Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

Pilots and Aircrew

The BBMF team consists of a full-time staff of the Officer Commanding (a Squadron Leader pilot), 30 engineering tradesmen headed by the Flight's Senior Engineering Officer (a squadron leader) and HQ staff consisting of a Flight Operations Officer, Flight Operations Assistant, a Chief of Staff, Public Relations and administrative support.

These full-time staff members are augmented by the Flight’s volunteer aircrew, all of whom have primary duties in the RAF and who fly the BBMF aircraft mainly in their own time – a considerable commitment.

The fighter aircraft types (Spitfire and Hurricane) are flown by modern RAF Fighter Pilots, whilst the Dakota and Lancaster are flown by RAF pilots with a background on heavy, multi-engine aircraft.

The Flight’s volunteer Navigators, Flight Engineers and Air Loadmasters are all essential to the safe and efficient operation of the Lancaster and Dakota.

The BBMF Engineering team, led by the Senior Engineering Officer and his management team (a Warrant Officer, a Flight Sergeant, three Chief Technicians and three Sergeants) are responsible for the maintenance, to fully airworthy condition, of the Flight’s twelve historic aircraft. The engineers who make up this relatively small team have all volunteered for duties with the Flight and serve a nominal three to five years tour of duty.

The Officer Commanding the BBMF, Squadron Leader Mark 'Disco' Discombe AFC, is one of only two aircrew permanently serving on the Flight; the other Pilots, Navigators, Air Engineers and Air Loadmasters coming from 6 different Stations (Brize Norton, Coningsby, Marham, Cranwell, Boscombe Down and Waddington) flying 5 different types of aircraft ( A400 Atlas, Hercules, C17, Sentry and Typhoon) as their primary role.

The aircrew effectively give up 3 out of every 4 weekends from May to the end of September in order to fly and display the historic aircraft of the Flight.

Fighter Pilots

Officer Commanding BBMF - Squadron Leader Mark 'Disco' Discombe AFC

Group Captain Mark Flewin CBE

Squadron Leader Mark Sugden

Flight Lieutenant Andy Preece

Bomber Pilots

The Dakota and Lancaster are flown by RAF pilots with a background on heavy, multi-engine, multi-crew aircraft and bring those skill sets to the Flight. There are normally 3 Lancaster / Dakota captains on the Flight and 2 Dakota captain / Lancaster co-pilots.

The Flight’s volunteer Navigators, Flight Engineers and Air Loadmasters are all essential to the safe and efficient operation of the Lancaster and Dakota.

Bomber Leader - Flight Lieutenant Neil Farrell

Squadron Leader Chris Fairley

Flight Lieutenant Seb Davey

Flight Lieutenant Paul Wise

Flight Lieutenant Mat Moore


Squadron Leader Colin Bostrom

Squadron Leader Jim Furness

Squadron Leader Michael Garland

Flight Lieutenant Neil Whitehead

Flight Engineers

Squadron Leader James B Stokes MSc, AFRIN, MIET, MCGI

Flight Lieutenant Nige Painter

Master Aircrew Rick Gomez

Flight Sergeant Mark Fellows MSc BSc

Air Loadmasters

Master Aircrew Marcus Burton

Master Aircrew Rob Ward

Master Aircrew Andrew Welham-Jones

Sergeant James 'Jay' Warden


Senior Engineering Officer  - Squadron Leader Luke Waskett-Booth

Junior Engineering Officer  - Warrant Officer Chris York

Flight Sergeant Dave Burke

Chief Technician Tim Davies

Chief Technician Craig Facey

Chief Technician Kev Retzback (Mechanical Trade Manager)

Sergeant Matthew Marriott (Deputy Mechanical Trade Manager)

Sergeant Martin Godwin (Avionic and Electrical Trade Manager)

Sergeant Dan Nolan

Corporal Andy Bale

Corporal Rich Boyce

Corporal Nigel Bunn

Corporal Lorelle Butler

Corporal Chris Cochrane

Corporal Mark Kirkpatrick

Corporal Norman Pringle

Corporal Andy 'Ski' Piaskowski

Corporal Josh Rhodes

Corporal Chris Rooker 

Sergeant Oli Ross

Corporal James Smith

Corporal Mike Streather

Corporal Steve Wild

Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Liam Burke

Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Jack Busby

Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Leighton Canner

Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Justin Davies

Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Ken Dowling

Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Tom Newton

Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Ben Perfect

Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Chris Riley

Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Liam Rose

Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Ryan White


Inaugurated on 11th July 1957, at RAF Biggin Hill in Kent, as the “RAF Historic Aircraft Flight”, the Flight initially consisted of three PR Mk XIX Spitfires and the RAF’s last airworthy Hurricane, LF363. 

The Flight was soon renamed the “Battle of Britain Flight” and then in 1969, to reflect its wider commemorative role, it became the “Battle of Britain Memorial Flight” (BBMF).

Between 1959 and 1965 the Flight had only one Spitfire (PM631) and one Hurricane (LF363) on its strength.  Now, as a “museum without walls”, it maintains twelve historic and irreplaceable aircraft in airworthy condition: an Avro Lancaster, a C-47 Dakota, six Spitfires, two Hurricanes and two de Havilland Chipmunk training aircraft.

The BBMF is a regular RAF unit, manned by Service personnel and funded by the Ministry of Defence.  Those who serve with the Flight feel extremely privileged to work with and to fly the BBMF collection of historic aircraft, which are all precious artefacts of the RAF’s and the Nation’s aviation heritage.

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