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  RAF Coningsby
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Text:

Urs Schnyder

Pictures:

Urs Schnyder

   

Built shortly before the beginning of World War 2 as a Bomber Command airfield it served in that role until the 1960s when it was transferred to fighter command. Phantom pilots and navigators were trained there for more than 20 years. After the Phantom was phased out Coningsby continued as the training base for the Tornado F.3 and today it continues as the RAFs foremost fighter base with the Typhoon. 

   
Bae Typhoon 3 Sqn. ZK309 QO-P (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 29 Sqn. BI (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. ZK332 EB-J (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

BBMF

 

Hawker Hurricane Mk. II (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 

Avro Lancaster (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hawker Hurricane Mk. II (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
     
Avro Lancaster (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)   Aircraft Weapons (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

RAF Coningsby is of course best known as the home of the Battle of Britain flight which it now houses for almost 30 years.
There are guided tours through the BBMF hangar which in my case took about 2 hours. This depends of course on how many people take part in a tour and how many questions are asked by the visitors. As the Hangar is not a Museum but a part of a working airfield, photography is not always easy. Also depending on the time of the year some aircraft may be away.
As there is always some kind of maintenance going on, it is however possible to take pictures of the aircraft with panels removed, something that is not of the seen at airshows. Also who would have thought that the tail turret of the Lancaster is full of dolls and teddybears? 

Typhoon

Besides the Battle of Britain flight RAF Coningsby is home to the following Squadrons:

  • 3 (F) Squadron which was the first frontline Typhoon Squadron

  • 11 Squadron the first multi role Typhoon Squadron

  • 29 (R) Squadron the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit

  • 41 (R) Squadron, Test and Evaluation Squadron

Just a about 200 meters along the road from the Battle of Britain visitor center, there is a large parking site with a mobile snack bar that permits a good view of aircraft in the landing pattern. I made use of this a few days after my visit to the Battle of Britain flight.
Unfortunately the number of flights done during one day were disappointingly few. The only excitement being a scramble by four aircraft that started in opposite directions on the same runway. After takeoff the aircraft are normally gone for an hour during which nothing much happened. Fortunately there were some touch and go exercises by different aircraft to pass the time until the typhoons returned. As the most difficult part of a flight is the landing, each aircraft made between 4 and 5 touch and goes before they finally landed which gave a good chance for taking pictures. 

 
  Bae Typhoon 3 Sqn. ZK309 QO-P (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 3 Sqn. ZJ934 QO-T (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 3 Sqn. ZK309 QO-P (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 
Bae Typhoon 3 Sqn. QO-M (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 3 Sqn. ZJ802 QO-B (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 3 Sqn. ZJ934 QO-T (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. ZK323 DN (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 
Bae Typhoon 3 Sqn. ZJ802 QO-B (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 3 Sqn. ZK309 QO-P (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bae Typhoon 3 Sqn. QO-M (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bae Typhoon 3 Sqn. ZK309 QO-P (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
   
  Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. ZJ912 DR (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. ZJ939 DXI (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. ZJ939 DXI (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
   
Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. ZK323 DN (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. ZJ924 DD (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. ZK323 DN (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. ZJ924 DD (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 
Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. ZJ924 DD (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 11 Sqn. ZJ924 DD (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 
  Bae Typhoon 29 Sqn. BI (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 29 Sqn. BY (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bae Typhoon (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 
  Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. ZK332 EB-J (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. ZK332 EB-J (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. ZK332 EB-J (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 
Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. EB-L (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. ZJ946 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. ZJ946 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. ZJ946 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 
Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. ZJ946 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. ZJ946 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. ZJ946 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bae Typhoon 41 Sqn. ZJ946 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 

Beech Avenger C-1 45 Sqn. ZK456 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Beech Avenger C-1 45 Sqn. ZK451 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Beech Avenger C-1 45 Sqn. ZK456 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bell Griffin HT.1 ZJ708 Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 

Bell Griffin HT.1 Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

BAe 125 CC.3 32 Sqn. ZD620 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

BAe 125 CC.3 32 Sqn. ZD620 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

BAe 125 CC.3 32 Sqn. ZD620 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

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last update 4. December 2013

Written 1. December 2013

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