Busy June for Shawbury Junos
The Junos from Shawbury have been in high demand. As well as the important work they carry out with our trainees – helping train the next generation of aircrew – they have also been seen at an air cadet event, a German air show and even from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, during June!
King’s Birthday Flypast
After their successful participation in the King’s Coronation, the Junos were back on royal duty in June to lead the King’s Birthday Flypast. Three Junos took part, with aircraft 2 (the left-hand Juno when viewed from the Palace balcony) being flown by Ascent’s Russell Cripps.
A rigorous work-up by all involved resulted in a flawless flypast with the Junos at the head of participants.
Russ was delighted to take part: “During my 17 years service in the RAF, I had not been involved in any sort of ceremonial flypast, and as a civilian I thought it unlikely that I ever would,” he said.
“Therefore it was an honour to be invited by Deputy Chief Pilot 9 Regt, Ian Donoghue, to crew a Juno in the King’s Birthday Flypast. Sqn Ldr Nick Summers and Flt Lt Tom Knapp, with FS Phil Sharpe running the timings led ‘Spectre’, a formation of 3 Junos from RAF Shawbury, which headed up the 18 strong rotary package.
“A large amount of planning and coordination, coupled with great weather meant we had a smooth flight from Wattisham over Buckingham Palace and home via RAF Odiham. I hope the spectacle was enjoyed by His Majesty and all others watching from the ground and I would like to thank Ian Donoghue for approving my participation.”
The Junos had a busy day on 16 July, also taking part in a static display at RAF Benson for the Royal Air Force Air Cadets Muster, attended by more than 1,700 cadets. Part of the King’s Birthday Flypast was routed over the Muster, to the delight of all.
Representing UK in Germany
An Ascent team joined 1FTS from RAF Shawbury, and three German Shawbury trainees, at Bückeburg air show in Germany.
The event was part of Tag de Bundeswehr (Armed Forces Day) celebrations – an annual chance for visitors to take a look behind the scenes of the German armed forces. It takes place at 10 locations, including Bückeburg.
Two Junos flew out from Shawbury (along with a Jupiter from Valley), with Ascent’s Andrew Higgins and Phil Davies crewing a static display and speaking with members of the German public, military and politicians. The team was honoured that one of the Junos was invited to take part in a Fox 3 formation with two German H135 T3s in the opening flypast. The Junos are the only UK military aircraft participating in a German air show this year.
Bückeburg is home to the International Helicopter Training Centre of the German Army Air Forces.
The Shawbury team was delighted to take part in the event and received thanks from the Group Captain at the British Embassy in Berlin, as well as meeting the German Federal Minister of Defence.
Congratulations to all involved.
Images 1-3, Crown Copyright