The UK Royal Air Force's Eurofighter Typhoon community provided a strong and head-turning presence at this year's Royal International Air Tattoo, with two aircraft on static display and a third scooping the prestigious award for the best solo display performance.

Flt Lt Jim Walls from 29 Sqn won the Sir Douglas Bader Trophy for a stunning display which demonstrated the Typhoon F2's manoeuvrability, most notably in the poor weather conditions encountered while rehearsing his routine on 13 July.

Typhoon chute 

A Typhoon T1 trainer from the RAF's 29 Sqn Operational Conversion Unit was also at Fairford, along with a single-seat example from 11 Sqn, the lead unit in the ongoing development of the type's air-to-ground strike capabilities for the UK. The latter was shown carrying an impressive weapons load comprising Raytheon Enhanced Paveway laser/GPS-guided bombs and MBDA ASRAAM and Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles.

Typhoon 11 

The RAF has a further two Typhoon squadrons: its 17 Sqn Operational Evaluation Unit and 3 Sqn, which has provided quick reaction alert air-defence cover for the southern UK from Coningsby since 29 June.

Spain also sent two Typhoons to the show from its Morøn airbase near Seville, although the programme's other launch partners - Germany and Italy - did not deploy Eurofighters as part of their participation in the event.

Typhoon line 

Speaking at the show, NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency general manager Peter Worrall said the organisation has recently brought forward its deadline to sign a Tranche 3 contract for the programme's next 236 aircraft by six months to December 2008.

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