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His Royal ‘Flyness’ Prince Charles visits RAF training base

Charles is RAF Valley’s Honorary Air Commodore.

His Royal “Flyness” Prince Charles clambered aboard a Hawk jet today to see how the next generation of flying aces are trained to guard the skies above Britain.

Charles sat in the cockpit of the plane, a Hawk T2 jet trainer aircraft, and was shown the controls by a squadron leader from IV(R) Squadron and Ascent Flight Training, on his visit to RAF Valley in North Wales.

The single engine jet, normally equipped with Sidewinder missile defence systems, can reach up to 550 knots but remained grounded as the royal visitor was shown how the jet is used as an advanced airborne training facility.

Charles also met some of the servicemen and women and staff stationed at the 1,400-strong airbase on Anglesey.

RAF Valley is where his son and daughter-in-law Kate were based while William served in the forces, and is used as an advanced fast jet training base.

Young pilots train on the Hawk jets before they graduate to pilot Typhoon jets at other bases in the UK and across the globe.

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AF Valley is where his son and daughter-in-law Kate were based while William served in the forces (Peter Byrne/PA)

After chatting to pilots, engineers, their families and local children he thanked all at the base for working to train fighter pilots for the RAF and Royal Navy.

Charles, who is RAF Valley’s Honorary Air Commodore, said: “For me it is a pleasure having the chance to visit however briefly.

“I do recognise just how much difference you make here to the important training of fast jet pilots and how dependant we are on your working as a team to produce incredibly competent pilots.”

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The Prince of Wales met cadets, pilots and engineers (Peter Byrne/PA)

Station Commander, Group Captain Nick Tucker-Lowe said: “I am delighted that the RAF Valley whole force has had the opportunity to meet the Prince and show him the Hawk T2 advanced fighter pilot training capability.

“With our industry partners, RAF Valley is delivering world-leading pilot training to meet our defence commitments at home and abroad.

“In addition, our colleagues from the Defence Helicopter Training School and the RAF Mountain Rescue Service are making a real difference in rotary training and saving lives. I am proud also that the Prince was able to meet some of our families, who do so much to support the station and its personnel.”

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