The United States Navy used to call NAS Miramar in California “Fightertown USA”. Here in Great Britain we have a similar base, instead of Southern California we have Lincolnshire, the delights of San Diego are replaced by Sleaford and Lincoln. I give you Fightertown UK, RAF Coningsby.
In all seriousness, it’s the HQ of the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoon force with the OCU (29Sqn) and OEU (17Sqn) based there, as well as 2 operational squadrons numbers 3 and 11 plus the Tornados of 41Sqn who provide a test role for the Tornado force. When I was there for the BBMF PDA displays it would have been rude not to capture some of the more modern hardware as well.
With the RAF Typhoon Display Team busy using their aircraft for what it was intended, BAE Systems stepped in to provide the Typhoon Display this year. Add to that the appearance of the Tornado role demo from the RAF and the shows major sponsor was well represented in the flying display. Not to be outdone, the RAF’s newest aircraft the A330 “Voyager” was present at its first Tattoo. Star Trek anyone?
As part of the retirement “celebrations” for the Harrier two aircraft have been painted with commemorative tails. Having deployed to Ark Royal a few days before they were due back on the 24th. A trip to Cottesmore (my last) was in order.
First launch of the day.
The RAF Typhoon display was flown this year by Flt Lt Tim Clement. He had two aircraft at his disposal, a T.1 in 29 Sqn marks and an F.2 in 3 Sqn colours. He flew both over the weekend.
There are those who say the Typhoon display lacks dynamic impact this year. I dont! Although I do think the flat display is better for photography, the display is about showing the aircraft’s capabilities rather than providing good photographs. It has to be said though that all RAF Air Defence fighter displays seem to follow a basic format (probably by necessity). The display flown to close the days flying was a very welcome change.
Take-off is always dramatic (more…)