RAF Heavy Hitters Atlas and Hercules Play on the Beach, at Night

RAF transport aircraft got to practice landing on natural surface in low visibility conditions 6 photos
Photo: RAF
RAF's Atlas and Hercules Practice Beach Landing at NightRAF's Atlas and Hercules Practice Beach Landing at NightRAF's Atlas and Hercules Practice Beach Landing at NightRAF's Atlas and Hercules Practice Beach Landing at NightRAF's Atlas and Hercules Practice Beach Landing at Night
The word “play” takes on a whole new meaning when we’re talking about two massive military aircraft, the Atlas C-1 and the Hercules C-130J. These massive metal birds got to train together in special conditions, and in special environments, with the purpose of sharpening their operational skills.
The past few days have been a memorable time for the Royal Air Force (RAF)’s 30 and LXX Squadron crew. These troops got to conduct Natural Surface Operations at night, together, for the first time. The training took place at the Pembrey Sands in Wales, where the two aircraft had to work side by side and share the beach as a landing strip.

As the name implies, Natural Surface Operations focus on the ability to land on unprepared (or natural) surfaces, in various conditions, including night-time. This is an essential skill for RAF’s Air Mobility Force, which is supposed to access any area where it’s needed, fast and effectively.

This also means that aircraft in the Air Mobility Force fleet have to tackle the challenge of congested airspace, “competing” with other aircraft for the same landing strip, which isn’t exactly friendly to begin with.

This is why, during trainings like this, two or more RAF aircraft work within the same circuit, aiming for a successful landing. Pilots got to put on their Night Vision Goggles and practice what is known as “bump and go’s” for several hours.

An important part of the exercise was maintaining effective communication with the Air Traffic Controllers on the ground. The crews of each aircraft also communicated with each other, something that’s known as “deconflicting.”

The Hercules is RAF’s main tactical transport aircraft, while the Atlas is another workhorse when it comes to delivering troops and cargo anywhere in the world. By developing their Natural Surface Operations skills, these two can ensure unrestricted access in case of operational emergencies.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
Press Release
About the author: Otilia Drăgan
Otilia Drăgan profile photo

Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories