Newcastle aircraft profile day 10 – Eurofighter Typhoon

The final day of our aircraft profile for the B/E Aerospace Festival of Flight in Newcastle is the RAF Eurofighter Typhoon. A regular in Newcastle making its 5th appearance. And with being one of the most impressive and most talked about displays in 2015, The Typhoon Display is sure to be the star of the 2016 show!

When you see the Typhoon performing on this year’s display circuit it will be the culmination of months of hard work, detailed preparation and concerted effort by the team behind the display. Whilst it is the pilot who displays the aircraft, he cannot even begin to do his job without the unfaltering commitment and backing of the dedicated group of professionals that make up the Typhoon Display Team.

This year’s team, from 29(R) Squadron, comprises a specialist from every aircraft trade along with support and management teams to assist both the pilot and the trades, all of whom work closely together to bring you the dazzling spectacle that is the Typhoon Display.

Every member of the team has been hand picked from what is already an elite cadre of skilled personnel at RAF Coningsby. They have proven themselves in their day jobs and are now privileged and proud to represent the very best in excellence and dedication that the Royal Air Force can offer.

The teams look forward to the unique challenges that a display season brings and the opportunity to showcase the Royal Air Force Typhoon 2016 display to the general public.


The Eurofighter Typhoon is the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft providing simultaneously deployable Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface capabilities.

It is in service with 6 customers across 20 operational units and has been ordered by a seventh. The aircraft has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, high reliability across the globe in all climates. It has been combat proven during operations in Libya.

Development of the aircraft effectively began in 1983 with the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme, a multinational collaborative effort between the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Because of disagreements over design authority and operational requirements, France left the consortium to develop the Dassault Rafale independently instead.

A technology demonstration aircraft, the British Aerospace EAP, first took flight on 6 August 1986; the first prototype of the finalised Eurofighter made its first flight on 27 March 1994. The name of the aircraft, Typhoon, was formally adopted in September 1998; the first production contracts were signed that same year.


Flight Lieutenant Mark Long

The 2016 Typhoon Display Pilot is Flt Lt Mark Long, known as ‘Schlongy’, whowas born in Bury St Edmunds and grew up in Essex.

Mark was introduced to flying with frequent visits to both Duxford and Mildenhall Airshows, and always aspired to join the RAF. Without his parents knowledge, on his 17th Birthday Mark walked into Cambridge Armed Forces Careers Office and professed his ambition to fly fast jets in the Royal Air Force…. 4 months later he was awarded a RAF Bursary to study Economics.

Whilst studying at the University of Warwick, Mark learnt to fly the Bulldog and Grob Tutor on the University of Birmingham Air Squadron.

Mark graduated from Initial Officer Training in 2003 and was subsequently sent to RAF Linton On Ouse to fly the Tucano. He was awarded his ‘wings’ in 2004 and began his Advanced Flying Training (AFT) on the Hawk in 2005. Mark was selected to remain on 208(R) Sqn to take on the role of a ‘creamie’ instructor.

On completion of his instructional tour, Mark was role disposed to the Harrier GR7/9 and was posted to 1(F) Sqn, RAF Cottesmore. During his time on the Harrier, Mark achieved Combat Ready status and participated in a number of major exercises. He was also the last RAF Harrier pilot qualified to conduct operations off an aircraft carrier.

In 2012 Mark joined the Typhoon Force, and was assigned to 11 Sqn at RAF Coningsby, where he revalidated his Combat Ready qualifications. Mark has deployed on Air Policing duties in the Baltic States, in addition to holding QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties in the UK and South Atlantic.

It was back to instructional duties in 2014, with a posting to 29(R) Sqn. His primary role is to teach the student pilots how to operate the Typhoon, ensuring they are trained and ready to join a Typhoon frontline squadron. Additional to his instructional duties, Mark contributes to RAF Coningsby’s primary task of defending UK sovereign airspace.

