Video of the mighty RAF Hercules transport aircraft making one of its very last flights before its retirement can be seen here.

The footage shows the Hercules C-130J aircraft from 47 Sqn, on a final flypast.

A flypast to mark the forthcoming retirement of the Hercules from RAF service took place across all four nations of the United Kingdom on Wednesday, 14 June.

The planned routing by three aircraft covered locations of significance to the Hercules’ service and 47 Squadron, including the Mach Loop.

The first Hercules arrived at Marshall’s of Cambridge in December 1966 Hercules. Since entering RAF service, originally with 242 Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Thorney Island, it has operated across the globe in support of UK military and humanitarian relief operations.

The transition to the 22-strong Atlas (A400) fleet and other air mobility aircraft has been ongoing for some time.

47 Squadron and the Hercules will continue to deliver on operations supporting UK defence objectives until 30 June. 

The Hercules is described as the RAF’s primary tactical transport aircraft and in its current C.Mk 4 and C.Mk 5 versions of the C-130J-30 and C-130J, respectively, has been the backbone of UK operational tactical mobility tasks since it was brought into service in 1999.

It is frequently employed to operate into countries or regions where there is a threat to aircraft; its performance, tactics and defensive systems make it the ideal platform for such tasks.