Training a Typhoon pilot

Concluding a two-part feature, Jamie Hunter returns to No 29 Squadron at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, to learn how Royal Air Force Typhoon pilot training has evolved in recent years.

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Turning finals in single-seat ‘fighter’ Typhoon FGR4 ZK306 ‘BT’. In the past, some students flew the entire OCU course in two-seat versions. The current ethos stresses the importance of creating a single-seat pilot ready for the frontline Typhoon and Lighting Forces. All photos Jamie Hunter
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It’s 0730hrs and pilots stream into the main briefing room at No 29 Squadron, the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), for the morning ‘met brief’. As the name suggests, this is based around the day’s weather, but it also takes into account the available aircraft for the flying programme and any admin that needs to be addressed. Flt Lt Craig (surname omitted for security reasons) is already on a tight timeline. He’s well into the planning cycle for his mission today.

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