Thursday, December 31, 2015

F, H, C, D

So, it started with a post at Weaponsman, where he noted some ex-RAF Tornadoes for sale. (Just the thing to shorten your commute!)

One of the commenters noted that the Tornado F3 (the British name for the ADV, or air defence variant) were in use in the Falkland Islands in the 1990s.

"Tornado F3's flying over the Falkland islands. MOD 45147767" by Photo: Cpl Darren Smith /MOD. Licensed under OGL via Commons.
So I followed the link to discover that, following the Falklands War, the British government stood up a  flight of interceptors in the islands, now based at RAF Mount Pleasant, and assigned it the flight number of the old unit number given the Hal Far Fighter Flight: No. 1435 flight. Originally composed of four RAF Phantoms, the aircraft were named Faith, Hope, Charity, and Desperation. (They initially operated out of the repaired Port Stanley airfield before RAF Mount Pleasant was built.)

The Phantoms were replaced by Tornadoes, and the Tornadoes in their turn have been supplanted by Typhoons. Apparently Her Majesty's Air Force no longer puts names on the planes, but the four Typhoons bear the tail codes F, H, C, and D above the Maltese Cross emblem of the flight.

(Incidentally, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the Falklands seem to have much more relaxed gun laws than are normal for a UK possession.)