Here’s where to catch the RAF Hercules farewell flypast across UK

Royal Air Force

A historic event is set to take place across the United Kingdom as a flypast is planned to commemorate the retirement of the C-130 Hercules aircraft from RAF service.  

Scheduled to occur on June 14, 2023, the flypast will span across all four nations of the UK, paying tribute to the distinguished service of the Hercules and 47 Squadron. Three of the iconic transport aircraft will be involved in the display. 

The Hercules entered service with the Royal Air Force in December 1966 and has played an indispensable role throughout its career. As a versatile and dependable workhorse, it has been the backbone of numerous military and humanitarian operations worldwide, from delivering essential supplies and personnel to remote locations to conducting tactical airlift missions.  

In March 2021, the retirement of the C-130J Hercules was announced. A few months later, in August 2021, the Hercules participated in the evacuation of Afghanistan by the RAF, named Operation Pitting, and helped airlift over 15,000 people to safety. 

The RAF has been gradually transitioning to a fleet of 22 Airbus A400 Atlas aircraft and other air mobility platforms, along with the 8 Boeing C-17A Globemaster III it has operated since the early 2000s. 

“It’s been an absolute workhorse, but I have absolute confidence in the A400 and what that aircraft is able to do going forward,” then-Air Chief Marshal Michael Wigston commented at the time. 

The RAF has released a map of 23 flypast locations, complete with the scheduled flight times of the Hercules, inviting spectators to witness the historic event. 

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