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Watch Combat Pilot online: Episode 1 Episode 1

"Today is the start of teaching you to take an aircraft as a weapon, and go out and kill somebody with it. And if you haven't thought about that very carefully, give it some thought because that's the way we go about business." It's a no-nonsense introduction for a group of carefully chosen RAF flyers who will train to become fast jet pilots. But these stern words sound like a bedtime story compared to the rigours they will go through over the next 12 months. For the first time in 25 years, television cameras have been allowed into RAF Valley, the Anglesey training base for every UK fighter pilot, for a six-part BBC 2W documentary series, Combat Pilot. The Hawk-T training jets are well-known to locals for leaving their 'noise footprint' on the peaceful landscape of north Wales. Now, with access to all areas, viewers get a chance to climb into the cockpit for a pilot's eye view and a window on the fascinating world of fast jet flight. The six trainees - Squadron Leader Dave McBryde, Flying Officer Richard Fawkes, Flying Officer Lewis Cunningham, Flying Officer Matt Fleet, Flight Lieutenant Mark Baker and Royal Navy Pilot Lieutenant Daymian Beech have already earned their wings on propellor planes, but now aim to realise a lifelong dream to fly faster than the speed of sound. Nicknamed 'The Pilot Factory' only one in 40 hopefuls make it to RAF Valley for fast jet training. They are the crme de la crme of the Force, and it takes four years of hard graft and more than 1 million to turn a raw recruit at Valley into a fast jet pilot ready for the front line. But forget the glamour of Top Gun. These men are up at the crack of dawn for a training day packed with briefings, practice manoeuvres, flight simulation and study. They often find themselves waist high in bogland, or thrown into the freezing waters of the Irish Sea. By night they return to their quarters to read up for the next day and to practice checks and procedures in a cardboard cockpit. The bar at Valley is known as the quietest bar in the RAF.

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