Flight Lieutenant Mark Long, part of 29 (R) Squadron based at RAF Coningsby, is continuing preparations for this year’s air show display season after being chosen as this year’s Typhoon display pilot.
He visited recently visited our Typhoon simulator facility at Warton, in Lancashire, where he conducted a run-through of his planned display for the 2016 season.
He joined the RAF’s Typhoon Force, initially with 11 Squadron at RAF Coningsby, in 2012 and has experienced a number of operational deployments with the aircraft, including Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) roles in the UK and South Atlantic.
Flt Lt Long said: “The performance, the agility of the aircraft – it has got a large delta wing and two immensely powerful engines and a flying control system which is almost intuitive to fly – means I don’t have to think about the inputs, I request something from the aircraft and it gives me exactly what I want.
“I have noticed a massive capability increase with the air-to-surface role. P1EB is a software upgrade and some elements with reference to targeting using the Lightning Pod, the Paveway IV and being able to employ a weapon in different modes are a massive step up for Typhoon and it is only ever going to get better.
“Typhoon is operating at a multi-role level without any question. The upcoming enhancements of Meteor, Brimstone and Storm Shadow are going to take it to the stage where this is a pure multi-role, multi-task, swing-role aircraft that can continue to be employed as the backbone of the RAF.”
The Typhoon is subject to an extensive continuous capability upgrade programme and the latest Phase 1 Enhancement (P1E) package came into operation with the RAF last year, further enhancing the effectiveness of the aircraft and its simultaneous swing-role capabilities.
Weapons integration activity as part of the Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) package and initial testing of the Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) package is scheduled to continue in 2016.
For the UK, P2E and P3E are central to Project CENTURION, which will ensure that Typhoon is able to provide the continuous delivery of key combat air capabilities as Tornado moves towards its out of service date in 2019.
The Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) package will introduce a range of new and improved long range attack capabilities to Typhoon, while the Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) package, including the Brimstone weapon, will equip Typhoon to engage a wider range of threats than ever before.
A full profile of Flt Lt Long can be found here - http://www.baesystems.com/en/2016-typhoon-display-pilot