The Duxford-based team was initially formed for just one show but now they are planning to do more in 2019

The Chipmunk is held in great affection by many, from RAF, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps pilots who trained on them, The Chipmunk is still a valuable training aeroplane in the 21st Century with teams such as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Aircraft Restoration Company and Historic Aircraft Collection using it for pilot training for a range of World War II fighters including the Spitfire and Hurricane.

Unlike many aircraft in air displays the Chipmunk is one that many in the display audience will have flown in; such as the many of Air Cadets who had their first flying experience in one, silver helmet on and Irvin seat parachute banging against their legs on the way out to the aeroplane for their first flight.

Howard Cook has been instructing pilots up to Display Authorisation level for air displays since 2006 and then “present the trained article” to a Display Authorisation Examiner (DAE) before they can start off on the air display circuit. Howard’s preferred aircraft for instructing is the de Havilland Chipmunk.

“Given its limited power the Chipmunk means you must keep in position in a display formation whereas in a more powerful type like a Harvard there is power to close back in if you lose position”, “If you can keep in tight in a Box 4 in a Chipmunk, you can keep in tight in anything!”.

Howard had trained David Petters and Paul Green at Duxford and they were joined by Jon Higgins with whom Howard has flown displays a number of times. David, Paul and Jon had not flown in a display at Duxford, something Howard has done regularly over the years and therefore he decided to form the ‘Four Chip Formation Team’ based on the teams name and basic four ship formation, to enable them to make their debut.

“We had a very successful first team show at Duxford and as a result we are now looking forward to flying some shows in 2019”.

Image(s) provided by: