As promised, here’s the second episode from my visit, earlier this year, to RAF Coningsby and the Typhoon Display Team. I wanted to see inside the cockpit of the Typhoon and Flying Officer Gregor Ogston was kind enough to spend half an hour or so, explaining what all of the knobs, buttons and dials do. Gregor also explains what the ejection sequence is, which is fascinating to listen to. Following the look inside the aircraft Liam Whelan, the display engineer manager, and Gregor took me round the outside of the aircraft.
If you are REALLY interested in fast jets, and the Typhoon in particular, then this is the episode for you.
At the invitation of RAF Coningsby, today I’m visiting the Typhoon Display Team to find out what it’s like to fly the Typhoon and to get a taste of what it takes to put together the superb Typhoon display.
The 2 members of the team that I’m talking to are: Flying Officer Gregor Ogston who is the display team manager and Sergeant Liam Whelan the Typhoon display engineer manager.
I first wanted to hear a little about the base, here in Lincolnshire, so I asked Liam what exactly was the mission of RAF Coningsby.
Just recently I was at the NEC in Birmingham for the Flying Show so I took the opportunity to have a chat with various people down there. First up was Steve Bridgewater, Commercial Director at Air Atlantique’s Classic Flight.
Classic Flight do a superb job of keeping some classic old British Aircraft in airworthy condition. They have recently opened `Airbase’ at Coventry Airport. Airbase is not a museum in the conventional sense but more a working hangar that allows visitors to go and have a look around. They actually call themselves a ‘safari park for classic aeroplanes’.
In addition they also offer pleasure flights in several of their aircraft.
It sounded like an interesting story, so for episode 34 of Flying Podcast I firstly asked Steve to explain the history of Classic Flight.
In this the third and final part of the DHFS podcasts I’m interviewing Flight Lieutenant Stu Walker. Stu invited me down to RAF Shawbury, arranged my visit and the interviews with the various personnel on the base.
Stu’s story is quite an interesting one and so I thought it would make a good stand-alone podcast in its own right. In this interview Stu tells me how he wanted to join the RAF from an early age.
Initially his aim was to become a front-line fighter pilot but you can hear how his military career progressed through flight training, flying Nimrods, doing a masters degree is Aero Systems, working in the Flight Information Publications department and then on to flying helicopters.
Stu grew up in the Lake District and often saw RAF jets flying around the fells. This is what spurred the young Stu to join the Air Force. He initially wanted to fly Tornados but as we’ll hear, this dream didn’t quite materialise.
In the second part of the DHFS podcasts I interview Squadron Leader Jason Bowes and Master Aircrew Graeme Longmuir. They’re both from 60 Squadron, responsible for training pilots and crewmen on multi engine helicopters at RAF Shawbury. I also talk to a couple of RAF students; Flight Lieutenants Keith Lam and Becky Corrigan and also to Corporal Neil Moncur, head of Flight Planning and lastly to Paul Gresty of the Met Office.
The Defence Helicopter Flying School is where helicopter pilots and crewmen for all of the UK’s armed forces are trained. In this the first of 3 episodes on the Defence Helicopter Flying School I’m talking to the Commandant, Group Captain Jock Brown, who gives me an overview of the unit which is based at RAF Shawbury. Also in this episode I interview the squadron leaders of the 2 squadrons that teach single engine helicopter flying, both basic and advanced, here at the DHFS.