Aircraft

Union Flag Typhoon Unveiled At RAF Coningsby

The aircraft, complete with Union Flag paintwork, will be used at air shows in the UK and overseas throughout the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

An RAF Typhoon painted in a full Union Flag colour scheme has been unveiled at RAF Coningsby.

A large proportion of the aircraft's surfaces, both top and bottom, are taken up by the scheme.

The aircraft will be used at air shows both at home and overseas in the 2021 and 2022 display seasons.

The Union Flag Typhoon took off from the Lincolnshire base, flown by Flight Lieutenant James Sainty.

"The pandemic has put a stop to the air show season so, now that we have this awesome jet and the plan is coming together, we're very excited for us to go back to the air show season," Flt Lt Sainty told Forces News.

Wing Commander Jim Calvert, Officer Commanding, 29 Squadron, RAF Coningsby, said: "It's taken us about six or seven months to get to this stage.

"The design was November last year, then the paint has been done over the last three or four weeks or so."

He added that it has been a "challenge" to keep enthusiasts' images of the aircraft off social media – bringing the plane out from the RAF Coningsby hangar during the night to keep it out of view.

As well as being used for displays, Wg Cdr Calvert said the aircraft will play a "critical role" in training the next generation of fighter pilots before they can fly Typhoons on the frontline.

Last year the RAF Voyager that transports the Prime Minister, known as 'Vespina', underwent a Union Flag makeover costing about £900,000.

Despite the makeover, the aircraft continues to conduct operational duties, including air-to-air refuelling missions for the RAF.

Shortly after its unveiling in June 2020, Downing Street responded to questions raised about the painting, insisting the flag was "on properly".

Read more about what is considered the 'correct' way to fly a Union Flag here.