RAF Typhoons Police Romanian Skies On Op BILOXI

WATCH: How To Get A Typhoon Off The Ground

While the aircrew has a vital role in protecting our country - there are many more people who play their part in getting these hi-tech jets...

RAF Typhoons Police Romanian Skies On Op BILOXI

While the aircrew has a vital role in protecting our country - there are many more people who play their part in getting these hi-tech jets off the ground.

From chefs and security to personnel support and logistics, it takes a team of multi-skilled professionals to make the Quick Reaction Alert mission possible. 

RAF Lossiemouth Station Commander, Group Captain Jim Walls said: "Every job's vital, there's not a single job that isn't part of the overall mission.

"If we didn't do them, we can't deliver the mission and for us here it's a 24-hour business as well... we are always active, we are always on operations."

Forces News was given access to RAF Lossiemouth to see how the day-to-day work keeps the RAF and the Eurofighter Typhoon in the skies:


But what about building a Typhoon?

Building the RAF Typhoon, one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world, would pose a significant challenge for any aerospace company, but few would think that lunar cycles would have a prominent part to play in its design. 

But this was exactly the challenge workers had to overcome while working on the Typhoon.

At BAE’s Warton factory near Preston, Lancashire, geological surveys showed that the earth would move fractionally - by just one or two millimeters - as the final parts for the twin-engine jet packed with delicate electronic gadgetry were moved into place. 

Final assembly systems build testing in 2 hangar, Warton.
It was all down to the moon. Working out how to compensate for minute tidal and ground movements play a significant role in the Typhoon’s design.
The technical specifications of the final assembly phase are so finely balanced, that even the movements of the tide are enough to throw the jet fighter tolerances out.
Clean aircraft configuration tests in the Warton 9ftx7ft wind tunnel.
Martin Topping, Head of Typhoon Maintenance and Upgrade, explained: 
“Every time the moon pulls the tide in and out, the ground under our feet actually moves by between one and two millimetres. That might not sound a lot, but given the tolerances we are working to on Typhoon, two millimetres is two millimetres too much.”
BAE Systems engineers carved out a brilliant solution to accommodate the moon’s gravitational pull and meet the stringent technical specifications of the final assembly phase: ‘Giant floating concrete rafts’
“Each of these concrete rafts is over three metres deep and 18 metres long,” says Martin. “
All 9 automated jacks and both laser trackers are positioned on one surface ensuring all movement is relative, achieving a near perfect alignment whatever the moon may be doing.”
The result from this fine-tuning is one of the most perfectly aligned airframes for fast jets on Earth.
Despite this attention to detail though, not every Typhoon that leaves BAE Systems in Warton is the same, with each one varying in size albeit with fractional differences no thicker than a match-stick.
This flexibility in design helps its ‘fly by wire’ computer to provide what is described as “full carefree handling”.
Radar cross section measurements at Warton after completion of the flight test.
Because of this accuracy in construction, the workload for pilots is dramatically reduced and they are able to take the Typhoon to its maximum potential.
It also means the Typhoon is cheaper to run than it’s predecessors, and on a typical sortie this build precision will save enough fuel to fill up an average family car (60 liters).
In fact, a single load of Typhoon fuel can send a Ford KA around the world 6 times. 

All pictures provided courtesy of BAE Systems.