Back to My Roots with the Typhoons

C59F3875.jpgThe Brits were at Red Flag in numbers too for 16-1. An E-3D Sentry was part of the AWACS fleet while a C-130J Hercules launched each day I was there. Judging by the dust and dirt on the underside, they were landing on rough strips out on the ranges during their missions. However, the thing I was most looking forward to seeing was the Typhoon. The RAF brought eight jets from 3 and 11 Squadrons. Most days six of them launched.

C59F4789.jpgIn my youth, I worked on what was to become the Typhoon in my BAE days. I was an aerodynamicist looking at airframe loading and the possible flight envelope for the first flight. I was not looking forward to the job when I was given it but working on loads turned out to be a great task and taught me a lot about structural limits, flight controls and the process for expanding the flight envelope. A mentor of mine had told me it sounded dull but was very valuable and he was spot on. I guess he is a smart guy because he has gone on to be rather successful in the company!

AU0E8613.jpgBack on topic, the Typhoon is something I am very pleased to have worked on. Getting to see them in action is great. The launches when we were out by the runways were great. When we were by the EOR, we were directly across from the ramp that the Typhoons were using so I managed to see them crewing up for the launch. Then, of course, they had to come right by us as they taxied out. I know it was a long time ago but I can’t help but still have a soft spot for them when I see them in use.

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