Day 9 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 4th appearence (5th if you include its unannounced practice display over Newcastle the day before the airshow in 2012)
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 2015 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.
RAF Typhoon Display Pilot 2015
Flight Lieutenant Jonny Dowen
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.
We look forward to seeing the Typhoon with its new livery this Saturday!
Sourced from RAF Typhoon website and Wikipedia. Photo not our own, full copyright to the photographer listed on the watermark.
Check back tomorrow for our final aircraft profile, the world famous RAF Red Arrows.