Mark lives in Lincolnshire, with his wife Beth and his two daughters. In his spare time Mark enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, playing all racket sports, golf and getting out on his motorbikes. He regularly rides at Cadwell Park, striving to achieve respectable lap times on his Track Bikes.

Last years Typhoon display was called the best ever seen at Newcastle, so there are high expectations on Mark Long this year, and from what we have seen already of him in the Typhoon in 2016 he is really making a case for best Typhoon display yet!

Info from RAF Website. Photo from Fighter Control.

We hope you have enjoyed our Aircraft profiles each day in the run up to the B/E Aerospace Festival of Flight in Newcastle. We believe this Saturday will see some amazing displays. So to you all, have a great weekend, and enjoy the main event, kicking off at the new time of 2:15pm on Saturday 6th August!


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Newcastle Aircraft profile day 9 – Red Arrows

Day 9 of our Newcastle aircraft profile are the World Famous RAF Red Arrows who fly 9 T1 Hawk aircraft.

The Red Arrows are returning to Newcastle, having missed last years show during a weekend that was plagued by technical problems for the whole team.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams. Representing the speed, agility and precision of the RAF, the team is the public face of the service.

They assist in recruiting to the Armed Forces, act as ambassadors for the United Kingdom and promote the best of British. Flying distinctive Hawk jets, the team is made up of pilots, engineers and essential support staff with front-line, operational experience.

Initially, they were equipped with seven Folland Gnat trainers inherited from the RAF Yellowjacks display team.

This aircraft was chosen because it was less expensive to operate than front-line fighters. In their first season, they flew at 65 shows across Europe. In 1966, the team was increased to nine members, enabling them to develop their Diamond Nine formation.

In late 1979, they switched to the BAE Hawk trainer. The Red Arrows have performed over 4,600 displays in 56 countries worldwide

The engineering team that supports the Red Arrows is known as “The Blues” and consists of 85 members who cover all of the various trades in the RAF.

Each season nine members of the Blues are selected to be members of the ‘Circus’. Each member of the Circus works with the same pilot for the duration of the season and is responsible for servicing their aircraft and preparing their flying kit prior to each display. The Circus also fly in the back seat of the jets during transit flights.


The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. It was first flown at Dunsfold, Surrey, in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk, and subsequently produced by its successor companies, British Aerospace and BAE Systems, respectively. It has been used in a training capacity and as a low-cost combat aircraft.

The Hawks used by the Red Arrows are modified with an uprated engine and a modification to enable smoke to be generated, diesel is mixed with a coloured dye and ejected into the jet exhaust to produce either red, white or blue smoke.

We look forward to seeing the Red Arrows back in the skies of Newcastle this Saturday after their two week break. On a side note the Red Arrows final display before the break was over Irish skies in Bray a fortnight ago.

Info from Wiki and Red Arrows website. Photograph our own.

Check back tomorrow for our final Newcastle Aircraft profile, which is none other than the RAF Eurofighter Typhoon which amazed Newcastle last summer with many saying it was the best Typhoon display they have ever seen.

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Newcastle aircraft profile day 8 -BBMF Lancaster, Spitfire & Hurricane

Day 8 of our Newcastle aircraft profile are the aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) who have in recent years brought their Spitfire (2015) Lancaster (2014) and Dakota (2013) to Newcastle.

As you know, the Lancaster was due to return to Newcastle last year, however an engine fire had grounded the aircraft until after the Newcastle show.

But this year Newcastle will see the BBMF Lancaster ‘Thumper’ return and bring with her the BBMF Spitfire & the BBMF Hurricane. The first time all 3 will have flown together in Newcastle.


The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (RAFBBMF) is administratively part of the Royal Air Force No 1 Group and operates from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

The aircraft are regularly seen at events commemorating World War II, upon British State occasions, notably the Trooping the Colour celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday and at air displays throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. We are proud to have HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as our Patron.

