41(R) Test & Evaluation Squadron (TES) - RAF Coningsby
On March 31, 2006 the Fast Jet and Weapons Operational Evaluation Unit (FJ&W OEU) was renamed 41(Reserve) Squadron. Previously 41(F) Squadron operated the Sepecat Jaguar from RAF Coltishall before its disbandment. 41(R) Squadron operated the Tornado F.3, Tornado GR.4 and the Harrier GR.9. The Tornado F.3s and Harrier GR.9s were withdrawn from 41(R) in 2007 and 2010 respectively.
The role of 41(R) Test & Evaluation Squadron is the development of operational tactics and the evaluation and exploitation of weapons, avionics and software in preparation for their use by the front-line. The Unit's tasks are carried out in close liaison with approved defence manufacturers, research institutions and front-line squadrons.
|Low Level Flying Action|
|Typhoon FGR.4 (ZJ947 'EB-L') in April 2016.|
|Typhoon T.3/Typhoon FGR.4|
|Typhoon T.3 (ZJ815 'EB-H') of 41(R) Test & Evaluation Squadron in January 2015.|
|Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4s (zk335 '335', ZK367 'EB-R', ZK365 'EB-L) in September 2017.|
|Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZJ946 'EB-A' and (ZK339 'EB-B') in January 2015.|
|Left to right: Typhoon T.3 (ZJ815 'EB-H') in January 2015. Typhoon FGR.4 ( ZJ947 'EB-L') in March 2015.|
|Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4s (ZJ946 'EB-A', ZJ815 'EB-H' and ZJ930 'EB-R') in August 2014.|
|Left to right: Typhoon FGR.4 (ZK315) of 41(R) Test & Evaluation Squadron in 1916-2016 anniversary markings in November 2015 and September 2017.|
|Typhoon T.3 (ZJ815 'EB-H') of 41(R)TES Squadron in February 2016.|
|World War II codes applied at start of 2010 (Harriers were replaced by marked up Tornados by April 2011)
Base and aircraft codes used by aircraft flown by prominent 41 Squadron pilots during the World War Two have now been applied to the tails of the current 41(F) Squadron jets.
Tornado GR.4 (ZA611 is now coded 'EB-L') - Wg Cdr Ted 'Shippy' Shipman AFC who flew at least 26 different Spitfires with 41 Squadron, including a Spitfire Mk 1a K9805 coded 'EB-L' from May 5, 1940 during the Battle of Britain when based at RAF Catterick. His son John Shipman, author of the book "One of The Few" has used his father’s memoirs to tell the full story his career, which included the downing of several Luftwaffe aircraft at various locations, including kills over the North Sea, Durham and the English Channel.
Other aircraft with new codes applied are:
Tornado GR.4 ZA447 ‘EB-R’ - P9428 Spitfire Mk Ia, Sqn Ldr Hilary Hood, Sqn CO
Tornado GR.4 ZA600 ‘EB-G’ - N3162 Spitfire Mk Ia, Plt Off E Lock, 5 shoot downs in single mission during Battle of Britain.
Tornado GR.4 ZD996 ‘EB-B’ - MB882 Spitfire Mk XII, Flt Lt Terry Spencer, who shot down Emil Lang (171 kills) CO of JG26.
Tornado GR.4 ZG777 'EB-Q' (previously Harrier GR.9 ZD328 ‘EB-Q’) - R7304 Spitfire Mk Va, Sgt Plt Bill Brew,
Tornado GR.4 ZA589 'EB-J' (previosly Harrier GR.9 ZD437 ‘EB-J’) - X4559 Spitfire Mk Ia, Plt Off George Bennions, (11 kills and 5 probables)
Tornado GR.4A ZG707 'EB-Z' (previously Harrier GR.9 ZD503 ‘EB-Z’) - P7666 Spitfire Mk IIa, Sqn Ldr Donald Finlay, Sqn CO
I would like to thank John Shipman for providing this information.
