For an RAF student pilot wishing to fly the Eurofighter Typhoon, receiving a posting to 29 (Reserve) Squadron would be very welcome news. The unit takes successful trainees who have graduated from the Advanced Fast Jet Training course on 4 (Reserve) Squadron at RAF Valley on Anglesey and moulds them in to the next generation of Typhoon pilots, alongside new engineers for the fleet. With a distinguished history that dates back to 1915, 29(R) Squadron's introduction to the jet age came in 1951 when the first Gloster Meteors arrived for service, followed in future years by iconic types such as the Gloster Javelin and English Electric Lightning, before receiving the Panavia Tornado F.3 in the late 1980s. Reformation with the Typhoon came in September 2003 and it now serves as the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Coningsby. Along with the static exhibit at RIAT 2014, visitors will also be able to see one of the Squadron's Typhoons airborne as part of the flying display in the hands of Qualified Flying Instructor, Flight Lieutenant Noel Rees. His aircraft carries a particularly striking colour scheme to celebrate the 2014 season.
Photo credit: Andy J Donovan