The Royal Air Force display aircraft includes the Typhoon FGR4, Tornado GR4, Hercules C-130J, Merlin HC3, Chinook HC4, Hawk T2, Tucano T1, and Grob Tutor T1.
The RAF Falcons are the Royal Air Force's parachute display team.
Details below include the RAF display teams and the date/venue when they will perform a flying display.
Pilot and crew members are also included when this information is known.
Changes in how the RAF display their aircraft in 2007/2008 are detailed at the bottom of this page which includes the new muti-role demos along with some photos.
There will also be a Typhoon & Spitfire synchro pair displaying at a few airshows in 2015.
The Typhoon is an agile, single seat, multi-role aircraft optimised for high altitude supersonic air combat but also capable of operating at much lower levels in the air-to-ground roles. It is built by a four-nation consortium comprised of companies from the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. The state-of-the art aircraft is set to be the RAF's major front-line type for many years to come, replacing the RAF's Tornado F3 fighters and Jaguar fighter-bombers in front-line service.
Flt Lt Jonny Dowen from 29 (Reserve) Squadron based at RAF Coningsby is the 2015 RAF Typhoon Display pilot.
2015 Typhoon Pilot:
Flight Lieutenant Jonny Dowen is the display pilot in 2015.
Flt Lt Jonathan Dowen, known as ‘Jonny’ was born in Sutton Coldfield but initially grew up in Javea, Spain before moving back to the UK aged nine. He spent his Secondary School years attending Colyton Grammar School, Devon, where he completed his GCSE’s and A-level’s. From the age of 13 Jonny was an active member of the local Air Training Corps squadron. Intent on pursuing his aspiration of becoming a pilot, Jonny applied to the Royal Air Force and was awarded a Sixth Form Scholarship, before subsequently joining the RAF in 2005, aged nineteen. After graduating from his Initial Officer Training (IOT) based at RAF Cranwell he was then posted to RAF Wyton where he flew the Tutor aircraft as part of his Elementary Flying Training (EFT). Jonny was then streamed onto both the Tucano and Hawk aircraft, graduating from Advanced Fast Jet Training (AFJT) in the summer of 2009, before being posted to RAF Coningsby, where he spent 4 months learning to fly the Typhoon aircraft on the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), 29(R)Sqn.
Upon completion of the OCU he joined XI(F)Sqn where he began his first operational tour with a frontline Sqn. During this period Jonny took part in multiple overseas deployments and exercises to India, Oman, United Arab Emirates, USA and the South Atlantic. On completion of his tour he was subsequently posted back to 29(R)Sqn as a Qualified Pilot Instructor (QPI) in early 2013. His primary role as a QPI is ensuring that new student’s are adequately trained and suitably qualified to serve on the frontline on completion of their training on the OCU. This involves instructing students on the basics of aircraft manoeuvring through to air to air and air to surface weapons employment, both day and night. His duties at Coningsby also include contributing to RAF Coningsby’s primary task of defending the United Kingdoms Airspace, known as Quick Reaction Alert (QRA).
Jonny currently lives in Lincolnshire with his Fiancé Vanessa and his two children. In his free time he enjoys walking, cooking, travelling, playing squash and supporting the Exeter Chiefs rugby team.
Tornado GR4 Display Dates/Venues
There will not be a Tornado Role Demo for the 2015 season.
The Tornado GR4 is the latest version of the RAF's primary attack aircraft. Capable of supersonic speeds and flight at low-level, the aircraft is one of the most potent in the world today. A major feature of the Tornado is its 'Swing wings' (variable geometry) which when swept fully forward can fly slowly ideal for landing on short runways, or when swept back (68 degrees) can fly supersonically. Another innovative feature of the Tornado is the ability to use thrust-reverse to shorten landings.
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is the most numerous transport aircraft in the West and has been in production longer than any other aircraft in history. The prototype flew in August 1954 and since then over 60 nations have ordered the Hercules. Those in use by the RAF are C-130K versions (known as Hercules C1 and C3), and the new second-generation C-130Js (known as Hercules C4 and C5). The Hercules C4/C5s are optimised for economical operation by the introduction of new Allison turboprop engines, 6-bladed composite propellers and a digital engine control system which increases take-off thrust by 29% and is 15% more efficient.
