The Me262, Colin Bell and the BBMF

Above and below: The Me262 while based at RIAT

The Airbus connection did not stop at RIAT. The following Tuesday John Lilley, Chairman was invited to RAF Coningsby to witness an astounding flight of what we will call reconciliation. Airbus Heritage Flight from Germany brought the Me262 to RIAT 23 and was the star of the show! But following this UK debut the aircraft flew to RAF Coningsby on the Monday for another amazing event.

We witnessed an amazing formation in flight of the Me262, the P-51D Mustang and Spitfire PRXIV of the Rolls Royce Heritage flight, and the Spitfire IIa of the BBMF.

A truly amazing sight to witness all four aircraft perform tight flypasts and definitely showcasing the piston era of fighters transitioning to the early jet fighter age.

Also, definitely underlining reconciliation as both the RAF and Luftwaffe operate the Eurofighter Typhoon in Nato, today.

Colin Bell (3rd left), with the Me262 pilot and flypast crews.

Spectacularly, Flt. Lt. Colin Bell DFC, now 102 years old and well known ex-Mossie pilot was there and came face to face with the Me262. Colin is the only aircrew still with us to escape an encounter with an Me262!

In 1945 his Mossie was intercepted, his aircraft carried a new electronic device, warning of night-fighter interception and it went off! Colin performed two high-speed corkscrew manoeuvres to escape. Colin, in his own style, patted the 262 on the nose and said ‘very nice aircraft, but I’d rather not see you again!’ which went down well with all attending.

Be afraid, be very, afraid. Looking just like a shark’s nose. A sight that Colin Bell remembers, well!

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