RAF BBMF commemorate the past of the RAF’s Air Combat Power – Lest We Forget.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre is located at RAF Coningsby in Coningsby, Lincolnshire. A partnership between the Royal Air Force and Lincolnshire County Council, the centre allows visitors an up-close guided tour of the aircraft when not in use, as well as exhibits about the aircraft and other temporary exhibits.


The Spitfire was produced in greater numbers than any other British combat aircraft before or since the War, 20,341 Spitfires were built in 22 different variants (excluding the navalised Seafire) and the aircraft remained in production for 12 years. The Spitfire played a major part in achieving ultimate victory in World War Two and truly deserves its place as probably the most successful fighter design ever, and certainly as the most famous and charismatic of all time. The BBMF currently have 6 Spitfire aircraft


The Hawker Hurricane is one of the classic fighters of all time, designed and built for war. It was at the forefront of Britain’s defence in 1940 and it played a major part in achieving the victory of 1945. The Hurricane was the first British monoplane eight-gun fighter, the first RAF aircraft to exceed 300 mph in level flight and the first production fighter with a retractable main undercarriage. The BBMF currently have 2 Hurricane aircraft.


The Lancaster bomber – PA474, acquired by the BBMF in 1973, is one of only two surviving airworthy examples of the type; the other is in Canada. She was built in mid-1945 and assigned to reconnaissance duties after appearing too late to take part in the bombing of Japan. After various duties, she was adopted by the Air Historical Branch for display work. She appeared in two films: Operation Crossbow and The Guns of Navarone.

Having been flown for much of her service with the BBMF as the “City of Lincoln”, PA474 previously wore the markings of the “Phantom of the Ruhr”, a Lancaster that flew 121 sorties (a so-called “ton-up” Lancaster).

Originally assigned to 100 Squadron in June 1943, the original “Phantom” was transferred to 101 Squadron in November that year and finished the war as part of 550 Squadron at Ludford Magna.

The Lancaster currently carries the markings of ‘Thumper’ for the 2014 display season, an aircraft which served with No 617 Squadron after the Dams Raid. Some of the specially-modified Lancasters, which survived the Dams Raid, remained in service with the squadron afterwards.

However, these aircraft were not suitable for all operations and they were replaced with standard Lancasters, one example being B Mk1 DV385. PA474 displays the markings of bombs for operations over Germany, ice-cream cones for operations over Italy and poppies when she releases poppies during exhibition flights. During the 2008 RAF Waddington Air Day, PA474 was flown in formation with the recently restored Avro Vulcan XH558 in a historic display of two Avro “heavy metal” classics.

Info from Wikipedia & BBMF website. Photo from Paul Johnson/ FlightlineUK

Check back tomorrow for another Newcastle Aircraft Profile when we get to the final 2 displays, the fast jets from the RAF.

Newcastle Festival of Flight's photo.

Newcastle Aircraft profile day 7 – P51 Mustang

Day 7 of our Newcastle aircraft profile is the fantastic P51 Mustang coming to us from Hangar 11 and is making its first display in Newcastle since 2011!

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and other conflicts.

The Mustang was designed in 1940 by North American Aviation (NAA) in response to a requirement of the British Purchasing Commission for license-built Curtiss P-40 fighters. The prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on 9 September 1940 and first flew on 26 October 1940.

The Mustang was originally designed to use the Allison V-1710 engine, which, in its earlier variants, had limited high-altitude performance. It was first flown operationally by the Royal Air Force but moved to the Merlin engine which allowed for higher altitude

At the start of the Korean War, the Mustang was the main fighter of the United Nations until jet fighters such as the F-86 took over this role; the Mustang then became a specialized fighter-bomber. Despite the advent of jet fighters, the Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s. After World War II and the Korean War, many Mustangs were converted for civilian use, especially air racing, and increasingly, preserved and flown as historic warbird aircraft at airshows.

