Tag Archives: Royal Air Force

Tornado Role Demo display as seen from inside the cockpit

Uploaded by the crew themselves after numerous requests, the following video shows the full display of the RAF’s Tornado Demo Role.

Filmed during the RAF Leuchars Airshow on Sept 15. 2012, this amazing footage shows how much effort is put by aircrews into these sorts of display.

The video is interesting even because it was filmed with a camera facing the backseater which provides an usual point of view.

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

RAF’s Tornado Role Demo Team to return to the UK airshow scene in 2013

The RAF has recently announced that its highly acclaimed Tornado Role Demo Display Team is to return to the UK Air Show circuit for 2013.

The two-ship display team using radio callsigns Poker 1 and Poker 2 provides a display that shows the British public the RAF’s frontline strike capabilities and tactics used by aircrew of the Tornado GR4 bombers deployed to the Afghanistan theatre of operations in the Close Air Support (CAS) role.

The display is fast, loud and dynamic, with large explosions from the pyrotechnics as the unfolding scenario is acted out via a commentator.

Image credit: Gareth Stringer / GAR

The scene is set as coalition troops are pinned down by an enemy firefight. The GR4s enter flying fast and low, wings swept, re-heat plugged in, as they provide a 550 kts “Show of Force.”  The ensuing fight includes Brimstone attacks and strafing runs, that give the viewing crowd heat and percussion from the explosions that can even be felt in the aircraft.

Image credit: Gareth Stringer / GAR

Flown by aircrew from XV (15) Squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth, whom are all Iraq and Afghanistan experienced aircrew the team have proved to be very popular with Air Show crowds during 2012.

An exclusive in-depth interview with the Team pilots can be found on the FREE 2012 airshow season review magazine of the Global Aviation Magazine, the monthly digital-only magazine published by the Global Aviation Resource team.

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

UK to stand up its first F-35 Squadron in 2014

The first two UK pilots have begun their training to fly the F-35 at Elgin AFB, Florida.

The two pilots are part of a small band of only 30 pilots that are either learning to fly the jet or have actually flown it. Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Franki Buchler and Royal Navy Lt. Cdr. Ian Tidball have joined U.S Marines Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, which is charged with the initial training on the F-35B, the version that has been purchased by the UK (after a rethink or two..).

It is thought along with the two pilots, 12 engineers (maintainers), 2 supervisors and all of their families have moved from the UK.

According to the nwf news website this group will be joined in 2014 by another pilot and around 50 more maintainers and will head to Edwards AFB Ca. and will stand up their own UK squadron to combat test the jet. It would be around this time that the UK will write down its methods of operating the new stealthy jet in a combat situation, tactics and getting the best out of the jet that sort of thing. It is thought the UK F-35B will carry Storm Shadow, SPEAR, a missionised gun and METEOR air to air missile.

The nwf site says that the UK group have been told that they are operating as Marines by their commander Wing Commander Jon Millington whom was quoted as saying “I told them, You are part of that Marine squad. Embrace it. Enjoy it. You won’t have a chance to be a Marine again.”

Image credit: DoD

The group has been taking part in squad runs and they have noticed that the Marines require more physical training than what they are used to, but Millington thought it a good thing and said “It’s going to get my fitness back into shape.”

Millington said that the Marines have bent over backwards to make them feel that they are Marines (that have recently activated the world’s first operational squadron at MCAS Yuma), so much so some even invited the Brits to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. Marine Col. Art Tomassetti was quoted as saying “The F-35 would not be here today if it wasn’t for the U.K.” and went on to acknowledge the United Kingdom has the most knowledge on earth about short take off and vertical landing capabilities.

Two of the U.K’s development aircraft are already at Eglin and will be joined in February 2013 by the third and final development jet; these three jets are expected to fly to the UK in the 2018 timeframe.

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

An ordinary day at RAF Coningsby airbase, UK’s main Eurofighter Typhoon base

RAF Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, England is the home base of several Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon units: 3 Squadron, 11 Squadron, 17 Squadron (Operational Evaluation Unit) and 29 Squadron (Operational Conversion Unit).

The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito spent a day there in September and took the following interesting pictures of an ordinary day at the UK’s main Typhoon base.

Image credit: Alessandro Fucito

RAF Coningsby QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) and its armed Typhoons are often called into action to perform air policing and security purposes. On Apr. 12, 2012, two Typhoons were scrambled when a helicopter pilot accidently entered the 7500 squawk code, telling the Air Traffic Control units the aircraft had been hijacked.

The fighter jets accelerated through Mach 1.2 to intercept the allegedly hijacked chopper and the sonic boom was heard by thousands of people across the UK and even the British Geological Survery was contacted to see if the island had been struck by an earthquake.

RAF Typhoons both operating from their homebases (Coningsby and Leuchars) and temporarily deployed at RAF Northolt, enforced the No-Fly Zone established over London to protect the Olympic Games.

Photo: Second UK’s F-35 and U.S. Marine Corps F-35B delivered to Eglin Air Force Base

On Oct. 19, the second British Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II took off from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base for delivery to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

The UK’s F-35 flew the 90-minute ferry flight to the Emerald Coast with the eleventh U.S. Marine Corps’s F-35B. The aircraft, known as ZM136 and BK-16, departed at approximately 8:06 a.m. CDT with U.K. Royal Air Force Sqn. Ldr. Jim Schofield and Marine Corps Maj. Adam Levine at the controls.

The first United Kingdom F-35B, arrived at the base for operational test and evaluation in July.

Image credit: Lockheed Martin / Neal Chapman