YouTube show meets the Draken fighter pilot 'bad guys' training RAF teams from Teesside Airport

Draken Europe at Teesside Airport is the setting for ‘Red Air – Behind Enemy Lines’
Draken Europe at Teesside Airport is the setting for ‘Red Air – Behind Enemy Lines’ -Credit:The Fighter Show

A popular YouTube series has gone behind the scenes with Draken at Teesside Airport to meet the fighter pilot 'bad guys'.

Described as 'Top Gear meets Top Gun', The Fighter Show is a world-first series owned and produced by Eurofighter Typhoon, the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft. And in the latest episode, Teesside Airport and its Draken fleet take centre stage for 'Red Air – Behind Enemy Lines.'

The episode takes viewers behind the scenes with the aviation firm, which provides air-to-air training for RAF Typhoon pilots and prepares them for real-life combat scenarios. This is done by having pilots fly 'Red Air' acting as the aggressor or enemy against the Eurofighter Typhoon pilots over the North Sea.

In the episode, host Flo Taitsch interviews three of Draken Europe’s former RAF pilots Pip Roberts, Steve White, and Paul Heasman. Pip explained how Draken Europe, formerly Cobham Aviation, simulates the real-world enemy environment through 'Red Air'.

They use a combination of modified electronic warfare Falcon 20s and the light multi-role combat fighter L159, nicknamed the ‘Honey Badger’ due to its small but mighty nature.

Draken aircraft ready for action
Draken aircraft ready for action -Credit:The Fighter Show

Pip said: “We are simulating enemy aircraft so that the Royal Air Force are as prepared as they can be in case they have to step into real conflict. Once in the air we cover right from beyond visual range to all the way into dogfighting and close-range visual fighting.”

Senior base pilot Steve describes the size of Draken Europe’s fleet of aircraft and the expertise in hostile training of its pilots.

Electronic warfare officer Paul, nicknamed Cheesy, is described by Flo as the ‘nasty guy’ because he’s the one whose role is to jam the Eurofighter Typhoon’s comms.

Host Flo Taitsch
Host Flo Taitsch -Credit:The Fighter Show

Paul said: “Using the jamming pods we have on board our aim is to blind the Eurofighter’s sensors and disrupt their situational awareness.” The two-prong attack with the Falcon 20s interfering with the Typhoon’s radar allows the L159s the opportunity to move up closer.

The episode also sees Flo speak to civil-trained pilots Ben Cornwell and Ellie Davies who fly the Falcon 20s during the daily sorties.

Flight safety officer Ben is also a YouTuber with the handle Plane Old Ben. And Ellie says her role is the “best job in the civilian world!” She adds: “The blend of teamwork in the multi-crew environment and also working with militaries around the world – well there is nothing else like it.”

The Fighter Show films at a variety of outdoor locations, including air bases and air shows across Europe, and even has some showings with a live studio audience. It also sees the team interview everyone from pilots and engineers to technicians and authors.

The latest episode of The Fighter Show is available to view here, on Eurofighter’s YouTube channel.