Bird of Fire
In a welcome change back to flamboyant display colours, 56(R) Squadron (nicknamed the 'Firebirds') have applied a striking new paint scheme to this year's display aircraft, ZE339. Comprising of a red spine with yellow flames enveloping an enlarged phoenix on the tail, it should prove to be popular with spectators more used to seeing drab grey aeroplanes from the RAF in recent years.
This is the second time ZE339 has been used for display flying, as in 1992 it wore a special scheme in the colours of 25 Squadron from Leeming who were providing that year's team. This year, as last, 56(R) is again represented by Flt Lt Anthony 'Parky' Parkinson and Flt Lt David Hake.
UPDATE: It is rumoured that the AOC of Strike Command has not approved of the dramatic colour scheme and is refusing it to appear on the display circuit. We hope this not the case, as rarely has the RAF had such a potential crowd-puller on the show circuit.