Paddington is the most famous bear in the UK, but there is a bear that has managed to get higher and faster than him, flying in RAF planes.
This little bear is called Ted Coningsby, and he himself tells his story on his website: "Hi! I am Squadron Leader Ted Coningsby. I am a little teddy bear that had a dream which seemed way beyond any possibility. Seeing the Eurofighter Typhoon’s fly at RAF CONINGSBY, all I could do was dream and wonder if my impossible wish would ever come true. I make fun YouTube videos around RAF bases, especially at my ‘home’, RAF CONINGSBY." Indeed, Ted has his own YouTube channel, in which he publishes videos where we see him filming all kinds of planes at that British Royal Air Force base.
Until then, things would be normal. My bear Bilbo has even managed to get on an F-104. But the story of Ted Coningsby went further. To be a pilot, he had to pass flight training, in this case under the guidance of Lieutenant James Sainty, pilot of the RAF Blackjack, a Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 exhibition fighter, who explained to him what the controls of the plane are for (Ted seemed to be very attentive to his explanations):
Then he had to fly in a Grob G 115 training aircraft of the 115th Squadron of the RAF. In the absence of a specific seat for small teddy bears, Ted settled where he could:
Ted recounts on his website: "one day in May 2021, I received a message from Flight Lieutenant James Sainty, the RAF TYPHOON DISPLAY PILOT 2021. He said “Ted, when can you get a medical by?”", the little bear says. Finally, on May 28, 2021, at 10:05 local time, Ted had the privilege of flying with Lieutenant Sainty on the first flight of his Typhoon in the new Blackjack livery that he debuted that day and continues to wear flying today:
Ted has also managed to fly with the famous Red Arrows, the RAF's aerobatic team. The little bear flew aboard the Red 10, one of the team's BAE Hawks:
Ted's adventures have also led him to fly in an Avro Lancaster, specifically in the NX611, one of the only two bombers of this type from World War II that are still flying today:
At this point, you won't be surprised to see that Ted rubs shoulders with the RAF pilots as if he were one of them:
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