17(R) TOEU – Coningsby 19th May 2005 – 12th April 2013.
17(R)Sqn was reformed as a designate Squadron in September 2002 at Warton to be the first Squadron in the RAF to equip with the Eurofighter Typhoon . Under white case the unit began trials to bring the aircraft into service. Expanding the operating envelope to include Air to Air and Air to Ground systems and testing weapons destined for the new Typhoon.
On the 19th May 2005 17(R)Sqn stood up at RAF Coningsby and were to be known as the “Typhoon Operational Evaluation Unit” TOEU. The Sqn used codes between AA and AZ on there Typhoons with a Gauntlet in the shield on the tail. The Sqn has made regular deployments to the vast weapons ranges in the USA with two Typhoons operating in the States for about 18 months in the early days.
I have lived in Coningsby well before the Typhoon arrived and have seen the Tranche 1 and 2 Aircraft develop within 17(R) Sqn service with Drop Tank,Flare,Missile,QRA and Bomb Trials and then with the Paveway 2’s. The new Voyager Tanker has also seen 17(R)Sqn undertaking refueling trails to sort out early problems.
17(R) Sqn are to disband on 12th April with the four Typhoons being integrated into the other test unit 41(R) TES which operates from Coningsby. This will not be the end for 17(R) OEU as it is to reform at Edwards Air Force Base in the USA to bring into service the new F35B Lightning II. It will be a sad day to see the first Typhoon Squadron in service become the first to disband.
Below is a complete list of the Typhoon aircraft that have worn 17(R)Sqn marks while they were operating at Coningsby, Some Typhoons have worn 17(R)Sqn marks more than once in their service history.
AA(1st)-ZJ803 To 29(R)Sqn as BA.
AA(2nd)-ZJ913 transferred to AC.
AA(3rd)-ZJ930* Typhoon FGR4
AA-ZJ930 To YB-A this code was worn for a photo shoot with 17Sqn marked Hurricane IIc LF363/YB-W on 15th April 2010 then reverted back to AA.
AB(1st)-ZJ802 – To 29(R)Sqn as BB.
AB(2nd)-ZJ912 to BoB marks on one side of the tail
To YB-F BoB marks then reverted back to AB Taken at Coningsby 3rd August 2010.
AB(3rd)-ZJ912*Typhoon FGR4 ( worn both 17(R)TES & 11(F)Sqn full marks still coded AB)
AC(1st)-ZJ800 To 29(R)Sqn as BC.
AC(2nd)-ZJ914 To 11(F)Sqn as DE.
AC(3rd)-ZJ913 To 3(F)Sqn as QO-M.
AD(1st)-ZJ805 To 29(R)Sqn as BD.
AD(2nd)-ZJ916 To 3(F)Sqn as QO-U.
AD(3rd)-ZJ946 To 6Sqn as EH.
AE(1st)-ZJ917 To 3(F)Sqn as QO-G
AE(2nd)-ZJ947 was marked as EI 6Sqn but went to 11(F)Sqn as DN.
AE(3rd)-ZJ927* Typhoon FGR4 (56 bomb marks removed by 22/05/12 ) in TMF
AF(1st)-ZJ928 To 3(F)Sqn as QON.
AF(2nd)-ZJ914 To 11(F)Sqn as DS
AG(1st)-ZJ927 To 3(F)Sqn as QO-M.
AH(1st)-ZJ947 to Disbandment special marks ( It’s third set of 17Sqn marks ).
Special disbandment marks-ZJ947*Typhoon FGR4
AI(1st)-ZK332* Typhoon FGR4
AX(1st)-ZK303* Typhoon T3 (At Warton with BAE test fleet )
AY(1st)-ZJ815 To 11(F)Sqn as DY.
AZ(1st)-ZJ811 To 11(F)Sqn as DZ.