THE RAF has begun to run down its fleet of Tristar transport and air-to-air refuelling planes at Brize Norton.

The former airliners, which joined the RAF 30 years ago, are being replaced by new Airbus Voyager planes, converted from Airbus A330-300 airliners.

The first Tristar to be withdrawn, ZD952, was flown earlier this month to Cotswold Airport, at Kemble, near Cirencester, where it will be broken up for scrap.

The commanding officer of Brize Norton’s 216 Squadron, Wing Commander Peter Morgan, said: “It’s extremely sad to see a piece of RAF heritage begin to disappear.”