Royal Air Force Typhoons have appeared in new markings for the first time today.
The Typhoons are now operated by 41 (Reserve) Test & Evaluation Squadron (TES) at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire. The aircraft were inherited from 17 (R) TES, a squadron that has now begun to prepare for the introduction of the Lightning II aircraft into RAF service.
41 (R) TES has a distinguished history, dating back to its formation in 1916. The squadron was formed at St Omer in France, and to this day the squadron carries the Cross of Lorraine, the symbol of the French town, on its aircraft.
After a distinguished wartime period, including service in the Battle of Britain where one of its members became the highest scoring British ace, Flt Lt Eric Lock, the squadron had a post-war career that included operations with a large variety of aircraft, including the Phantom, Harrier, Jaguar and Tornado.
The modern squadron is equipped with Tornado GR4 and Typhoon FGR4 aircraft. The squadron is responsible for testing and evaluating aircraft, equipment and operating practices for the front-line squadrons.
Wing Commander Mark Rodden, the current squadron boss said, “Today marks the start of another phase of our history. While Typhoon is already a world-class aircraft, we will continue to develop the platform to maximise its potential. The Typhoon is the latest addition to a long line of thoroughbreds that have worn our markings”