Global Aviation Resource reveals the paint scheme that will adorn the Royal Air Force’s 2014 Tucano display aircraft.
This year’s scheme is designed to commemorate the World War One Centenary by incorporating a poppy theme – the universal symbol of remembrance. The team has also added the words ‘Lest We Forget’ on both the bottom of the aircraft and the sides of the fuselage.
“We were given quite a tight brief this year”, Display Pilot Flt Lt Dave Kirby told GAR. “We were not permitted to apply for a full paint scheme due to cost and the resultant down-time for the aircraft. We were also directed that the aircraft should remain available for the full spectrum of Basic Fast Jet Training carried out here at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, meaning that we had to keep the majority of the aircraft in its standard black paint scheme”. Black was proven to be the best colour for aircraft conspicuity when flying at low level, in a trial carried out in the 1990s.
“The Tucano has not been displayed in a black livery for over five years”. Dave continues, “The scheme also incorporates standard 72 Squadron markings on the tail; the Squadron’s Swift emblem at the top of the fin and the Squadron colours around the roundel. The Royal British Legion has kindly agreed to the use of its logo and we would like to thank them for their kindness. We will be supporting the RBL as one of our charities in 2014, together with RAFA and RAF Linton-on-Ouse station charities. We would also like to thank Jo Gough who has done such a wonderful job designing the display scheme and supplying these images for GAR.”
Regular airshow-goers will recognise Dave as last year’s Tucano Display Manager, and the former C-130 Hercules pilot is already looking forward to taking his own routine out to airshows this summer.
“When I was on the Herc I did a year dropping the Falcons parachute team, a season as display co-pilot and a season with the RAF Role Demo, so I’ve always enjoyed airshow flying. Fyvie (2013 Tucano display pilot) gave me a lot of hints last year and I’m enjoying working-up my own display.”
Dave will be ably assisted this year by a new manager, Flt Lt Jon Trueman. Jon has completed tours flying both the E-3 Sentry and C-130K Hercules and, in 2010, trained as a Tucano Qualified Flying Instructor. He currently instructs on No 72 (Reserve) Squadron at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, providing Basic Fast Jet Training to the RAF’s latest cadre of student pilots.
“I’ve always enjoyed supporting airshows, whether it’s been helping out with the Tucano display (see below) or taking aircraft from other fleets in to an event as a static display, so I am very much looking forward to working with Dave this season. I know it will be a lot of work, but then we are always busy here at Linton anyway, so it’s just work of a different flavour!”
The 2014 season is already shaping up to be a busy one and the Tucano is currently scheduled to appear 68 times at 35 different venues.
The confirmed calendar will be released once the RAF Events Team has received all relevant approvals in late February. Dave’s work-up is well under way and, having already practised at 500′, is expecting to go for his PDA (Public Display Authorisation) sometime in April.
For more information on the team, visit the official RAF website and Facebook group.
Global Aviation Resource would like to wish Kirbs and Jon all the best for the 2014 season and we will bring you more from the team in due course.
Many thanks to Flt Lt Dave Kirby, Flt Lt Jon Trueman and Jo Gough
Well David, you have done an awfully good job of it . Exciting times…. Much prefer the man in the flight deck.