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An Aerobatic Occasion At North Weald
Treble One Squadron Chosen As The RAF's Formation Aerobatic Display Team
(Flight  May 10th 1957)

"TREBLE-ONE" Squadron's Standard presentation, at North Weald on April 30, was also the first public appearance of the unit's new acrobatic team, which has been selected to represent Fighter Command at all major air displays in 1957.

Hunter 6s of No. 111 Squadron lined up for the flying display following the presentation of the Standard.

Hunter 6s of No. 111 Squadron lined up for the flying display following the presentation of the Standard. The first eight aircraft in the glossy black finish have no squadron markings and the fin marking is swept for the first time on Hunters.

Last year No. 111 Squadron raised the official team for No. 11 Group with four Hunter 4s, but this season there is an added element of novelty with the increase of the acrobatic formation to five Hunter 6s. These are painted distinctively and uniquely glossy black overall, relieved only by national mark- ings, including highly swept fin flashes, red serial numbers and tiny Union Jacks on the nose. The team's first display followed the presentation ceremony, which was performed by Air Chief Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst, K.C.B., K.B.E., D.S.O., D.F.C., A.F.C. Although now C.-in-C. Bomber Command, Sir Harry had served with No. 111 Sqn., from January, 1939, to January, 1940, when he had the distinction, as he was reminded by Sqn. Ldr. Roger Topp, A.F.C., the present C.O., of shooting down the first enemy aircraft to be destroyed by " Treble-One " in World War II.

As Sir Harry, who was accompanied by the C.-in-C. Fighter Command, Air Marshal Sir Thomas Pike, K.C.B., C.B.E., D.F.C., and the A.O.C., No. 11 Group, Air Vice-Marshal V. S. Bowling, C.B.E., mounted the rostrum on his arrival, a very pleasant surprise was the beautifully co-ordinated fly-past over head of the R.A.F.'s Last Hurricane. Flown by Wg. Cdr. Peter Thompson, from Biggin Hill, the Hurricane commemorated the fact that " Treble-One " was the first R.A.F. squadron to receive this famous fighter, in January, 1938.

After dedication of the Standard by the Chaplain-in-Chief of the R.A.F., the Rev. Canon A. S. Giles, Sir Harry Broadhurst spoke briefly of the squadron's past achievements. Of the future, he said that the day of the robot in air warfare was a long way off, and he had been assured by the C.-in-C. Fighter Command that No. 111 Squadron had a long life to. serve as a fighter squadron.

The parade ended, pilots and ground crews hurriedly changed for a complete squadron " scramble" of 12 aircraft. Before the acrobatic team began its performance, nine of the Hunter 6s flew past in " Treble-One" formation, which, to show that formation capabilities were not confined to a few pilots, proceeded to loop, still maintaining immaculate station-keeping. This manoeuvre was then repeated by the nine Hunters in diamond formation.

 

Air Chief Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst inspecting No. 111 Squadron Part of the squadron's show programme is solo aerobatics by Flt. Lt. D. R. J. Hall, who is followed by the remarkable precision flying of the five-aircraft team. Its repertoire includes a number of different formation changes while looping and rolling, and concludes with a spectacular bomb-burst and a five-point " beat-up " low across the airfield.
After Tuesday's excellent performance, No. 5 in the acrobatic team had the misfortune to bounce so severely on landing that his aircraft ultimately disintegrated and caught fire, but he had a miraculous escape by inadvertent ejection throughthe canopy after impact damage. The Martin-Baker ejection seat in the Hunter 6 is designed for use down to about 50 ft.but despite the ground-level ejection at comparatively low speed, the pilot's injuries fortunately were less severe than if he had remained in the aircraft.

Left: Air Chief Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst inspecting No. 111 Squadron at the start of the parade. On the left is the C.O., Sqn. Ldr. R. L. Topp, and the Station Commander, Wg. Cdr. Sqn. Ldr. R. L. Topp, and the Station Commander, Wg. Cdr.F. B. Sutton, is on the right.