RAF Typhoon Display Team Jet for 2014
The newly painted tail of the RAF Typhoon Display jet, from 29 Reserve (R) Squadron (Sqn) is flown for the first time and accompanied by a Typhoon in the original design.
29(R) Sqn are based at Royal Air Force (RAF) Coningsby in Lincolnshire and their prim, ary role is to provide support to air operations and train new pilots on the Eurofighter Typhoon airframe. They are also home to the Eurofighter Typhoon Display Team, with pilot Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Noel Rees piloting the display and supported by squadron engineers and other station personnel.
The tail was designed by Adam Johnson of Adam Johnson Concepts and painted by Serco contractors based at RAF Coningsby. It took 4 days to complete and contains the squadrons eblem, the buzzard and it's famous XXX.
The purpose of the Typhoon Display team is to show audiences its varied and expansive capabilities. The multi-role fighter jet is the newest in the RAF and the most advanced. It recently saw it's first combat experience over Libya in 2011 and were deployed to Cyprus to protect the Sovereign Base Area last year. There are currently four Typhoon Squadrons based at RAF Coningsby; 29(R) Sqn; 41 Test & Evaluation Squadron (TES); 11 Fighter (F) Squadron and 3 Fighter (F) Squadron. It is also home the the Typhoon Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) South squadron, who can be launched at anytime to police British Airspace as required. This was called into action most recently intercepting a Pakistani Airlines flight which was reported hijacked last year. There are also a further two Squadrons based in Scotland at RAF Leuchars as well as QRA North.
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202(R) Sqn Personnel Dry Winching
Pictured are Rear-crew of a Griffin HT1 Helicopter from 202(R) Sqn training on Anglesey.
202(R) Sqn "The Mucky Ducks" train Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Helicopter Pilots and Rear-crew in the disciplines of Mountain and Maritime Flying. Elements of Search and Rescue are also part of the training, to give the trainees a taste of what winching down from the aircraft feels like. This training consists of simulator training, in a classroom.
They then move on to the physical simulator, called the Parrot, where the cab of an old huey is fitted with a winch, they have different terrains to then practice on, ranging from undulating terrain through to a simulated boat pitching up and down. After this phase, they move to the dry winching, photographed here. By this point, the principles of winching should be much easier, so the students aren't overloaded by the whole scenario, they go through the drills of spotting a casualty, directing the pilot to the casualty whilst having a winchman below the aircraft, recovering the casualty and then returning to station.
Following this phase, the students go out to sea, and winch from the MOD boat Smit.
202(R) Sqn is a whole force squadron, with Cobham pilots, winchmen and engineers working alongside RAF and Royal Navy Pilots and winchmen, giving the best experience and training possible.
Students graduating from 202(R) Sqn can go on to fly the Merlin, Wildcat, Chinook, Puma or Sea King (Navy).
202(R) Sqn "The Mucky Ducks" Provide all Royal Air Force and Royal Navy helicopter aircrew with basic Mountain, Maritime and Littoral flying skills by day and night and deliver advanced Search and Rescue training to military aircrew destined for specific roles.
RAF aircrew selected for Search and Rescue duties on helicopters proceed to 202(R) Squadron at RAF Valley alongside their colleagues from the Royal Navy and Army.
The aircraft itself is a modern version of the famous Huey family of helicopters used by many armed forces around
Chinooks celebrate the 100th anniversaries of 18(B) and 27 Squadron from RAF Odiham
Pictured are a special formation of Chinooks from 27 & 28 Sqn, part of their 100th anniversary celebrations.
On Wednesday 14 September a very special formation left RAF Odiham bound for the south coast of England but tactical camouflage was not on the agenda! In the past 18 months three Chinook aircraft have been painted to celebrate the 100th anniversaries of 18(B) and 27 Squadron from RAF Odiham and 28 Squadron from RAF Benson.
With the first of the helicopters expected to be returned to standard operational markings in the near future this opportunity was integrated in to a formation training sortie which tested the crews ability to plan and execute some very unique tasks. With it being so complex the mission was, unusually, briefed the day prior to launch and each crew walked through the various maneouvres in the hangar, in what is colloquially known as a rock drill. At the hour they walked for their aircraft each member had a firm grasp of the planned movements which enabled them to focus on maintaining strict safety margins.
The day itself was only the end of a long road though, with preparation having begun over 6 months ago. Operational restraints cancelled the first planned date in June and the only other window where all three aircraft were available concurrently was identified as being this week.
RAF Odiham's dedicated and professional engineering teams were therefore faced with generating three very specific airframes to complete this sortie whilst concurrently deploying multiple others to support exercises in Sweden and onboard HMS Ocean and providing manpower to flying detachments in the United States and elsewhere. They succeeded and the results of their efforts are clearly seen.The Serco team who painted the Chinooks at Odiham, each in the space of two intense weeks, were invited to see the three lined up on the dispersal together for what may be the first and only time a moment they had waited a long time to see.
As for the st