Military Low-Level Flying From F-4 Phantom to F-35 Lightning II (ePub)
A Pictorial Display of Low Flying in Cumbria and Beyond
The United Kingdom has some of the most dramatic landscapes that can be used by pilots to train in the vital skill of low flying. Aircrew preparing for operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other potential war zones frequently hone their skills flying through the valleys of the UK, sometimes at near subsonic speed.
In Cumbria, as well as other major training areas within the United Kingdom Low Flying System, such as parts of Scotland and the world-famous Mach Loop in Wales, pilots can be seen on an almost daily basis sharpening their skills as they weave their aircraft, from basic trainers to the latest high-tech fighters, between the hillsides. As a result, these locations offer remarkable opportunities for photographers to capture close-up and dramatic shots.
These sights have captured the imagination of many photographers who have devoted many hours and displayed great patience in waiting to snap dynamic images on camera, the majority of these since the birth of digital photography. Whilst photographs of military low flying prior to the digital age are rare, in the pages of this book the author presents a selection of images to showcase just how things have developed since the 1980s – particularly focusing on the action to be seen over the hills and valleys of Cumbria and the Lake District which, since 1979, has been a major area in the training of military pilots.
In these pages are amazing shots of scores of different types of aircraft, from Jet Provosts, Buccaneers and Hawks through to F4 Phantoms, A-10 Thunderbolts, Tornadoes, Typhoons, and F-35 Lightnings, to name but a few. Types such as the Chinook and Sea King represent the many rotary aircraft. Unlike the photographs from air shows, none of these were staged; they are all action shots taken spontaneously as the aircraft whistled by Scott Rathbone and his trusty camera.
‘The reader might really think that they can hear the roar of a jet’s engine as it thunders through a valley at almost Mach 1 … A book to pick up again and again.’Uwe W. Jack, Flieger Revue X Magazine, December 2023
"The author and his friends have been able to capture some truly remarkable images of modern military aircraft engaged in this activity - everything from a glider, to the massive and strange A400 Atlas, to Lockheed Martin F-35s."Air Classics
Extremely low flight has always been one of the best means of increasing the survivability of an aircraft during military operations in areas threatened by the enemy. Since this entails great danger, crews have to practice this type of flying. A landscape used for this in Europe is in the extreme north-west of Great Britain.Flieger Revue magazine
Scott Rathbone has taken on the fascinating subject of low-level flight in a special way. He has selected spectacular photos by many photographers from several decades of flight training in Cumbria, on the border with Scotland. The reader sometimes really thinks he hears the roar of the engines of a jet thundering through a valley at almost Mach 1.
The illustrated book is preceded by a few pages of introduction in English, which do not necessarily have to be read in order to understand the images. The captions with aircraft type, recording date and location are also understandable. Airplanes and helicopters from all armed forces stationed in Western Europe have used Cumbria as a training ground and continue to do so today. Not only have the aircraft types used changed over the years, the variations in camouflage paintwork are also amazing and can certainly serve as inspiration for model builders.
A book to pick up again and again or to give as a gift.
"The images are well-taken and well-reproduced."Aeroplane - August 2023
Military low flying from F-4 to F-35" by Scott Rathbone is really outstanding.Instagram - @theaviationist
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Aircraft enthusiasts, and modellers especially, will all love this one I think.Military Model Scene
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Competition as featured inRAF News
"AMAZING COLOUR shots of different types of aircraft – from Jet Provosts, Buccaneers and Hawks through to Tornados, Typhoons and F-35 Lightnings – are featured in a new book, a pictorial display of low flying in Cumbria and beyond."RAF News - Friday, April 21 2023