Abouut Hangar 11

The Hangar 11 Collection based at North Weald comprises four superb airworthy examples of legendary World War 11 fighter aircraft, each with extensive wartime histories. All these special aircraft are regular participants on the UK and European Airshow scene under the Hangar 11 umbrella, operated by Peter Teichman and a selected few of the finest and most experienced display pilots in the UK.

Hangar 11 Collection are one of the most active Warbird operators in Europe having displayed our aircraft in 10 European countries over the last three years alone and averaging over 80 public displays per season.
The ethos of the company is “to fly” these beautiful planes and make them available to the public to see and hear, so running costs can be subsidized. As such hire costs may be surprisingly affordable for such rare Warbirds. Hangar 11 currently have a P51 Mustang, Spitfire, P40 Kittyhawk & a Hurricane aircraft

About the Hangar 11 P51

One of the most original P-51 Mustangs in existence, having served as one of the famous 332nd Fighter Group, the “Red Tails”, also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, in Italy during 1945. However, this Mustang has never undergone a major restoration and still retains her original patination and war scars. She flies today as the only known airworthy example of an original “Red Tail” P-51D

built at North American’s Inglewood facility in California. Accepted by the USAAF on December 21 1944 as 44-72035 she was originally earmarked for service with the Eighth Air Force in England but this was quickly changed to Project Number 91037R, indicating service in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. Having spent the Christmas and New Year period at Inglewood 44-72035 began her journey overseas on January 4 1945 with a ferry flight across the mainland USA arriving at Newark, New Jersey, on January 10. She was prepared for shipment, by boat, overseas and finally left the US on January 24 1945, assigned to “Oham” the codeword for the 15th Air Force based in Italy.

After the wars’ end, the four Fighter Groups of the 15th Air Force remained in Italy until the summer of 1945. Between July and September, all returned to the USA where they were inactivated by November. The newer aircraft on their strength were retained and returned to the USA for continued service. Such was the case with 44-72035, which is recorded as having returned to the mainland USA on October 10 1945. The aircraft was placed into storage until January 1947, at which time she was turned over to the 4112 Base Unit at Olmstead AFB, Pennsylvania to undergo an overhaul in preparation for service with Air National Guard units.

Over the years “Jumpin Jacques” (former name) has appeared at many air shows throughout Europe, and was seen at Duxford’s Flying Legends air show on more than one occasion. With her gleaming polished exterior, “Jumpin Jacques” has become a favourite, much to the delight of all enthusiasts of this true thoroughbred. The fact that she has never had a major rebuild and is almost totally original as built in 1944 makes this a rare and special P-51 Mustang. She still carries evidence of her battle scars with repairs just behind the pilot’s position on both sides of the fuselage, and puncture repairs to the fin.

As an original “Tuskegee” fighter, the Hangar 11 Collection Mustang is a rare thoroughbred and much welcomed on the UK and European Air show scene. And in 2016 is debuting a new look with a red tail going by the name ‘Tail in the Saddle’ In honour of the “Tuskegee” fighters. Information from Hangar 11 website and Wikipedia, photo from Damian Burke via

Check back tomorrow for another Newcastle Aircraft profile, when we start with the RAF Displays that will be in Newcastle.

Newcastle aircraft profile Day 6 – Global Stars

Day 6 of our Newcastle Aircraft profile are the Global Stars Aerobatic Team who are making thier debut in Newcastle this coming Saturday.

The Global Stars are a team of British aerobatic champions past and present flying air shows World over. All aircraft carry the new “dotty smoke” systems adding to the dynamic nature of the air show. The display is very dynamic with a short solo by Mark Jefferies or Tom Cassells (both British Champions) keeping the action right in front of the crowd.

in 2012 the Global Stars were formed by Mark Jefferies with Tom Cassells as his wing-man.

The Global Stars team provide spectacular formation air displays or solo air displays. For 2016 Mark has purchased the very latest, highest performance certified aircraft the EXTRA 330SC. The team have flown many flying displays and air shows around the World in recent years.