With the retirement of the Harrier 41(R)'s GR.9s were transferred to 1(F) Squadron by October 29, 2010.
|Tornado GR.4 (ZA600 'EB-G') of 41(R) Squadron|
|Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA600 'EB-G'), Tornado GR.4 (ZA447 'EB-R') and Tornado GR.4 (ZA611 'EB-L') at RAF Northolt in March 2010.|
|Low Level Flying Action|
|Tornado GR.4 (ZA560 'EB-Q') using callsign 'Viking 41' with 67 degrees swept wings in September 2017.|
|Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA560 'EB-Q' and ZA607 'EB-X' ) using callsign 'Viking 40 and 41' in September 2017.|
|Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA560 'EB-Q') using callsign 'Rebel 88' in August 2017.|
|Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA607 'EB-X') using callsign 'Rebel 84' in April 2016.|
|Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA607 'EB-X') using callsign 'Rebel 83' in July 2015.|
|Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZG777 'EB-Q') it using callsign 'Rebel 41' in mid-Wales in November 2012.|
|Tornado GR.4 (ZA611 'EB-L') in the Lake District in September 2010.|
|Air to Air Action|
|Tornado GR.4 (ZD739) carrying Brimstone anti-tank missiles over the Irish Sea in October 2008.|
|On Base Action|
|Tornado GR.4 (ZG777 'EB-Q') in August 2014.|
|Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZA607 'EB-X') in special markings at RAF Coningsby September 2017.|
|Left to right: Tornado GR.4 (ZG777 'EB-Q') complete with Paveway LGBs in August 2014.|
|Left to right: Tornado GR.4A (ZG707 'EB-Z' ' with two Op ELLAMY mission marks) departing for Warton where it night-stopped, on its return it suffered a bird-strike when landing at Coningsby in January 2012.|
|Left to right: Recently painted specially marked tail Tornado GR.4 (ZA600) and Tornado GR.4s (ZA447 'EB-R' and ZG777 'EB-Q') at Coningsby in April 2011.
|Left to right: Tornado GR.4s (ZG777 'EB-Q', ZA447 'EB-R' and ZG707 'EB-Z') at Coningsby in April 2011.|
|Left to right: Two 41(R) Squadron Tornado GR.4s (ZA611 and ZD739) return from their solo sorties, the crew of ZA611 had jumped clear when their aircraft stopped on the runway after landing.
Tornado GR.4 (ZA609) departs Coningsby in April 2007.
Tornado GR.4 (ZA611) of 41(R) Squadron carrying a Raytheon Paveway II 1,000 lb (454kg) Precision Laser-Guided Bomb.
|Left to right: Harrier GR.9 (ZG508) and Tornado GR.4s ZA611 arriving at Coningsby and ZD739 is about to take-off in November 2006.|
|Tornado F.3 (ZE785) at Florennes AB for TLP 2006-4 in July 2005. Tornado F.3 (ZG731) departs Coningsby in April 2007, they were withdrawn from 41(R) in December 2007.|
|The Fast Jet and Weapons Operational Evaluation Unit (FJ&W OEU) before it was renamed 41(Reserve) Squadron on March 31, 2006.|
|The FJ&W OEU was formed on April 1, 2004 by the merger of the Strike Attack OEU (SAOEU) from RAF Boscombe Down, the Tornado F.3 OEU from RAF Coningsby and the Air Guided Weapons OEU (AGWOEU) from RAF Valley.
Left to right: The FJ&W OEU's Tornado GR.4 (ZD715) on one of their frequent low-level sorties from the Welsh hills in LFA 7 in May 2004.
|Left to right: The FJ&W OEU's Harrier GR.7 (ZG857), two shots when flying with unidentified GR.4 below in the Lake District (LFA17) in August 2004. Final shot is of Harrier GR.7A (ZD465 '55A') operating with the FJ&W OEU (ex 4 Squadron) since August 13, 2004 but devoid of any squadron markings, again in the Lake District.|
|Left to right: The FJ&W OEU's Tornado GR.4s, the first is ZA611 the second remains unidentified. The Jaguar GR.3 (XZ113) when with the SAOEU it was finally retired in December 2005.|