After fifty-six years with the RAF, the Lockheed C.130 Hercules will be withdrawn from service at the end of June 2023, its role to be replaced by the Airbus A400 Atlas. To mark its retirement, three Hercules aircraft flying in formation toured the UK from their base at RAF Brize Norton.

In the week leading up to the event, the RAF released a map showing locations significant to the Hercules’ service and the times the formation was planned to overfly them. Closer to the day, a NOTAM detailed a route eastbound over the sea from Sussex, past the Isle of Wight (where I live) and turning inland over the New Forest.

Hercules Farewell Flypast – my photos

My location

I took my photos at Ventnor Down, the highest point on the Isle of Wight (791 ft), which gave me a good view of the formation approaching the island from the east. The three aircraft were below me and followed the coast to St Catherine’s Point, then turned right towards the New Forest and went out of view.