Typically the Global Stars team lead by Mark Jefferies perform 3 International shows per year. Tom flying as formation leader of the Global Stars team have flown Bahrain and Hyderabad (as of writing, March 2016) Bookings for 2017 now in for China and a World Air Masters (WAM) event in March 2017.

Mark is flying the new EXTRA 330SC; Tom flies the Extra 300L or CAP 232, Chris the Extra 300s, Steve the Extra 260 will put on a stunning, world-class air display. Back up reserve pilot Michael Pickin flying the CAP 232.

Mark Jefferies has achieved great success and worldwide recognition as one of the most accomplished aviators in the UK; including 1st in Zhengzhou 2015 WAM, 3rd in the 2011 WAM, ranked 8th in the World in 2007 and 10th in the World 2009. Nine times British aerobatic champion (Advanced & Unlimited).

Mark Jefferies has spectacular manoeuvres, tumbles and spins in the Extra 330SC leaving pilots and spectators alike saying “how did he do that?” A flying display your audience will never forget… No show too large or small to attend. Corporate, Weddings and private parties a specialty – it’s not as expensive as you might first think and far better than fireworks.

Mark bases his Extra 330SC at Little Gransden, Cambridgeshire (ICAO EGMJ) Gransden is a farm strip and has a main grass runway of 810 meters. The airfield is open to visitors either by road or by air. Gransden is the home of the Global Stars and as such, most likely you will find some aerobatic training taking place. Duel training in the Extra 300L or solo competition/air show training in the Extra 300s or 330sc.

The Aircraft

Extra 330sc

Extra 330SC (single competition) is the top of the range awesome aerobatic aircraft with +10/-10 G limits. G-IIHI, it is one of the first of its type to be built, its serial number is 008 and it is entirely in a class of its own. It is fitted with the newly certified Lycoming AE10-580 engine which has been specifically developed for high performance aerobatic aircraft. The engine produces an impressive 320hp (580 cubic inches but only turning at 2700 rpm) which when you consider there is no ground resistance, is quite incredible.

Its maximum diving speed is 418 km/h and it has an incredibly fast roll rate of 420 degrees per second. If the weather conditions are right, the aircraft can be seen to hover and in the right hands, it really does performs manoeuvres that should not be possible!
Mark Jefferies is one of the few pilots that can fly this aircraft to its limits! As well as its sporty paint scheme,

the Extra 330SC has a unique smoke system fitted which enables smoke to be “pulsed” out, offering something different to air show audiences.

With the latest technology cameras fitted to the aircraft, live footage can be transmitted to trackside screens giving the audience a bird’s eye view of the event. Cameras can be fitted anywhere on the aircraft, including inside the cockpit which gives a very interesting perspective of the world. Footage can be given directly to TV news channels to report on and promote the event or can be used later for promotional material.

Extra 300L

The Extra Flugzeugbau EA300 is a two-seat aerobatic monoplane capable of Unlimited category competition. It was designed in 1987 by Walter Extra, an award-winning German aerobatic pilot and built by Extra Flugzeugbau.

Design of the Extra 300 was based on the Extra 230, an early 1980s monoplane having a wing made of wood. The Extra 300 has a welded steel tube fuselage covered in aluminium and fabric.

The mid-set wing has a carbon fiber composite spar and carbon composite skins. A symmetrical airfoil, mounted with a zero angle of incidence, provides equal performance in both upright and inverted flight. The landing gear is fixed taildragger style with composite main legs and fiberglass wheel pants.

The engine is a fuel-injected Lycoming AEIO-540 which produces 300 horsepower (224 kW). The first two-seat Extra 300 made its maiden flight on 6 May 1988 with German type certification following on 16 May 1990. The single seat Extra 300S flew on 4 March 1992. The Extra 300 is stressed for ±10 G with one person on board and ±8 G with two.

