Aircrew, Navigators, Air Engineers and Air Loadmasters
The Officer Commanding the BBMF, Squadron Leader Mark Sugden, is one of only three aircrew permanently serving on the Flight; the other Pilots, Navigators, Air Engineers and Air Loadmasters come from seven different RAF Stations (Coningsby, Cranwell, Waddington, Brize Norton, Marham, Boscombe Down and Northolt) flying five different types of aircraft (A400M Atlas, Hercules C-130J, C17 Globemaster, Sentry and Typhoon) as their primary role.
The fighter aircraft types (Spitfire and Hurricane) are flown by modern RAF Fighter Pilots, whilst the Dakota and Lancaster are flown by RAF Bomber Pilots with a background on heavy, multi-engine aircraft. There are normally three Lancaster / Dakota captains on the Flight and two Dakota captain / Lancaster co-pilots.
The Flight’s volunteer Navigators, Flight Engineers and Air Loadmasters are all essential to the safe and efficient operation of the Lancaster and Dakota.
In order to keep our historic aircraft flying and maintained to the highest possible standard, the Flight is supported by a team of exceptional support personnel, dedicated to ensuring our aircraft are seen and remembered by as many people as possible, every single year.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight engineering team is made up of 40 technicians, led by Senior Engineering Officer, Squadron Leader Dave Phillips. Sqn Ldr Phillips is supported in the management of the engineering function by two Junior Engineering Officers, Flt Lt Chris Sale and Flt Lt Paul Farley, Warrant Officer Carrol Russell, and Chief Technician Stu Read.
The Engineering team are responsible for the maintenance of the Flight’s twelve historic aircraft, ensuring each aircraft is maintained to a fully airworthy condition. The engineers who make up this relatively small team have all volunteered for duties with the Flight and generally serve a three to five year tour of duty.
Logistics, Survival Equipment and Toolstores
The Flight is supported by two Survival Equipment Technicians, Cpl Jim Blackburn and Cpl Andy Goddard who are responsible for our aircrew safety kit, as well as two Logistics Technicians, Paul Maddock and Julie Fletcher, who are responsible for ensuring spares and equipment are purchased, stored and managed properly.
Engineering Support Cell
The BBMF Engineering Support Cell is a small team of five, Chf Tech Tim Davies, Sgt Kat Moir, Sgt Shelley Morris, Cpl Ken Dowling and Cpl Mikey Streather. The team are responsible for the training of all BBMF engineers on the Flight’s aircraft/engine mechanical & avionic systems, developing and delivering the BBMF Engineering Training Programme, maintaining authorisations, quality assurance & continuous improvement, health & safety, control and co-ordination of all aircraft documentation, IT & infrastructure support and fire/medic crash rescue training. The team also act as BBMF Eng Air Safety Managers, and provide support to the Flight’s aircraft at homebase and down-route as Engineers.
Admin, Public Relations and Operations Support Team
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is also supported by a small team of dedicated support staff managing the day-to-day business on the flight. The admin team is comprised of Chief of Staff - Flt Lt Emma Phillips, Administrative Officer - Diane Law-Crookes and Business Support Co-ordinator - Chris Whitton who manage everything from the daily visits and VIP tours, to sponsorship, events management and accommodation and administrative support for the BBMF team when deploying across the UK and overseas.
The Public Relations Officer - Paris Pratley-Gomez, is responsible for the marketing and communications output for the Flight, as well as managing the 40-strong PR team that deploy to the major UK airshows each year.
The Flight Operations Assistant - Tracey Fleming works closely with the Operations Officer to meticulously plan the flying programme and liaises with the various event organisers to ensure flypasts can be planned and executed in line with the annual flying programme.
Public Relations Team
During the display season, the Flight is supported by a team of volunteers from across the Royal Air Force who attend events and air shows as part of the BBMF PR Team, managed by the Public Relations Officer. This friendly team are on hand to answer any questions the public may have about our historic aircraft, as well as helping us in our goals of commemorating the history of the RAF whilst inspiring future generations.
Visitor Centre Team and Tour Guides
The Flight is also supported throughout the year by the team who run the BBMF Visitor Centre, operated by Lincolnshire County Council, and their team of dedicated volunteer tour guides. The visitor centre is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm, excluding Bank Holidays with hangar tours available from 10.30am.