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Typhoons test flights at RAF Northolt ahead of Olympics
Neighbours are set for a noisy few days as Typhoon jets to be based at RAF Northolt during the Olympic Games take to the skies for a series of test flights.
The supersonic Eurofighter Typhoons, which can travel at top speeds of 1,320mph, will begin the training exercise tomorrow (Wednesday 02) and will continue until Thursday next week (10).
Sea King helicopters will also make the military base, just across the borough border in West End Road, South Ruislip, their home during the Games, providing surveillance. They are expected to perform a number of take-offs and landings.
Work is also being carried out to modify parts of the perimeter fence. A section of hedge has been grubbed up because it was at risk of catching fire from the jet blast from the powerful Typhoons.
It has been replaced with special fencing designed to dissipate engine blast and stop debris being blown at high speed across the ground.
Signs are being installed along the A40 Western Avenue warning drivers of possible unusual noise.
But the goodwill of neighbours has not been taken for granted, and the RAF is laying on the chance to get up close to the Typhoons when the exercise is over.
On Thursday (10), residents who have booked in will have the chance to visit the base to chat to some of the pilots and find out about the base's role in the Olympic Air Security Plan.
For details of how to visit, go to www.raf.mod.uk/rafnortholt.
Things will quieten down again after the exercise but pick up in the run-up to the Games, which start on July 27 until the Paralympic Games end on September 9.
During this time, normal commercial and military traffic will be reduced and the Typhoons will only fly if necessary. But there may be some VIP traffic associated with the Games.
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