land will all likely disappear as additional phases come into play. The high ground overlooking the site was another favoured photo location, and depending on the light, weather and runway in use, it was possible to capture dramatic shots of aircraft against the hills and distant mountains with a decent telephoto lens. I`ve also photographed deer and foxes here on numerous occasions. The new buildings and ongoing construction work severely reduces possibilities, particularly with regard to views of planes as they line up for takeoff.
It was announced this month that Edinburgh Airport is to build an 11-acre solar farm next to its runway. The array of solar panels (shown in dark green and brown blocks in these artist impressions) will be the first of its kind in the UK and could provide 26% of the airport's energy needs. It`s hoped that the solar farm, which will be located at the western end of the runway, will be operating by next summer. The Scottish government has contributed £2 million towards the cost of the new installation which should deliver around 26% of the airport`s energy needs, but environmental groups said the benefits of switching to solar power were a `drop in the ocean` compared to the damage done by aviation industry. They stress that while adding solar panels at Edinburgh is a positive step, it`s nowhere near an adequate response to the climate emergency.
No doubt many local spotters and photographers, irrespective of their views on climate change, won`t be as enthusiastic about the project as the site chosen for the solar panels may put an end to the easily accessible earth mound which gives superb, close-up, elevated views of landing traffic, or aircraft on the runway and taxiway directly below.
(Solar farm images © Edinburgh Airport / BBC / Edinburgh Live / Project Scotland)
In the Garden
Although I haven`t paid much attention to the birds visiting my garden this month, there appear to be far less chicks visiting the feeders compared to last June. Although there have been some recently fledged Goldfinch, House Sparrows and Starlings, the young of several tit species which were well represented last year are absent this time round. A Greenfinch made a couple of appearances at the end of the month, the first I`d seen in my garden for years.
Wood Pigeons are well outnumbered by their feral cousins but are more entertaining to watch.
At least two Grey Squirrels appear each day, either filling up on nuts put out by neighbours, or digging up tasty treats they`d stashed earlier in the year.
Various sunsets and the moon shot from my window during June.
Out & About
The area on which the India Tyres building and the present-day Inchinnan Business Park stand was once occupied by William Beardmore & Co, one of the most diverse and enterprising heavy engineering and shipbuilding businesses on Clydeside. It was active between about 1890 and 1930 and at its peak employed approximately 40,000 people. Beardmore`s main complex at Dalmuir on the opposite side of the Clyde turned out numerous merchant vessels, warships and aircraft including the B.E.2c and Sopwith Pup, both of which were widely utilised during the Great War. Locomotives and vehicles were also produced.
As the main facility on the Clydebank side was surrounded by industry and tenement housing, the company acquired the 600 acre site at Inchinnan, primarily for military airship construction. A massive shed, similar to that at Cardington in Bedfordshire, was built to protect the workers and evolving structures from the elements. Although the Inchinnan factory built several airships, the most famous by far was the R34 which went on to set several records in July 1919. Nicknamed `Tiny`, R34 was enormous - at just under 196 metres, it was double the length of an Airbus A380, currently the world`s largest passenger plane. The state-of-the-art craft was powered by five engines, each of 275 horse power.
William Beardmore and Company vacated the Inchinnan site in 1922 and the land was subsequently purchased by The India Rubber Company, more commonly referred to as India Tyres. The new owners were able to utilise part of the original shed as a rubber mill, as well as a store for raw materials. In 1930, the India of Inchinnan building was commissioned to serve as the company`s flagship office. The business was prosperous and houses, named Beardmore Cottages, were built in Allands Avenue and India Drive to accommodate the 2,500 employees of the tyre factory. These houses were of good quality and most survive and are still occupied today.
Classic cars always turn heads and although I`ve seen a few in the local area over the years, I`ve never seen an NYPD cruiser. This example of the iconic police patrol vehicle was snapped at the airport this month in the Pentland Aviation car park in St Andrews Drive. By the end of June it had been joined by another American cop car, namely this LAPD-style`Black and White`. The vehicles may have been props in either Indiana Jones 5 or the latest Batman movie The Flash, as scenes from both were being filmed in Glasgow City Centre.
The Black Cart Water west of the Barnsford Bridge.
Below: Looking east from the bridge on the same morning...
I made three visits to Prestwick Airport this month with USAF C-17 Globemasters making up the bulk of military movements. The apparent upsurge in these transports passing through, and the appearance of three C-5M Super Galaxy heavies, including 85-0005 pictured below, may have been connected with the USA`s armed forces` withdrawal from Afghanistan. The move is due to be completed by August 31, 2021, concluding Operation Freedom's Sentinel and NATO's Resolute Support Mission. U.S. and allied forces invaded and occupied the country in 2001 following the 11 September attacks, with the resulting war becoming the USA's longest military engagement.
