Portrush Preview Day 5 – RAF Eurofighter Typhoon

The final profile of our Portrush aircraft profile is the RAF Eurofighter Typhoon. A regular in Portrush And with being one of the most impressive and most talked about displays , and the Typhoon is making its only displays in Northern Ireland this year in Portrush

When you see the Typhoon performing on this year’s display circuit it will be the culmination of months of hard work, detailed preparation and concerted effort by the team behind the display. Whilst it is the pilot who displays the aircraft, he cannot even begin to do his job without the unfaltering commitment and backing of the dedicated group of professionals that make up the Typhoon Display Team.

This year’s team, from 29(R) Squadron, comprises a specialist from every aircraft trade along with support and management teams to assist both the pilot and the trades, all of whom work closely together to bring you the dazzling spectacle that is the Typhoon Display.

Every member of the team has been hand picked from what is already an elite cadre of skilled personnel at RAF Coningsby. They have proven themselves in their day jobs and are now privileged and proud to represent the very best in excellence and dedication that the Royal Air Force can offer.

The teams look forward to the unique challenges that a display season brings and the opportunity to showcase the Royal Air Force Typhoon 2017 display to the general public.

THE AIRCRAFT

The Eurofighter Typhoon is the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft providing simultaneously deployable Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface capabilities.

It is in service with 6 customers across 20 operational units and has been ordered by a seventh. The aircraft has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, high reliability across the globe in all climates. It has been combat proven during operations in Libya.

Development of the aircraft effectively began in 1983 with the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme, a multinational collaborative effort between the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Because of disagreements over design authority and operational requirements, France left the consortium to develop the Dassault Rafale independently instead.

A technology demonstration aircraft, the British Aerospace EAP, first took flight on 6 August 1986; the first prototype of the finalised Eurofighter made its first flight on 27 March 1994. The name of the aircraft, Typhoon, was formally adopted in September 1998; the first production contracts were signed that same year.

THE PILOT
The RAF Typhoon Dislay Pilot for 2017 is Flight Lieutenant Ryan Lawton.

Flt Lt Ryan Lawton was born and grew up on the Isle of Wight. His interest in aviation started as a young child, when he would listen, fascinated, to his Grandfather tell stories about his time as a glider pilot during the Second World War. Ryan attended Ryde School with Upper Chine and was a keen member of the Combined Cadet Force. It was here that his ambition to join the RAF as a pilot was formed.

Ryan was awarded a RAF Flying Scholarship whilst studying for his A-levels and then joined the RAF as a direct entrant in 2001, a week after his 18th birthday! Following Initial Officer Training at RAF Cranwell, he completed his Elementary Flying Training on the Firefly and was streamed to fly fast jets. He was awarded his ‘wings’ in 2003 upon completion of Basic Fast Jet Training on the Tucano at RAF Linton on Ouse. Following this, he completed his Advanced Flying Training on the Hawk at RAF Valley before being selected to complete his Tactical Weapons training on 419 Sqn in Canada, flying the Hawk 115.

On completion of flying training, Ryan was role-disposed to the Tornado GR4 in 2006 and completed the Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Lossiemouth before being posted to II(AC) Sqn at RAF Marham in 2007. During this front-line tour, he completed numerous overseas exercises and deployed on operations to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ryan left the Tornado GR4 in 2010 to take up a position in the Typhoon simulator at RAF Coningsby. In 2011, he was selected to take part in a trial to complete the Typhoon conversion course, purely in the simulator! The trial was a success and Ryan was posted to XI(F) Sqn in 2012. During this tour, he took part in the first RAF Typhoon deployment to Exercise RED FLAG in Las Vegas and conducted Quick Reaction Alert duties in the UK and Falkland Islands.

In 2014, Ryan joined 29(R)Sqn, where his current role is to teach student pilots to operate the Typhoon. In addition to his instructional duties, Ryan contributes to RAF Coningsby’ s primary task of defending UK sovereign airspace. (Info from RAF Website, photo our own)

 

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We really hope you have enjoyed our aircraft profiles over the last few days. And for those heading to Portrush this weekend, have a great time!

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