Hot shots

RAF Photographic Competition

Somewhat atypically, I’m rather confined to an official press release for this post. But the annual Royal Air Force Photographic Competition can be counted on for such glorious images that it’s well worth the constraint. So here goes…

This stunning photo of RAFMF Spitfire TE311 performing a hot start was 2013’s competition winner.(© 2103 Crown copyright | SAC Graham Taylor)

People’s choice

Voting is now open in the crowning People’s Choice category of the Royal Air Force Photographic Competition 2019.

Organised by the Royal Air Forces Association, the annual contest aims to promote the image and reputation of the RAF through photography. Coming mostly from RAF personnel, entries had to have been captured over the previous year, from July 16th, 2018 to July 21st, 2019. 

The RAF Association itself is a charity which works to support past and present members of the RAF as well as their families – especially while those serving are deployed away from home. 

Over 1,000 photos

This year, over 1,000 photos and 30 videos were entered for judging for 13 awards – including RAF Operations, RAF Equipment, RAF Photographic Section Portfolio, Technical/Engineering, Sports, Personnel, Video, RAF Feature and Student Photography. 

There was also an Amateur category, which was open to members of the public for the first time and attracted over 300 entries, plus RAF Photographer of the Year, RAF Image of the Year and the Peoples’ Choice.

What’s your favourite?

Somehow, the judges managed to narrow the field down to just nine images for the Peoples’ Choice vote. 

A winner will be announced on October 3rd, at Bentley Priory Museum, northwest of London – the home of RAF Fighter Command HQ during the Battle of Britain. 

Meanwhile, public voting is open until midnight on September 25th – and it’s a simple as clicking on your favourite photo HERE.

Now, I don’t want to sway your decision, so I’d better just include all nine contenders… Enjoy!

All the images are © Crown copyright 2018 and 2019.

‘Split Break’
SAC Chris Thompson-Watts – Photo ACSSU

Two new XXV(F) Squadron BAE Hawk advanced trainers break over North Wales during a training sortie.


‘So Many Snacks, So Little Time’
Cpl Matty Matthews – ACSSU, RAF Halton

A C130J Hercules, seen from the ramp of another Herc, during an airborne delivery training sortie over Abingdon, Oxfordshire. 


‘There’s No Place Like Home’
Cpl Matty Matthews – ACSSU, RAF Halton

Young Lexi Tofrik greets her father, Flt Lt Simon Tofrik after he had flown as ‘Tornado 7’ in a Diamond 9 Tornado flypast over RAF College Cranwell and RAF Marham, to mark the type’s retirement from RAF Service.


‘Blue Wake’
Sgt Rachel Malthouse – RAF Benson

The UK’s No.1 Masters Ladies wakeboarder, Cpl Sarah Partridge, who joined the RAF in 2008 and  was introduced to wakeboarding as part of a RAF led water-sports taster day.


Cpl Ashley Keates – RAFAT, RAF Scampton

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, perform their ‘Concorde’ formation over the deep blue sea of Greece, while refining their performance for the Public Display Authority (PDA).


Cpl Tim Laurence – ACSSU, RAF Halton

A RAF CH-47 Chinook helicopter rests during a night training mission in the Arizona desert. The Chinook was being used as a FARP (Forward Arming Refuelling Point) to refuel USMC helicopters during a deployment at MCAS Yuma.


‘Plugging The Gap’
Cpl Tony Hawke – RAF Benson

27 Squadron Chinooks from RAF Odiham bring flood relief to the Lincolnshire town of Wainfleet, after more than a month’s worth of rain fell in just a few days.


Cpl Ashley Keates – RAFAT, RAF Scampton

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows, perform ‘Goose’ on a still morning at Chalkoutsi, Greece. Goose sees one Red Arrow make a head-on pass through the rest of the formation.


‘Now You Have My Attention’
Cpl Matty Matthews – ACSSU, RAF Halton

Nine RAF Tornado’s line up before their farewell flypast over RAF Marham and RAF College Cranwell in February 2019. Thousands of fans gathered along the route to see the iconic jets for the last time.


Amazing! If you can choose a favourite, be sure to vote.

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