Video: Prince William pays tribute to RAF Coningsby’s finest

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The 100th anniversary of RAF Coningsby’s 29 (Reserve) Squadron saw HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, grace the station and the skies above the county on Tuesday, September 22.

The duke, who is Honorary Air Commandant of the base, observed a centenary parade before meeting a selection of personnel, engineers and veterans.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The 29 (R) Squadron was established in 1915. It instructs both new pilots and pilots experienced on other platforms how to operate the world-class multi-role Typhoon aircraft which is based at Coningsby.

The station is also home to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, of which the Duke is patron.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and Lincolnshire has played a notable part in commemorative events across the country.

Taking time out from his role as an air ambulance pilot, Prince William jumped into the passenger seat of the BBMF Chipmunk – a fitting substitute for the previously arranged Dakota after a few technical hitches. 

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

He flew above the base with pilot Squadron Leader Duncan Mason.

RAF Coningsby is also responsible for the delivery of Quick Reaction Alert (South), facilitating the launch of armed aircraft at short notice to investigate potential threats to UK airspace, a key priority of the Royal Air Force.

Commanding Air Officer Marshal Macfayden said: “I had the privilege of commanding 29 Squadron over 35 years ago, but I think I’m probably unique in commanding the squadron twice.

“It’s great that 29 still exists today to serve queen and country.”