Stunning military planes have been spotted in the skies of the West Midlands.
Aircraft spotters kept an eagle eye on the skies to spot military planes flying over the Midlands as they had their cameras ready to get that perfect shot.
More and more people have taken to monitoring flight paths online due to the war in Ukraine following the invasion of Russia and the fighting is raging – and it’s not just among airplane enthusiasts .
READ MORE: Moment military spy planes flew directly over people’s homes
Not all of those spotted in the Midlands have been linked to the crisis. However, residents and amateur photographers have documented these unique and impressive military aircraft as they pass overhead.
A Boeing C-17A Globemaster III and a Lockheed C-130J Hercules were tracked flying over the Midlands yesterday, BirminghamLive reports.
Here’s a roundup of some of the military aircraft that have been spotted in the skies of the Midlands recently.
The Antonov AN-124
The Russian Antonov AN-124 caused a stir as it passed over Derbyshire on February 22. After taking off from a town in southern Russia, the AN-124 was spotted in Belper as the flight descended from the skies towards East Midlands Airport.
The plane was reportedly spotted around 8:15 a.m. The Antonov is one of the largest aircraft in the world, specially designed to carry heavy loads.
FlightRadar24 confirmed the plane’s flight path passed through Russia, Finland and Sweden, before passing through Sheffield and landing at East Midland Airport, Castle Donington. The plane remained in the air for nearly eight hours after leaving Novosibirsk at 7:05 a.m. local time. He landed at East Midlands Airport at 8.28am UK time.
The same plane was en route to Russia, this time heading for the city of Kazan on February 23. According to the air charter service, the plane has a large cargo capacity and ramps designed specifically for loading heavy equipment.
Designs for this aircraft date back to the Soviet Union in the 1970s, before first entering service in 1985 when President Gorbachev was in power in the USSR.
The An-124 was once a symbol of cooperation between the two countries – designed in Ukraine and used by Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Group for missions ranging from transporting aircraft parts to disaster relief.
Dramatic footage shows the moment a huge military spy plane flew over residents’ homes as it descended towards Birmingham Airport on March 8. The Sentry E-3D reportedly performed some “touch and go” maneuvers at the airport.
But the plane’s presence was unrelated to the conflict in Ukraine. Although the aircraft still wears its Royal Air Force livery, it is now in the process of being transferred to the Chilean Air Force.
The plane is based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire and the flight to the Midlands was part of a training program for the Chilean Air Force. The aircraft is moved with training, maintenance and ground support equipment.
An RAF spokesperson told CoventryLive: “The Sentry E-3D has left RAF service but is still currently based at RAF Waddington. Following an agreement between the UK and Chile, two E -3D Sentry are transferred to the Chilean Air Force, along with a set of training, maintenance and ground support equipment.
“Training is ongoing at RAF Waddington and across the UK. The exit seen was part of that training.”
Crystal-clear shots of the plane were captured by enthusiast and photographer Yvonne Lewis as it flew over her home in Solihull. The aircraft, commonly referred to as AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System), is notable for the huge radar equipment mounted on top of its fuselage.
The RAF describes the Sentry AEW1 E-3D as an airborne early warning (AEW) and command and control aircraft. It monitors airspace to “provide threat detection from adversarial aircraft and awareness of friendly assets”. It also has the ability to detect ships.
It has a range of 5,000 nautical miles and can be refueled in flight. In the RAF the Sentry replaced the Shackleton piston engine.
Two B-52 warplanes were seen flying over Worcestershire and near Wolverhampton on March 9. US B-52s are currently based at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, where they are stationed to support NATO in the defense of European airspace.
Two of four USAF B-52 jets pictured at RAF Fairford this week took off and flew over the Midlands through Worcestershire and Shropshire, west of Wolverhampton. They were flying at an altitude of about 20,000 feet.
All four American B-52H Stratofortress long-range bombers were busted by a craft pilot flying near RAF Fairford. They can fly at high subsonic speeds and carry nuclear or conventional precision-guided munitions.
A Boeing Chinook was filmed hovering over a Black Country field on February 22. The impressive aircraft had just arrived at Belvoir Castle.
The Chinook landed opposite Wolverhampton Grammar School in Compton Road, Wolverhampton. A 21-year-old man, who filmed the landing, told BlackCountryLive: “I saw a helicopter land opposite Wolverhampton Grammar School. When I saw it I thought it was something something to do with what is happening in Ukraine.”
However, a Ministry of Defense spokesman confirmed the plane flew to Grantham where Secretary of State Ben Wallace was attending a conference.
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