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RAF Spadeadam

tornadogr_04_1280With RAF Spadeadam, Europe’s only Low Flying Zone and the United Kingdom’s premier Electronics Warfare Range nearby, the chance to see the latest warplanes used across Europe and even the USA is ever present. The range of aircraft that visit the range is astounding, whether it be the Hawk T1 trainer, the same aircraft used by the world famous Red Arrows, fighters and ground attack aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and Panavia Tornado GR4 or even the heavier transports such as the venerable C-130 Hercules or the new Airbus A-400. It’s not just fixed wing aircraft though – helicopters also make frequent appearances. The Puma, Lynx, Merlin and Chinook are all regular visitors to the surrounding area and can be observed performing a variety of low level manoeuvres. However, of these, perhaps the most impressive is the WAH-64D Apache – possibly the world’s most deadly gunship. The chance to see one of these menacing helicopters, perform it’s extremely low level ‘Nap of the Earth’ flights is genuinely thrilling and guaranteed to send just a little chill down your spine.

Of course, it’s not just our own Royal Air Force or Army Air Corps who visit the range. Aircraft from a host of European countries occasionally make an appearance and even some from the United States visit. In recent years, there have been visits by F-15 and F-16 Fighters, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and even a squadron of A-10 Tank-Destroyers were sighted.

In short, Churnsike Lodge is perfect for military or aviation enthusiasts, especially during the summer months where the clear skies, sunny weather and warm air make flying conditions perfect – but glimpses of aircraft can be seen the whole year round.

N.B:  The Base itself is MoD property and as such is inaccessible to the public – any attempts to visit the base proper or its satellite properties will be met with refusal. However, the public may still use the main access road across the range even if the red flags are flying – they merely indicate that one should not go out onto the moor whilst flying operations are in progress.

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