There will not be a Hercules display aircraft in 2015.
Merlin HC3 2015 Display Dates/Venues
There will not be a Merlin flying display in 2015.
The Merlin HC3 is the first of the next generation of medium support helicopters for the RAF. Twenty-two of the aircraft have been delivered and all serve with No 28 Squadron at RAF Benson.
The aircraft can be armed with two general purpose machine guns mounted in port and starboard cabin windows, and can be equipped with a wide variety of role equipment, including a rescue hoist and a roller floor to assist loading cargo via the rear ramp.
The RAF operates the largest fleet of Chinook support helicopters after the US Army. The Chinook Wing, which forms the heavy-lift element of the Joint Helicopter Command, is based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire. Odiham supports three operational squadrons, No 7 Squadron, No 18 Squadron and No 27 Squadron, and the Operational Conversion Flight (OCF). Two aircraft are also flown by No 78 Squadron from Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands on support helicopter tasks.
The Chinook Display Team return for 2015 with a new display on the Boeing HC4; the first time this aircraft has displayed.
Along with the the two pilots, the team in 2015 has a deputy manager behind the scenes to assist in the smooth running of the season. The team also has a role demo supervisor and his deputy who are responsible for the safety of the sequence. All of these posts are filled by personnel from IV(R) Squadron, Number 4FTS at RAF Valley.
2015 Display Hawk T2 Role Demo:
Ninja 1 - Flight Lieutenant Ben Polwin.
Ninja 2 - Flight Lieutenant Toby Keeley.
Deputy Manager - Flight Lieutenant Al Branson.
Display Supervisor - Wg Cdr Dan Beard.
Deputy Display Supervisor - Squadron Leader Tim Nassif.
Tucano T1 Display Dates/Venues
There will not be an RAF Tucano display aircraft in 2015.
The Tucano was selected in 1985 to replace the RAF's Jet Provost basic flying training aircraft which had been in service since 1955.
Some seventy percent cheaper to operate than the Jet Provost, the Tucano used by the RAF differs from the version originally developed by Embraer of Brazil and used by many air forces across the globe. The main difference is the engine - the RAF choosing a Garrett turboprop over the standard Pratt and Whitney powerplant.
The Grob Tutor T1 replaced the Royal Air Force's fleet of Bulldog primary training aircraft from 1999 onwards. Ninety of the new aircraft are used by University Air Squadrons and Air Experience Flights at 14 locations around the country. But unusually, the aircraft are not owned and maintained by the RAF, but carry civilian registrations and serviced under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Bombardier, the contractor, will own and maintain the aircraft, and at some sites also provide such essential flying support services as air traffic control and fire cover, saving the MoD an estimated £30 Million over the life of the 10 year contract.
2015 Grob Tutor T1 pilot:
The 2015 RAF Tutor Display Pilot is Flight Lieutenant Andy Preece. Andy joined the RAF in 1991 initially as a Navigator and was posted to the Tornado GR1. Following a successful operational and weapons conversion, he served in Germany at RAF Brüggen with No. 17(F) Squadron. His next tour was as an instructor at RAF Cottesmore where he taught Italian and German Pilots and Navigators, as well as RAF students. During his time on the Tornado, Andy flew numerous missions over Iraq as part of Operations Jural, Warden and Bolton.
Andy then retrained as a pilot. He has flown the Tornado GR1, Hawk, Tucano, Harrier GR7/T10, Dominie and the Grob Tutor. Andy is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and a Qualified Pilot Navigator Instructor (QPNI). He was the RAF Tutor display pilot in 2007, 2008 and 2014. Andy has over 4000 hrs on 12 different aircraft types. In his spare time Andy enjoys hill walking, cycling and photography.
Beech King Air B200
King Air B200 Display Dates/Venues
There will not be an RAF King Air B200 flying display in 2015.
The Beech King Air B200, the newest training aircraft in the RAF inventory, is a twin-engine turboprop monoplane, which first entered RAF service in 2004. It is used as an advanced, multi-engine pilot trainer by No 45(R) Squadron, which is part of No 3 Flying Training School based at RAF Cranwell, in Lincolnshire. It is a well liked aircraft by it's crews and trainees.
