The 2023 Typhoon Display Team
The Typhoon display circuit is a culmination of months of hard work, detailed preparation and concerted effort by the team behind the display. Whilst it is the pilot who displays the aircraft, 'Brighty' cannot even begin to do his job without the unfaltering commitment and backing from the dedicated group of professionals that make up the Typhoon Display Team.
This year’s team from 29 Squadron will comprise a specialist from every aircraft trade along with support and management teams to assist both the pilot and the trades, all of whom work closely together to bring you the dazzling spectacle that is the Typhoon Display.
The team look forward to the unique challenges that a display season brings and the opportunity to showcase the Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft to the general public.
With the future of the Royal Air Force firmly in our sight we look forward to showcasing the mind blowing display of speed, power and agility by Flight Lieutenant Matt Brighty and his Typhoon aircraft.
Flight Lieutenant Matt Brighty.
Flt Lt Matthew Brighty, 34, was born in Crawley and grew up in West Sussex. His interest in aeroplanes started at a young age owing to his father being an officer in the RAF and from watching aircraft at Gatwick Airport with his grandfather and uncle. Matt became hooked on flying when he first got his hands on the controls of a Grob Vigilant Motor Glider and the Grob Tutor after joining 2464 (Storrington) Squadron Air Training Corps (ATC). During his A-Levels, he was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship at the Southdown Gliding Club, which further reinforced his determination to pursue a career as a pilot.
Brighty joined the RAF as a direct entrant in 2007 after completing his A-Levels and graduated Initial Officer Training at RAF College Cranwell in 2008 before beginning his flying training. He was awarded his RAF wings at RAF Linton-On-Ouse, in early 2010 and between flying training courses, he was lucky enough to have a holding post with No. 6 Air Experience Flight at RAF Benson where he was able to re-pay the pleasure of first flying experiences for members of the ATC. After Advanced Fast Jet Training on the Hawk T1 at RAF Valley, he was role-disposed to the Tornado GR4 and on completion of the Operational Conversion Unit with XV(R) Squadron, he was posted to 617 Squadron, remaining at RAF Lossiemouth. During this tour, Brighty served on Operation HERRICK in Afghanistan and remained on ‘The Dambuters’ until their disbandment as a Tornado Squadron in 2014. He then moved down to RAF Marham, joining IX(B) Squadron, where he conducted another tour of Afghanistan and multiple tours on Operation SHADER over Iraq and Syria.
In 2017, Matt converted to the Typhoon and was posted to XI(F) Squadron at RAF Coningsby. This was another busy tour for Brighty, with multiple overseas deployments including Estonia for Operation AZOTIZE as part of the UK’s commitment to Baltic Air Policing, and to RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands. In 2020, Matt joined 29 Squadron where he works as a Qualified Flying Instructor, playing a role in the conversion of new pilots to the Typhoon and preparing them to operate the aircraft in a swing-role capability. In addition to his instructional duties, he also contributes to RAF Coningsby’s primary task of defending UK sovereign airspace on Quick Reaction Alert. Other highlights of Brighty’s Typhoon flying career have been to carry Wing Commander Gibson’s Wings Brevet in a commemorative flypast over Lincoln and to participate in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee flypast, 2022.
Away from the RAF, Matt lives with his wife Leigh, a Dementia Support Worker for the Alzheimer’s Society, and their one-year-old daughter, Noa. In his spare time, Matt enjoys cycling and riding his motorcycles.
The Typhoon Display Team could not operate without the hard work behind the scenes from the management team. Led by the Display Team Manager, Flt Lt Holly Lamb assisted by Engineering Manager Sergeant Simon Edwards and Deputy Engineering Manager Sergeant John Grimmer.
The team are responsible for planning and coordinating the entire season. This includes producing diplomatic clearances, providing tools and test equipment, spare aircraft components, managing sponsorship agreements and all logistic support. This ensures that both Flt Lt Brighty and the supporting teams have everything they need to produce the exhilarating displays.
The Engineering Team
The Engineering Team consists of specialists in Mechanical Engineering, Avionics and Weapons Systems. These are the technicians you will see working directly on the aircraft at Air Shows.
The Engineering Team is split into three teams, each named after an aircraft type previously flown by 29 Squadron. The teams consist of five technicians, led by a SNCO and contain each of the three aircraft trades which means they are able to prepare the aircraft for each display.
The teams are made up of engineers from 29 Squadron at RAF Coningsby, who are all volunteers and join the team in addition to their normal Squadron duties. Volunteers go through a selection process which ensures that each team have the required engineering authorisations to be able to operate the aircraft from a different location during the season. They are very experienced with the right mix of trade skills to work in these small teams - with specialist skills such as Engine & Structural Health Monitoring to ensure any issues with the Typhoon are swiftly rectified. They will be working long and hard to ensure the Typhoon Display Team deliver #PhoonTime.
Team Lightning is led by Sergeant Polly McKinlay, ably assisted by Corporal Jack Woolgar, Corporal Callum McMenemie, AS1(T) Ryan Harris and AS1(T) Alex Decarolis.
Team Tornado is led by Sergeant Sean McCarthy, ably assisted by Corporal Glen Adams, Corporal Adam Barstow, AS1(T) Michael McGinty and AS1(T) Sophie Hill.
Team Phantom is led by Sergeant Luke Addicott, ably assisted by Corporal Stuart Ward, Corporal James Taylor, Corporal Ben Elton and AS1(T) Joshua Flood.
The PR Team are volunteers from 29 Squadron and personnel across RAF Coningsby led by PR Manager Sergeant Katey Rowe.
This is Katey's first year taking the lead as the PR Manager and her role is to manage PR personnel at all Typhoon displays events; a role which goes well beyond just the Air Show season! Katey is assisted by the Digital Media Manager to keep you regularly updated across our media platforms.
Katey's team includes personnel from across a wide range of ranks and trades including Technicians, Air Traffic Controllers, Suppliers, Survival Equipment Fitters and HR. The process aims to select those with experience from previous years on the PR team along with the introduction a number of fresh faces, to provide a widespread variety of trades, rank and service experience to give a balanced team to carry out their duties and share their stories on RAF life.
These are the people you will see out and about, working hard to promote the Typhoon Display Team and the Royal Air Force at Air Shows across the UK & Europe in 2023.
Ground Support System
Information Communication Technology (ICT) Technicians play a pivotal role in setting up, operating, and maintaining the vital Ground Support System (GSS) essential for continued maintenance of the Typhoon aircraft away from its main operating base. This is achieved by empowering Mechanical, Avionic and Weapons trades with the ICT capability to diagnose the critical engineering data produced by the aircraft's advanced computer systems.
The GSS Team may not always be seen at Air Shows but without their expertise, Flight Lieutenant Brighty, the Typhoon aircraft and the team would simply not be able to operate across the UK & Europe in 2023.