The RAF Typhoon Display Team Reveals New Livery For 2024 Display Season

RAF Display Team 2024
The newly revealed display aircraft for the 2024 Display Season of the RAF Typhoon Display Team (Image credit: RAF)

The new special colored aircraft is painted in a 1944 era ‘Day Fighter’ scheme that remembers a Hawker Typhoon of 257 Squadron, FM-G.

On Apr. 22, 2024, the Royal Air Force unveiled at RAF Coningsby the Typhoon FGR4 of the Typhoon Display Team, that will be flown by Flight Lieutenant Turnbull from 29 Squadron throughout the 2024 season. Nicknamed “Moggy”, the display aircraft was given a special color scheme to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day.

The aircraft, ZJ913, showcases a paint scheme reminiscent of a ‘Day Fighter’ design from 1944, paying homage to a Hawker Typhoon from 257 Squadron, bearing the designation FM-G. On D-Day this aircraft was flown by Pilot Officer Denzel Jenkins.

The RAF Typhoon Display Team have revealed the newly painted display aircraft for the 2024 Display Season at RAF Coningsby. (Image credit: RAF)

Jenkins began the war as an airman and was commissioned as an officer in Jan 1944. Later, he became Officer Commanding (OC) 257 and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, says the RAF in a public release.

The display aircraft ZJ913 will be a regular at airshows around the UK, and will be nicknamed Moggy. (Image credit: RAF)

Besides the camouflaged base, the aircraft features RAF Tactical Recognition Flash and the D-Day invasion stripes, bands of alternating black and white stripes applied around allied aircraft’s wings and fuselage.

ZJ913 being towed outside the shelter. (Image credit: RAF)

The Invasion Stripes

The concept of invasion stripes emerged from the imperative to prevent “fratricide” or friendly fire incidents during the extensive D-Day invasion and its aftermath. This threat loomed large in the skies, particularly as allied aircraft traversed the English Channel, often flying over ships equipped with anti-aircraft guns.

The decision to adopt alternating black and white bands as identification markings was formalized and ratified on May 17, 1944, leaving a mere 20 days for allied air forces to disseminate application specifications and implement the markings across a vast array of aircraft. Records indicate that an astonishing 11,590 Allied aircraft executed 14,674 sorties on D-Day, with nearly all adorned with invasion stripes.

Remarkably, even the extensive fleet of over 1,200 C-47 Dakota transport and glider tug aircraft received these markings among the last.

The brainchild behind invasion stripes is widely attributed to Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, then leading the Allied Expeditionary Air Forces in 1944. Despite Leigh-Mallory’s occasionally controversial leadership, his concept not only proved effective but has since become synonymous with commemorating the D-Day invasion on aircraft.

Other notable RAF Typhoon special colors

In 2014, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, ZK308 received the iconic invasion stripes too on an overall grey paint scheme. These distinctive black and white markings adorned both the upper and lower wing surfaces, extending around the rear of the fuselage. Positioned just below and behind the cockpit was the code TP-V, representing the squadron code of a Hawker Typhoon that participated in the historic operation. ZK308 occasionally served as the solo display aircraft during the 2014 season and also engaged in synchronized displays alongside a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, also adorned with D-Day markings.

ZK308 at Duxford in 2014 (Image credit: Alessandro Fucito)

One year later, in April 2015, the RAF introduced another commemorative paint scheme on the Typhoon FGR.4 ZK349 of 29(R) Squadron, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The livery was meant to match the markings of a RAF WWII Hawker Hurricane belonging to 249 Squadron’s Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson. Nicolson was the winner of the Victoria Cross and the Distinguished Flying Cross. This was the only Victoria Cross awarded to Fighter Command on Aug. 16, 1940.

The plane featured Nicolson’s original nose art, a Defiant Red Devil, beneath the cockpit, along with the inscription ‘Flt. Lt. James Nicolson VC’ on the port side of the nose.

Typhoon FGR4 ‘ZK349 / GN-A’ (Image credit: Alan Wilson/Wiki)

Throughout the summer of 2015, Flight Lieutenant Ben Westoby-Brooks piloted the aircraft alongside a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire, showcasing the RAF Syncro-pair display, also known as Syncro 75.

Typhoon ZK349, affectionately known as “GiNA” due to its G/NA designation around the roundel, garnered immense popularity among airshow enthusiasts. In fact, it was overwhelmingly voted as the “Favourite Special Scheme” on the widely followed airshow forum “UK Airshow Review”, triumphing over other performers by a significant margin. Such was the fervor for this aircraft that, when in 2017 it was decided to return it to the original operational low-visibility tactical paint scheme. fans initiated a “Save GiNA” campaign on Twitter, rallying support with the hashtag “#SaveGina”.

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.