No 45 Squadron formed at Gosport on 1st March 1916. During it's history it served in France during the first world war, Egypt and Iraq between the wars and the western desert and far east during the second world war. After the second world war the squadron stayed Asia seeing action in Maylaya. The sqaudron then reformed back in the UK with Hunters in 1970 before moving on to the Jaguar and Tornado.
In 1992, the squadron plate moved on the Jetsream multi engined training aircraft at Cranwell before converting onto the King Air in 2004.
See Beech King Air B200 webpage.
See King Air 2009 article.
The Beech King Air B200 made its display debut in 2008. The King Air display is flown by Qualified Flying Instructors (QFIs) from 45(Reserve) Squadron based at Royal Air Force Cranwell in Lincolnshire.
AIRCRAFT AND ROLE INFORMATION
The Beechcraft King Air B200 is a twin-engine turboprop which entered RAF service in 2004. It is used as a multi-engine advanced pilot trainer by No 45(Reserve) Squadron, which is part of No 3 Flying Training School based at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire. Prior to flying the King Air, students who have been streamed to fly multi-engine aircraft at the end of elementary flying training undertake survival training and personal development training to prepare them for the rigours of operational service. They then join No 45(R) Squadron where they complete an additional 30 hours training on the multi-engine lead-in (MELIN) course, flying Firefly M260 aircraft. During the MELIN course, students are taught crew co-operation and procedural flying skills to prepare them for their advanced flying training on the King Air.
King Air students learn essential multi-engine techniques such as general handling, asymmetric flying, emergency handling and radio-aids navigation, and consolidate the multi-crew skills acquired on the MELIN course. As the course progresses, the emphasis shifts towards developing captaincy, crew resource management, and managing the King Air's advanced avionics systems. Students also learn advanced skills such as formation flying, low-level flying and airways navigation, and are expected to plan and manage composite missions involving several aircraft. On completion of the course students are awarded their coveted pilot's wings, and then undertake conversion to their frontline aircraft type at an Operational Conversion Unit. A variety of shorter King Air courses is available, with students' previous flying experience determining which course they undertake; this experience can be as little as 100 hours for a student arriving straight from elementary flying training, to several thousand hours for a qualified pilot transferring to the multi-engine role from fast jets or helicopters.
The King Air has performed extremely well throughout its first five years in RAF service, and has proved popular with students and instructors alike. In addition to its flying training role, the King Air can be used to carry up to 6 passengers or freight. Its combination of a well-proven airframe with advanced cockpit and systems make it an ideal training platform for the new generation of multi-engine aircraft entering RAF service. In 2008, the fleet of seven King Air B200s was augmented by two B200GTs which feature improved high level cruising performance and a fully electronic 'glass cockpit'. These can be identified by the red line on their fuselage side.
The Royal Air Force Falcons are renowned as the UK's premier military parachute display team. Each year, from May through to September they perform their unique and colourful aerial display at numerous venues nationwide. All the Falcons are selected from the RAF's qualified Parachute Jumping Instructors. Team members receive further intensive training to ensure that together, they are abe to perform the highly skilled freefall and canopy manoeuvres that culminate in the Team safely landing, in quick succession, in front of the spectators. The RAF Falcons are primarily supported by the C130 Hercules aircraft and crews from RAF Lyneham but have also used the BBMF Dakota, Chinook, and Puma.
The Falcons are the RAF's Parachute Display Team which are made up from 3 officers and 10 senior NCOs who are all Physical Training Instructors from the Physical Education Branch at RAF Brize Norton.
Team for 2015:
Officer Commanding - Flight Lieutenant Ollie Smith
Deputy Officer Commanding - Flight Lieutenant Kirk Evans
Team Manager - Warrant Officer Paul Floyd
Falcon 1 - Team Coach -Flight Sergeant Ceri Marshman
Falcon 2 - Sergeant Scott Garrett
Falcon 3 - Sergeant Kris Williams
Falcon 4 - Sergeant Shaun Borley
Falcon 5 - Corporal Ryan Norris
Falcon 6 - Corporal Neil Connell
Falcon 7 - Corporal Paul Smith
Falcon 8 - Corporal Alex Williams
Falcon 9 - Corporal Mark O'Brien
Survival Equipment Fitters - Corporal Rob Hetherington & Corporal Rich Bremner
Team Commentator - Graham Liggins JP