Typhoon Display Team now based at Leuchars

17/03/2011, Scotsman, TSPL, Scotsman, RAF, Typhoon, Air defence,  One of the new Typhoon fighter aircraft based at RAF Leuchars takes off. Pic Ian Rutherford
17/03/2011, Scotsman, TSPL, Scotsman, RAF, Typhoon, Air defence, One of the new Typhoon fighter aircraft based at RAF Leuchars takes off. Pic Ian Rutherford
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RAF Leuchars will be home to the Air Force Typhoon Display Team 2012.

Pilot and the ground support team will come from Leuchars-based Number 6 Squadron in addition to fulfilling their Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) role.

The Typhoon’s deployment in support of the UN mission in Libya last year meant that there was no display, although the team previously belonged to RAF Coningsby and Number 29 (Reserve) Squadron, the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), which is responsible for the initial training of Typhoon pilots and engineers.

Once the Leuchars team have been established, they will begin practising the routine which will be the highlight of a number of flying events around the UK later this year.

The full schedule will be confirmed in due course.

Air Officer Scotland and station commander, Air Commodore Gavin Parker, told the Citizen this week: “Typhoon has always had phenomenal potential and, in recent years, we have seen it prove its agility and adaptability as a highly capable multi-role combat aircraft.

‘‘In addition to the QRA mission that the Typhoon performs in the UK and in the Falkland Islands, 2011 saw the aircraft demonstrate its multi-role capabilities in a combat environment protecting the civilian population of Libya, where it conducted both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

“The Typhoon Force continues to grow, both in terms of size and capability, and RAF Leuchars is at the centre of that development. We are extremely proud to be given the task of reintroducing the Typhoon aerobatic display and showcasing the aircraft’s capabilities to the public.

“This is another feather in the cap for 6 Squadron. As the third front line Typhoon squadron to form, they have achieved a great deal in first establishing and then growing the Typhoon force in Scotland, while maintaining QRA for the Northern UK, contributing to the UN mission in Libya and conducting the first deployment of Tranche 2 Typhoon as part of Exercise BERSAMA LIMA in Malaysia.”

Air Commodore Parker said 6 Squadron would be getting to grips with their new role over the coming weeks, adding: ‘‘They will be selecting key personnel from across the engineering and support trades to support our display pilot.

‘‘A considerable amount of work will go into perfecting the display with practice flights each morning and afternoon of the working week.

“We will ensure that the local community, particularly our schools, are given advance notice of this extra activity and we hope that as many of the people of Scotland as possible will come and enjoy the display’s ‘home performance’ at our Air Show on September 15.”

RAF Leuchars is primarily responsible for maintaining Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North, providing crews and aircraft at high states of readiness 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to police UK airspace and to intercept unidentified aircraft.