Look to the skies! Aircraft that can be seen over Norfolk

A Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 taking off from RAF Fairford. Picture: MoD/Crown copyright

A Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 taking off from RAF Fairford. Picture: MoD/Crown copyright - Credit: MoD/Crown copyright 2016

With many military bases and airfields Norfolk's skies are a busy place, but what planes can be seen? And where are they from?

Here are some examples of aircraft which often fly over our county.

Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning

The F-35 Lightning making a first flypast over its future home at RAF Marham. Picture: Ian Burt

Thousands of people reported hearing a loud bang over Norwich. Was it a sonic boom from a jet plane? - Credit: Ian Burt

West Norfolk residents may have seen one of these flying overhead.

RAF Marham is the home of the RAF's F-35 fleet, which became the first British squadron in a decade to operate jets from an aircraft carrier, when planes departed for HMS Queen Elizabeth in January 2020.


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The American jet is known for its vertical landing ability, similar to a helicopter, and is the primary strike aircraft for British forces.

Eurofighter Typhoon

The RAF's Eurofighter Typhoon roars over Old Warden at the Shuttleworth Collections RAF 100 air show

A sonic boom was heard across Herts and surrounding counties this afternoon - Credit: Nick Blacow

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The Eurofighter Typhoon is based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, however it can often be seen around west Norfolk.

This fighter plane is used and developed by the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, and was first used by the RAF and Italian Air Force in Libya in 2011.

Other planes from Coningsby include the US Air Force F-15 Eagle and American military versions of the Lightning.

Boeing Chinook

RAF Chinook.

RAF Chinook. - Credit: Air festival organisers

Also flying from RAF Holbeach are a series of helicopters, perhaps most distinctively the Chinook, with its double rotor blade.

The military transport helicopter has been used in the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Other choppers from Holbeach include the AugustaWestland Apache AH1 attack helicopter and the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, which is half plane, half helicopter.

Grob 109 MotorGlider

Glider Taking Off with a Winch (c) Pawel Sedrowski, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Glider Taking Off with a Winch (c) Pawel Sedrowski, Flickr (CC BY 2.0) - Credit: Archant

With many small airfields located across the county, gliders are a common sight.

They are most likely to be spotted in the air around Tibenham Airfield in south Norfolk, which is home to the Norfolk Gliding Club, which operates the Grob 109.

These engineless planes are frequently used for competitions in the county and are sometimes flown by pilots as young as 14.

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