2019 Display Season Build-Up
Wednesday 15 May 2019 marked an important day for both the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) and the 29 Sqn Typhoon Display Team.
Pilots representing both organisations received Public Display Authority (PDA) from AOC 1 Gp, Air-Vice Marshal Harvey Smyth, to perform display flying for the 2019 season.
The display season allows for demonstration of both old and new aircraft. The Typhoon exhibits the speed, power and agility of modern aircraft and in contrast BBMF’s mission outlines the need to preserve national heritage by maintaining the airworthiness of the priceless artefacts used for the displays. The two display teams work together to promote the modern-day RAF and to inspire future generations.
The PDA itself acts as a culmination of months of hard work, presenting unique challenges to each of the teams. The Typhoon Display Team must prepare a full display as well as limited and flat-flying sequences for poor weather. Displays are flown in the ASTA Full Mission Simulator and at an initial height of 5,000ft before the pilot works down to a final minimum display height of 100ft. BBMF face a slightly different work up, including, for example deciding which squadron or pilot to honour with the livery of their aircraft for the season. The biggest challenge to be faced by BBMF is that they are maintaining aircraft whose production ceased up to 75 years ago.
The PDA started in earnest with a weather brief from the Met Office team as well as briefing on the displays by representatives from BBMF and 29 Sqn. Once these were complete AVM Smyth moved over to the ATC Tower to observe the displays.
Flt Lt Jim Peterson flew an excellent display and gained authorisation for the Typhoon Display Team. Displays were flown by the aircrew of BBMF to gain authorisation on the Dakota, Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane.
Display Authorisation for BBMF this season was awarded to:
Stn Cdr Gp Capt Flewin (Hurricane)
OC BBMF Sqn Ldr Discombe (Hurricane/Spitfire)
Sqn Ldr Sugden (Hurricane/Spitfire)
Flt Lt Davy (Dakota/Lancaster)
Flt Lt Farrell (Dakota/Lancaster)
Flt Lt Moore (Dakota)
Flt Lt Preece (Hurricane/Spitfire)
The season for BBMF started on Monday 6 May at East Kirkby with a Dakota display. This will be an exceptionally busy year for BBMF with over 100 displays and nearly 800 flypasts finishing on Sunday 22 September. The final display of the season will consist of a Spitfire, Hurricane and a Lancaster performing at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show.
The Typhoon display team started their season on 25 May at the Duxford Air Festival and will perform at over 20 events before their season culminates at the NATO Days event in Ostrava, The Czech Republic on 21-22 September 19.
By the end of the display season in September over 1,000 individual aircraft appearances will be made, creating many remarkable experiences for those lucky enough to get a glimpse of the action.
You can engage with both of the display teams by following them on Instagram: Follow BBMF @raf_bbmf_official and the Typhoon Display Team@typhoondisplayteam