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UK from the air: the Ordnance Survey Flying Unit

16:18 14 October 2016

The OS Flying Unit was treated to a stunning view of Helvellyn, in the Lake District

The OS Flying Unit was treated to a stunning view of Helvellyn, in the Lake District

Archant

Two Cessna 404s take to the skies between February and November every year to survey around 80,000 square kilometres

Taking off from East Midlands AirportTaking off from East Midlands Airport

The Ordnance Survey (OS) capture around 50,000 images of urban, rural, moorland and mountain terrain using a 196-megapixel camera mounted to their two aircraft, G-TASK and G-FIFA, or even the crew’s cameraphones.

GCHQ in Cheltenham, known as 'The Doughnut'GCHQ in Cheltenham, known as 'The Doughnut'

The results are stunning…

Over the Firth of Forth, with the unfinished Queensferry Crossing at the top and the Forth Bridge, which has been voted Scotland's greatest man-made wonderOver the Firth of Forth, with the unfinished Queensferry Crossing at the top and the Forth Bridge, which has been voted Scotland's greatest man-made wonder

The iconic domes of the Eden Project in Cornwall, snapped in springThe iconic domes of the Eden Project in Cornwall, snapped in spring

Birmingham city centre, photographed in April, with the Bullring and the rather distinctive Selfridges visibleBirmingham city centre, photographed in April, with the Bullring and the rather distinctive Selfridges visible

NEC Birmingham Airport, as the crew of the Flying Unit saw it through the lens of the cameraNEC Birmingham Airport, as the crew of the Flying Unit saw it through the lens of the camera

Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham, where England and Australia do battle in an Ashes test - the Flying Unit didn't get to see any cricket thoughEdgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham, where England and Australia do battle in an Ashes test - the Flying Unit didn't get to see any cricket though

Over Silverstone, but the Grand Prix isn't in town - it's truck racingOver Silverstone, but the Grand Prix isn't in town - it's truck racing

Many of the Orkney islands are uninhabited, making for stunning shots of their natural landscapeMany of the Orkney islands are uninhabited, making for stunning shots of their natural landscape

Orkney, off the northern coast of ScotlandOrkney, off the northern coast of Scotland

Caen Hill Locks in Wiltshire - 29 locks in a two-mile stretch of the Kennet and Avon CanalCaen Hill Locks in Wiltshire - 29 locks in a two-mile stretch of the Kennet and Avon Canal

Cardiff Bay was flown over by the Flying Unit in summerCardiff Bay was flown over by the Flying Unit in summer

Plymouth looking its best in the August sunPlymouth looking its best in the August sun

The Flying over Newcastle, with the Tilt Bridge on the leftThe Flying over Newcastle, with the Tilt Bridge on the left

After West Pier in Brighton was demolished in 2010, having first been constructed in 1886, it was replaced at the site by the 160-metre high observation tower, British Airways i360After West Pier in Brighton was demolished in 2010, having first been constructed in 1886, it was replaced at the site by the 160-metre high observation tower, British Airways i360

How many London landmarks can you spot?How many London landmarks can you spot?

The spectacular architecture of Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, is captured from the air. The palace was the birthplace of the great wartime Prime Minister Winston ChurchillThe spectacular architecture of Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, is captured from the air. The palace was the birthplace of the great wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill

The 1,021-metre Buachaille in the Scottish HighlandsThe 1,021-metre Buachaille in the Scottish Highlands

The famous seaside town of Blackpool, which was home to the OS Flying Unit for more than 50 yearsThe famous seaside town of Blackpool, which was home to the OS Flying Unit for more than 50 years

The Flying Unit timed their run over Cornwall perfectly to get a sense of the size of the Boardmasters FestivalThe Flying Unit timed their run over Cornwall perfectly to get a sense of the size of the Boardmasters Festival

Something you would never appreciate from the ground - Sandwell Valley Country Park's rugby player maize mazeSomething you would never appreciate from the ground - Sandwell Valley Country Park's rugby player maize maze

The Flying Unit flew over BoomTown Fair shortly after a serious fire in the car park, which left burnt-out cars for them to photographThe Flying Unit flew over BoomTown Fair shortly after a serious fire in the car park, which left burnt-out cars for them to photograph

Boomtown Fair took over fields near Winchester in AugustBoomtown Fair took over fields near Winchester in August

The rugged terrain of the Isle of SkyeThe rugged terrain of the Isle of Skye

The OS Flying Unit has two Cessna 404s, G-TASK and G-FIFAThe OS Flying Unit has two Cessna 404s, G-TASK and G-FIFA

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