An Aberdeen oil and gas hangar got a special surprise yesterday with the arrival of an RAF “Hawk” jet nearby.
The Hawk T1 jet was spotted by an eagle-eyed photographer at Aberdeen Airport on Thursday, just outside Babcock Aviation’s hangar.
The aircraft type is perhaps best known for being used by the Red Arrows, the RAF’s Aerobatic team.
According to the Royal Air Force (RAF) website, the Hawker Sidley “Hawk” T1 aircraft is still in use for training roles by the RAF 100 squadron in Leeming, and is expected to remain in use until 2030.
The Hawk jet is “transonic”, meaning it can fly close to the speed of sound – 340 metres per second.
Babcock shared the image on social media, stating: “Our civil and defence worlds crossed paths yesterday when a Hawk aircraft landed at Aberdeen airport where we have a hangar for our North Sea oil and gas operations.
“We normally support the Hawk TMk1 and TMk2 aircraft at various RAF and Royal Navy sites across the UK but it was a refreshing change of scenery to see it sat outside our hangar at Aberdeen airport.”
According to planelogger.com, this particular plane, registered XX161, has been operational since 1975.
The reason for the jet’s arrival at the hangar is unclear but it is likely for refuelling.
The plane’s movements are governed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The Hawk T1 used to be the RAF’s “premier fast jet trainer”, according to its website, however it has since been replaced by the newer T2 model.
As well as being used by the Red Arrows, the RAF 100 Squadron still train with the Hawk T Mk1 in the ‘aggressor’ role, simulating enemy forces and providing essential training to the RAF front-line units.
It is also used for close air support training to British Army units, defence engagement tasks and participates in numerous overseas exercises throughout the year, according to the RAF.