After reading Gareth’s interview with Flt Lt Jamie Norris, the 2013 RAF Typhoon Display Pilot, about a totally revised display routine and hearing there would be the inclusion of slower manoeuvres I was eager to see it for myself. I have long believed that the Typhoon display would benefit from a flatter display with a mix of fast and low speeds and what I was reading was sounding very promising.
With the work up of this year’s display routine being brought forward so that it would be ready for the Lima 2013 Air Show in Malaysia I wasn’t able to catch the practices and the first chance I got to get over to RAF Coningsby to see it was the Public Display Authorisation (PDA) day.
The display started with a familiar reheat take off into a loop but from then on it was apparent the routine has been significantly reworked. The fast flowing display with the tight high-g turns and graceful barrel rolls from previous displays is retained but flown with a much flatter profile. The inverted flight from the 2012 season is still included as is the 360 degree minimum radius turn from the 2010 season but the fast parts of the display are punctuated by two slow sections.
The first is a dirty (gear down) pass into an accelerating turn and then a barrel roll whist cleaning up the gear. A second further on in the display is a high alpha pass into a climb from which point the display picks up pace again. It is the acceleration of the Typhoon that is being demonstrated this season rather than a consistent high speed seen from previous displays. After seven and half minutes the display is brought to an end with a low and fast pass down the display line with a dipped wing towards the crowd.
The research and hard work put in by Flt Lt Jamie Norris and former Typhoon Display Pilots Sqn Ldr Charlie Matthews and Sqn Ldr Scott Loughran has certainly paid off. I’m looking forward to my next chance to see the display again!