PRESS RELEASE

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is delighted to announce the appointment of Squadron Leader Simon Jessett who will become the Officer Commanding in October 2027 ahead of the 2028 – 2030 display seasons.

The role of Officer Commanding for the BBMF requires four years of voluntary service on the flight in advance to gain the necessary experience and training required to fly the BBMF’s fleet of Chipmunks, Hurricanes and different marks of Spitfire. During this period, Sqn Ldr Jessett will continue with his primary duty elsewhere in the RAF, however will also support the flight with its annual display taskings throughout each display season, as well as gain the relevant experience and qualifications to allow him to train future BBMF pilots, conduct air tests and be able to run the Flight in its entirety.

Squadron Leader Simon Jessett in the photo. The current OC BBMF, Sqn Ldr Mark Sugden is about to enter his final year of command on the flight, with Sqn Ldr Mark Long due to take the reigns in October 2024.

Sqn Ldr Jessett joined the RAF in 1990, flying the Harrier until its retirement in 2012. He then left the RAF to fly the Dassault Falcon DA20 as a civilian, before realizing the grass was greener in the Service, soon re-joining to fly the Typhoon FGR4. Sqn Ldr Jessett is currently serving on 3(F) Squadron at RAF Coningsby. Speaking about his future appointment, he said: “I am delighted to be joining BBMF. These iconic aircraft remind us of our nation’s finest hour, and flying them will be a boyhood dream come true.”

The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) operates from RAF Coningsby, a Typhoon base, in Lincolnshire. The mission of the RAF BBMF is to maintain the priceless artifacts of our national heritage in airworthy condition in order to commemorate those who have fallen in the service of this country. The RAF BBMF also serves to promote the modern-day Air Force and to inspire future generations.

The Flight operates six Spitfires, two Hurricanes, a Lancaster, a C47 Dakota, and two Chipmunk aircraft (these last two primarily for training). The aircraft are flown by regular RAF Aircrew. These aircraft can be regularly seen in the skies over the UK from May to September each year. They are flown to celebrate and commemorate public and military events from State occasions such as Trooping the Colour to major airshows and flypasts for public events.