Cap 232

The CAP Aviation CAP-23x family is a family of high-performance aircraft designed for competition aerobatics. The CAP 230 airframe was a direct development of the CAP 21 competition single seater strengthened to cope with a 300 hp 6-cylinder Lycoming AEIO-540 engine instead of the 200 hp original 4-cylinder Lycoming AEIO-360.

The CAP 230 was primarily developed in 1985 for the French Air Force. From the basic CAP 21 airframe, trailing edge apex triangular surfaces were added to the basic trapezoidal wing. The CAP 230 keeps a full wooden construction and certified to cope with +10/-10 G-forces. The CAP 231 was developed in 1990.

The fuselage design remained unchanged and only leading edge triangular apex surfaces were added to reduce buffeting during high G pullups. The CAP 231 was world champion in 1990. To increase performance, in 1991, a carbon-fiber wing taken from an EXTRA 260 (thus the -EX name) was adapted to a few CAP 231 airframes.

The CAP 231EX evolved in 1994. While the fuselage construction retained wood, a carbon-fiber wing was specially designed for durability and light weight. The design has won the World Championships in 1998, 2000 and 2007, as well as a number of other national-level competitions. With a roll rate of 420° per second and a climb rate of nearly 3,300 feet per minute, the CAP-232 is still well suited for the aerobatic circuit.

We look forward to seeing the Global Stars in Newcastle, and Northern Ireland for the first time! Check back tomorrow for another aircraft profile. Info and photo from Global Stars website

Northern Ireland & Ireland Airshows's photo.

Newcastle aircraft profile day 5 – Irish Air Corps AW139

Day 5 of out Newcastle aircraft profile is the Irish Air Corps and their AW139 aircraft which is making its display debut in Newcastle, after being on static display in 2012. The IAC AW139 will be doing a fire fighting demo. Another first in Newcastle.

The Air Corps (Irish: An tAerchór) is the air component of the Defence Forces of Ireland.Through a fleet of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, it provides military support to the Army and Naval Service, together with non-military air services such as Garda air support, air ambulance, fisheries protection and the Ministerial Air Transport Service. The primary airbase is Casement Aerodrome located at Baldonnel, County Dublin.

The main flying wings of the Irish Air Corps are

No. 1 Operations Wing carries out all fixed wing tasks and operations assigned to the Air Corps. The wing is sub divided into six separate operational squadrons, each fulfilling its own specific roles. The wing currently operates a total of ten aircraft. In addition, the wing is responsible for first line maintenance of all aircraft assigned to it.

No. 3 Operations Wing carries out all rotary wing tasks and operations assigned to the Air Corps. The wing is sub divided into three separate operational squadrons, each fulfilling its own specific roles.
The wing currently operates a total of eight aircraft, with six Augusta Westland AW139’s and two Eurocopter EC-135’s. In addition, the wing is responsible for first line maintenance of all aircraft assigned to it.

The Aircraft

The Air Corps took delivery of its first two Agusta Westland AW139 aircraft in November 2006. There are currently six of the type in service.

The AW139 is a medium-lift twin-engine helicopter with a troop lifting capacity of up to 14 personnel in the normal configuration. In the cockpit the aircrew have a fully integrated digital avionics and cockpit display system, which includes an autopilot, a dual flight management system with GPS and a radio navigation system. The AW139 is utilised mainly in the army support role.

The AW139 is a multi role aircraft and can be used for Army support, air ambulance, military transport and general utility roles.

The first flight of an AW139 was on 3rd February 2001 and was originally designed and developed jointly by Agusta and Bell Helicopters and marketed as the Agusta-Bell AB139, it was redesignated the AW139 when Bell withdrew from the project.

The Irish Air Corps was the first military operator of the type.

Check back on Monday for another Newcastle Aircraft Profile! Photo by ourselves at Bray 2016 and info from IAC website and Wikipedia.

Newcastle Festival of Flight's photo.