The Challenge of a Lifetime

One year in, the commander of the RAF’s famous Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Sqn Ldr Mark Discombe, spoke to FlyPast’s deputy editor Steve Beebee about plans for the 80th anniversary and why he’ll always fight for funding

The RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s CO, Sqn Ldr Mark Discombe, with Hurricane PZ865.
PHOTOS KEY-STEVE BEEBEE • DARREN HARBAR • CLAIRE HARTLEY

At the end of September, when the hangar doors closed after another successful flying season, the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s new CO was able to reflect not just on a memorable year but on the culmination of a lifetime’s passion for flight and aviation heritage. Sqn Ldr Mark Discombe AFC has completed the first of his three years as BBMF ‘boss’ at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, where the Flight has been based since 1976. It’s no small task – ‘Disco’ and his fellow pilots and ground personnel planned to complete around 100 displays and 800 flypasts this year, and welcomed some 33,000 visitors to their base.

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