Video Shows RAF Typhoons Performing Rare Triple Formation Take Off

Triple formation take off
Three RAF Typhoon launch in triple formation from RAF Coningsby on Mar. 12, 2024.

Display teams aside, triple formation take offs are extremely rare. Here’s one shot recently at RAF Coningsby.

Although military fast jets usually take off in sequence and rejoin after departure, formation take offs are also carried out routinely to train pilots to launch multiple aircraft quickly. Flight members fly formation from brake release throughout rotation and into the airborne phase with the Lead aircraft using a reduced power takeoff to give the wingman some power advantage to maintain position during the take off roll. In fact, it’s up to the wingman to make small power corrections to avoid overrunning Lead or falling behind.

Formation take offs are carried out only if specific requirements are met (crosswind, gusts, minimum runway width, weather, ceiling, etc) and, large display teams aside, they are usually carried out by two-ship formations: lead and wingman take the center of their respective sides of the runway (so that both the jets have enough room to maneuver), with the wingman upwind to the lead.

Triple formation take offs are much rarer. For this reason, the video below is extremely interesting. It was shot on Mar. 12, 2024 at RAF Coningsby, where three Eurofighter Typhoons of the Royal Air Force carried out a formation take off that was caught on camera by our friends at the Crazy About Aviation – Coningsby Live Youtube channel.

The unusual formation take off saw a two-seater Typhoon T3 ZK381, sporting the markings of the 29(R) Squadron, as the flight lead, and two Typhoon FGR4s, ZK360 of the XI(F) Sqn and ZJ947, of the 29(R) Squadron, as wingmen.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.