Air International 2015-01
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I.Harding - Lightning Strikes Again /Military/
Royal Navy Hawks in close formation. During Flag Officer Sea Training serials, 736 NAS Hawks adopt attack profiles that are as aggressive as weather conditions permit.
Man and machines... Lt Cdr Tim Flatman, Commanding Officer of 736 NAS, which operates 14 Hawk T1/T1As from two locations, RNAS Culdrose and RNAS Yeovilton. A Flight maintains a permanent detachment of two aircraft at the latter.
Top: With a wealth of experience on the Hawk, the squad­ron's ground crew and engineers remain critical to maintaining flight operations. Middle and bottom: Flight and ground crew turn an aircraft around quickly in preparation for an afternoon FOST mission.
Top: The Thursday War is a key weekly event for 736. Lt Walker (front) and Jim Taylor prepare for their mission over the UK's South West Approaches. Bottom: Lt Cdr Tim Flatman completes his pre-flight routine ahead of a Flag Officer Sea Training event.
Squadron ground crew at RNAS Culdrose (seen here) and at RNAS Yeovilton have responded well to the challenges of an increased workload.
As Royal Navy fast jet pilots return from tours in the United States, 736 NAS could provide the bridge for those transitioning to the F-35B Lightning II over the next few years.
AIR International was on hand when 736's newly painted jet was towed on to the Culdrose flight line for the first time last July.
The Hawk continues to serve the Royal Navy well, but the cockpit is a demanding setting for the aggressor pilot.