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Prince Charles and Camilla

Prince Charles sits in the cockpit of a jet trainer

Prince Charles had a taste of how state-of-the-art aircraft operate as he took the cockpit seat of a Hawk T2 jet trainer, although he didn’t actually fly.

The Prince of Wales looked excited as he was shown the controls by a squadron leader from IV(R) Squadron and Ascent Flight Training at the RAF Valley in North Wales, where His Royal Highness met some of the servicemen and women who work at the airbase in Anglesey.

According to the Royal Air Force (RAF), the single engine jet can reach a maximum altitude of 42,000ft. Its ‘glass cockpit’ provides a realistic advanced fast jet training platform and allows trainees to be immersed in the more complex tactical environment.

RAF Valley is also used as Anglesey Airport. It the same station where Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge were based while the second to the throne served in the Army. Currently, Charles is the RAF Valley’s Honorary Air Commodore.

Addressing pilots and engineers, Charles 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 dependent we are on your working as a team to produce incredibly competent pilots.”

Station Commander, Group Captain Nick Tucker-Lowe meanwhile 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.’’

The trip to the station concluded a busy day for the royal in North Wales. Earlier, he toured the cutting edge offices of the telephone answering service company Moneypenny where he met the founders and employees. He also paid a visit to yoghurt maker Village Dairy/Llaeth y Llan in Llannefydd, Conwy, where he sampled some of the yoghurts produced there by the Roberts family.