The RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) won the top prize in the flying display awards at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), staged at RAF Fairford from 13-15 July. His Royal Highness Prince Feisal of Jordan presented the flight with the King Hussein Memorial Sword for the best overall flying demonstration at RIAT 2018, in memory of the late His Majesty King Hussein, patron of the International Air Tattoo and Royal International Air Tattoo from 1983-99.
On the Saturday of the show, which celebrated the RAF’s centenary as its main theme, the BBMF performed a unique ‘Trenchard Plus’ formation comprising the Douglas Dakota, Avro Lancaster, two Hawker Hurricanes and three Supermarine Spitfires. Sunday’s display saw the BBMF flying its ‘Trenchard’ formation of Dakota, Lancaster and two Spitfires, named for the first Chief of the Air Staff, Lord Trenchard, upon the RAF’s formation in 1918.
BBMF pilot Flt Lt Paul ‘Ernie’ Wise was among those who collected the award on behalf of the flight. He said, “It’s absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately the guys who were in the formation couldn’t be here this evening – they’ve gone straight off task to go and do some more events and land back at Coningsby. I’ve just had the absolute privilege of phoning them to tell them that we did win the award, and you can imagine how many phone calls I’ve now had! It is a massive team effort, and we’re extremely proud. As one of our supporters said, we opened the toybox for this one, especially with the ‘Trenchard Plus’. The support was immense for it, and long may we keep doing this. In this RAF centenary year the theme is, ‘Commemorate, Celebrate, Inspire’. We do commemorate the fallen, we certainly celebrate our achievements. We’re now looking to inspire the next generation.”
The previous Tuesday, the BBMF had participated in the very well-received RAF100 flypast over Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately, the smaller flypast intended to take place at Fairford on the Friday of RIAT had to be called off due to poor weather.
An insight into the BBMF’s involvement in the London flypast and a review of RIAT 2018 will be carried in the September issue of Aeroplane, out in mid-August.