Other noteworthy visitors to Prestwick during June included: Boeing C-17A Globemaster III CB-8006 Indian Air Force; De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter VP-FAZ of the British Antarctic Survey; Douglas DC8-72CF N782SP Samaritan`s Purse; Ilyushin Il-76TD-90VD RA-76511 Volga-Dnepr Airlines; Airbus A330-223 F-RARF French Air Force; Airbus A330-243MRTT T-054 of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Boeing 747-83QF VQ-BFU Air Bridge Cargo, Israeli Air Force KC130H Hercules 522 and Antonov Design Bureau An-124-100M UR-82027 which arrived from Miami with a new flight simulator for the RAF.
Despite the crop of interesting movements, the highlight for many was the world famous Red Arrows aerobatic team which touched down mid-afternoon on Friday 18 June. The team chose Prestwick for a night stop ahead of planned appearances at events connected with Armed Forces Day over the weekend. The main Armed Forces Day event was held at Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, so the jets were ideally positioned for their display there.
Despite the crop of interesting movements, the highlight for many was the world famous Red Arrows aerobatic team which touched down mid-afternoon on Friday 18 June. The team chose Prestwick for a night stop ahead of planned appearances at events connected with Armed Forces Day over the weekend. The main Armed Forces Day event was held at Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, so the jets were ideally positioned for their display there.
The Hawks on this occasion were XX322, XX177, XX323, XX242, XX278, XX311, XX245, XX325, XX219 and XX188. Always keen to impress the crowds, the team only landed after an arrival loop called the Magnum Break. This spectacular manoeuvre was filmed from one of the jets by Corporal Adam Fletcher and can be viewed here: twitter.com/i/status/1405923425273761798. I took the above shot of the Red Arrows performing alongside a retro-BA Jumbo at RIAT Fairford in 2019.
(Carrickfergus Photos © Belfast Telegraph / Q Radio.com / Kelvin Boyes/PressEye)
The Armed Forces Day commemorations at Carrickfergus including the teams contribution was well-covered in the local press.
This memorial on the seafront at Carrickfergus commemorates the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division who fought during the Great War. Part of Lord Kitchener's New Army, the division was formed in September 1914. Originally called the Ulster Division, it was primarily made up of members of the Ulster Volunteer Force, who formed thirteen additional battalions for three existing regiments: the Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Rifles and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. However, regular Officers and Soldiers and men from all around the United Kingdom made up the strength of the Division which began operations on the Western front in October 1915.
Another, more substantial memorial dedicated to the men of the 36th Division, the Ulster Tower, stands on the Thiepval Ridge on the Somme. The structure, a replica of Helen`s Tower which stands at Clandeboye, County Down, was unveiled by Field Marshall Sir Henry Wilson on 19 November 1921. It was in the shadow of Helen`s Tower in Northern Ireland that the men of the newly-formed Ulster Division drilled and trained for action before they departed for the chaos and horrors of the Western Front.
The Ulster Memorial Tower (below) marks the position of the Schwaben Redoubt, a formidable German strongpoint on the Thiepval Ridge which the Ulster Division attacked on 1 July 1916. The 36th was one of only a few divisions to make significant gains on the first day of the Somme Offensive. Many Ulstermen would have been inspired by the fact that 1 July was then celebrated as the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne. The IWM image on the right shows the Thiepval Ridge under intense artillery bombardment early on 1 July 1916 before the initial assault and ensuing carnage began.
Of the nine Victoria Crosses awarded during the Battle of the Somme, four were given to soldiers of the 36th Division.
This restored Churchill Tank, aptly named Carrickfergus, stands guard in the garrison town`s Marine Gardens, just a stone`s throw from the castle. It was produced in Carrickfergus and stands as a permanent reminder of the town's military and industrial links. In 1939, Harland & Wolff developed the forerunner of the Churchill, the A20 in a local factory. It was designed in the expectation that conditions would be similar to those of the First World War and proving totally unsuitable for mechanised warfare, only 2 prototypes were built. The first Churchills had flaws that had to be overcome but improved versions performed well in the later stages of the war. This particular machine, which has been in its current location since October 2015, was in service with C Squadron of the North Irish Horse during the Second World War. An interpretative panel in front of the tank details the armoured vehicle`s history while a further plaque marks the former site of the tank factory on Woodburn Road.
My first jaunt down to Prestwick this month was on Tuesday 15 June. Three USAF C-17 Globemasters had been scheduled to call in but one cancelled, possibly due to a technical issue. A USAF C-130 seemed to be heading in too, but only crossed Prestwick airspace en route to Campbeltown on the Kintyre peninsula.
The first C-17 to touch down on 15 June was 07-7186 (above) which has its home at Charleston Air Force Base, a USAF facility located in the City of North Charleston, South Carolina. This base is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force's 628th Air Base Wing, a subordinate element of the Air Mobility Command. The Globemaster was allocated a parking spot on the south side of Prestwick Airport, outside the Chevron hangar.
(Charleston AFB photo © Reddit/i.imgur.com)
Both C-17s were only on the ground long enough to refuel.
