Aviation enthusiasts in the Western Isles had a big day for sightings yesterday (Thursday 6 August) and today, with unusual aircraft appearing in the skies over Lewis.

RAF Brize Norton gave early warning at 1pm that their C-17 Globemaster would be operating around Stornoway during essential training for 99 Squadron.

Mid-afternoon, the spectacular sight of the massive plane over Lewis drew all eyes to the skies as the aircraft made low passes over Stornoway and the surrounding area.

Today, RAF Brize Norton tweeted: "This afternoon, our C-17 Globemaster aircraft will also be operating in the vicinity of Dundee, Aberdeen and Stornoway, whilst engaged in essential training."

RAF Brize Norton is home to the RAF's Strategic and Tactical Air Transport (AT) and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) forces, with the Globemaster a long-range, heavy lift strategic transport aircraft used for combat, peace-keeping and humanitarian work worldwide.

The aircraft’s design allows it to make steep approaches to small airfields at relatively slow speeds, and yesterday also gave sky-watchers a clear view of the detail as landing gear was deployed and re-stowed.

The Bell 505 JetRanger helicopter that flew in to land later in the afternoon made a complete contrast. With capacity for just a pilot plus up to four passengers, it’s often used as a private or corporate travel option as well as for first-time pilot training.

Spotter Roy Macleod also clocked a US Air Force MC-130 Hercules transport plane over Carloway yesterday. The USAF 352nd Special Operations Group are currently in regular operations from their operational base at RAF Mildenhall.

Pictures are by Jason Spinks and Roy Macleod.