RAF Coningsby pilot selected for pioneering programme

Flight Lieutenant Mathew Stannard in front of a 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron Typhoon in a Hardened Aircraft Shelter at 3 (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Coningsby.
Flight Lieutenant Mathew Stannard in front of a 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron Typhoon in a Hardened Aircraft Shelter at 3 (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Coningsby.

A Typhoon fighter pilot based at RAF Coningsby has been seconded to a ground-breaking programme called Virgin Orbit that will launch small satellites into space.

Flight Lieutenant Matthew ‘Stanny’ Stannard will launch the satellites from a modified Boeing 747.

He said: “I’ve flown Tornado and Typhoon fighters, but being involved in Virgin Orbit’s space programme is a truly unique opportunity.

“This programme is pushing the boundaries of our understanding of space, so it’s a real privilege to be part of it.

“I’m looking forward to bringing the skills and knowledge I gain back to the RAF.”