Several Norwegian Airlines Dreamliners are still under long term storage at Prestwick with individual aircraft occasionally repositioned.
The second C-17, 04-4131, belongs to the 305th AMW / 514th AMW at McGuire Air Force Base, which is located in Burlington County, New Jersey.
It was directed to the north side of the airfield.
These shots show 7186 taxiing to line up for a Runway 12 departure.
I`d imagine that the passengers on board the C-17s aren`t quite as comfy as this guy on the advertising billboard next to the airfield perimeter fence.
Often, Prestwick can seem more like an operational military airfield rather than a civilian airport.
The McGuire-based machine, 04-4131, followed soon after.
Ryanair Boeing 737-8 bearing the Austrian registration OE-IWE departed Prestwick about 13:00 hours on June 15, bound for Novosibirsk, a city in Siberia, where I believe the aircraft will be converted into a freighter for a Russian operator, Another Ryanair jet, OE-IWF was in the Ryanair hangar, no doubt destined for a similar fate.
The west end of the airport offers excellent views of planes as they taxi past and line-up for a Runway 12 departure, or any on finals from over the sea.
Ryanair`s Manx-registered Learjet 45 M-AGBV, seen here departing on June 25, is a familiar sight at Prestwick. Produced in the US by Bombardier Aerospace, a this corporate taxi is generally configured to carry a two-person crew and up to nine passengers. Michael O`Leary`s company aircraft is based at Stansted Airport, and although it is used as an executive transport, the carrier says that its primary role is engineering support.
On June 15, four light aircraft flew in from Northern Ireland but all landed on `21`, the short runaway at the east end of the airfield, which ruled out close up shots. The planes, all from the Ulster Flying Club, were Cessna 172S Skyhawks G-GUFCE and G-UFCI, plus Cessna 152s G-UFCN and G-UFCP. Cherokee Six G-BXWP and Cessna 152 G-BTFC (below) were also snapped on June 15.
Dover-based Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy 85-0005 (above) arrived at 03:40 hrs on Sunday 20 June and remained until 23:30 hrs that evening. Another C-5M, 85-0005 had landed at 23:35 hours on the 19th but took off just before 03:00 on the 20th, ruling out the chance of catching two of these massive planes on the ground together which would have been a bonus.
Another Dover-based heavy I managed to photograph at Prestwick this month was C-17A Globemaster III 07-7169 which had arrived in the early hours of June 25. Dover Air Force Base, located 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast of the city of Dover, Delaware, is under the operational control of the Air Mobility Command (AMC), 436th AW which runs the busiest and largest air freight terminal of any Department of Defense (DoD) facility in the USA. Dover was previously the only base to solely operate the massive C-5 Galaxy and now operates both that aircraft plus the Globemaster III.
Dover AFB is also the home of the Air Mobility Command Museum (below) which is dedicated to military airlift and air refuelling aircraft and the men and women who flew and maintained them. It has the largest and most complete collection of fully restored U.S. military cargo and tanker aircraft in the Eastern United States.
(Above photo courtesy of Wikipedia. Following image of Dover AFB © YouTube)
Above: Kalitta Air Boeing 747-4B5F N705CK and Gama Aviation Bombardier Global 6000 G-SALD were also on the ground at Prestwick on the 25th.
Boeing C-17A Globemaster III 03-3125 took off at 11:10 hrs on June 25 using the callsign `Reach 508`.
Another C-17 arrival on June 25 was 98-0053 which landed about 13:20 hrs. This aircraft`s home is Joint Base Lewis-McChord (above) which is located in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington State. in the northwestern USA. The McChord facility was consolidated with the U.S. Army's Fort Lewis on 1 February 2010 to become part of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord complex and is now home to a large contingent of both the United States Army and Air Force. Primary Air Force units include the 62nd Air Lift Wing, the 446th Air Lift Wing, 627th Air Base Group and Air Force Special Operations Command. Lewis-McChord is also home to the 1st Air Support Operations Group, 22nd Special Tactics Squadron and 361st Recruiting Squadron. (Aerial image © Wikipedia).
(Above photo of Joint Base Lewis-McChord © David Brooks / Wikipedia)
C-17 98-0053 heads to its allocated stand beside the Chevron hangar.
Having arrived the previous evening, Boeing C-40A Clipper 169792 departed Prestwick about 13:45 on Friday 25 June. The C-40A is a derivative of the Boeing 737-700C commercial airliner used by the US Navy as a medium-lift asset used for Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift missions. The C-40A is certified to operate in three configurations: all-passenger that can carry 121 passengers, an all-cargo configuration of eight cargo pallets, or a combination of three cargo pallets and 70 passengers. The C-40A has a state-of-the-art flight deck, avionics system and engines that are Stage III noise-compliant and certified for extended over-water operations. Two U.S. Marine Corps aircraft have been procured with delivery expected in Fiscal Year 2021, although I`m unsure whether this has taken place yet.