|RAF Coningsby with its five squadrons and the BBMF is a busy airfield. It’s responsible for QRA (South), training pilots to fly the Typhoon, operational evaluation for the Typhoon, developing the air to ground aspect of the Typhoon, fast jet and weapons operational evaluation (for the Tornado and Harrier) and the display flying from the BBMF and also the Typhoon display team.
Currently they are adopting the new Block 8 Typhoons, preparing the the replacement of the Tornado F3 by the Typhoon in the Falklands, preparing for 6 Squadron to stand up as the fifth Typhoon squadron and preparing for moving Typhoon maintenance from BAE Warton to a new purpose build hanger at Coningsby.
17th August 2009
The fist two sorties of the day were made up of three Block 8 Typhoons and a Block 5. I cover the Block 8 Typhoons on the another post but will cover the pictures again here.
With the deliveries of the Block 8 Typhoons and there assignment to 3(F) Squadron there has been a reassignment of the Block 1,2 and 5 Typhoons among the squadrons. This means a number of the sorties had either mixed squadron marked jets or had a pilot from one squadron flying a jet marked up in another squadrons marks.
With this in mind and a scanner with flat batteries I won’t assume which squadron was operating which airframe!
Typhoon FGR4 ZJ913 with a Litening III targeting pod just visible
Typhoon FGR4 ZJ930 with a Litening III targeting pod just visible
Typhoon FGR4 ZJ941 with a Litening III targeting pod just visible
All three of the airframes above had the Lightning III targeting pod fitted to the centre line station. The pod provides laser designation, range finding, high resolution forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imaging and target tracking for the air to ground role.
As usual 29 Squadron was busy with lots of flying, sadly no Typhoon display practice or ‘performance’ takeoffs.
Typhoon T1 ZJ810 was involved in a lot of sorties but then it is a low hour air frame. It was involved in a landing accident in January 2006 when the nose wheel failed to lower. It spend almost two years in a hanger before returning to flight in November 2008.
Carbon 2 on a PAN (low fuel?) into Coningsby
Visitors for the 18th came in the form of Carbon 1 and 2. A flight of two 100 Squadron Hawks came in with Carbon 1 declaring a PAN for what I believe was a low fuel state. Both left later in the afternoon along with the 100 Squadron special XX285.
18th August 2009
Another busy day with lots of flying. 29 Squadron was operating there Typhoon T3 (note the PIRATE on the nose).
RAF Typhoon T3 ZJ809 – Tripplex 2
Three ‘performance’ take offs from the 29 Squadron T1s with unrestricted climbs.
Harrier T12 ZH659 made an overshoot on an air test as Cott 08.
Cott 08 on an air test
The BBMF were out with Dakota flying as Dakota 99 and Dakota 92.
41 Squadron were out with a targeting pod and a single Brimstone. I would suspect it was a dual mode Brimstone as this was released for active service to the GR4 force earlier this year after trials with 41 Sqn. Operating as Rampage 41 it returned with the Brimstone later in the day.
19th August 2009
41 Squadron again were out with the GR4 ZA600 with the same load out, a targeting pod and single Brimstone. 41 Squadron were also operating the Harrier under the Apollo 81 callsign.
Victor 54 – a RN Navy FAA Hawk (despite the 208(R) Squadron markings) came in for a practice PAN with a simulated bird strike.
Typhoon F2 ZJ936 deploys the chute upon landing after visiting a range. The chute wasn’t deployed as part of an emergency, it was deployed as part of the normal interval of use and repacking of the chute.