22 May 2024

RAF reveals Typhoon’s D-Day makeover ahead of Blue Light Weekend air show

by Sam Hawcroft

The RAF has revealed the new livery for the Typhoon that will be roaring over Withernsea at this year’s Blue Light Weekend.

The display jet has been given a makeover for the 2024 season to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 1944.

The FGR4 – a world-class multi-role combat aircraft capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations from peace support to high-intensity conflict – has been painted in a camouflage scheme representing that worn by RAF Hawker Typhoon aircraft during what was known as Operation Overlord.

The black and white stripes are a nod to those that were hastily applied to Allied aircraft of all types in the days before June 6, 1944. They provided an obvious visual identification feature to reduce the likelihood of Allied forces attacking their own aircraft, particularly as the Hawker Typhoon bore a close resemblance to the German Focke-Wulf Fw-190 fighter.

The yellow wing leading edge markings, which have also been added to the display Typhoon, were common to all RAF fighter aircraft from the early stages of the Second World war and served a similar purpose, enabling friendly aircraft to be recognised during head-on encounters.

The squadron letter markings FM are those of Number 257 Squadron, and FM-G represents the aircraft flown on D-Day by Pilot Officer Denzil Jenkins. Having joined 257 Squadron as a Flight Sergeant pilot in August 1943, he swiftly rose through its ranks to take command as Squadron Leader Jenkins by October 1944, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his leadership just two months later.

He survived the war, and he went on to become a racehorse trainer and won the 1965 Welsh Grand National with a horse called Northerner.

Flt Lt Nina Wilkinson, the Typhoon display team manager based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, said they were hugely excited about showing off the jet’s new livery this season.

The Typhoon will be appearing at some of the country’s biggest air shows. Taking place on Sunday, August 11, Withernsea’s will be a free Tier 2 air show and is set to be one of the largest in the North this year.

Nina said: “We are really looking forward to supporting Withernsea as it is in aid of charities. And it’s the Blue Light Weekend, so obviously we like to support anything that’s related to armed forces and emergency services.”

She added that each display pilot chooses a military charity close to their heart. This year, David “Turbo” Turnbull will be supporting the Head Up charity, which focuses on mental health among serving armed forces personnel as well as veterans. It offers a range of services including wellness presentations, wellness days, mini-retreats and one-on-one help.

Nina added: “Our PR team will have a stand at the Blue Light Weekend, and any donations they receive will go directly to the Head Up charity.”

Blue Light Weekend co-director Andy Medcalf said: “We are so excited about the Typhoon coming to Withernsea this summer – it’s going to be an amazing spectacle, not just visually, but aurally too, as we are assured that it will be very loud indeed!”

For more information about the Head Up charity, visit head-up.org.uk. For details on the Blue Light Weekend, across the weekend of August 10-11, visit bluelightweekend.com.