British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently donned a pilot’s uniform and jumped in the cockpit of a Typhoon fighter jet. A video shared by Downing Street on Monday showed the soon-to-be former UK PM wearing a mask as he rode in the plane. He was also seen giving a thumbs-up to the other two aircraft flying next to him.
“Prime Minister Boris Johnson flies in the cockpit of a Typhoon fighter jet from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire,” read the caption of the YouTube post.
Watch the video below:
According to ITV, the video was shot last week when Mr Johnson was given a demonstration of a Typhoon fighter jet by the pilots and air crews at the Lincolnshire RAF (Royal Air Force) base. He was visiting RAF Coningsby to take a look at the RAF’s two Quick Reaction Alert Stations which protect UK airspace.
Speaking to reporters later, the outgoing PM claimed that he briefly took control of the aircraft to perform some tricks. Mr Johnson said that when then Wing Commander Paul Hansen asked him, “Do you want to have a go?”, he replied saying, “Are you sure? It seems very expensive to me”. “‘I think we only have 148 of them and they cost 75 million pounds a pop.’ And he said: ‘Don’t worry, you can’t break it.’ So I thought, ‘Oh well, famous last words,'” he added.
“So I pushed the joystick right over to the right and we did an aileron roll and I pulled the joystick right back and we did a fantastic loop-the-loop and then I did a more complicated thing called a barrel roll and I pushed the stick up and right a bit,” Mr Johnson continued.
Meanwhile, the footage of Mr Johnson in the plane received mixed responses online. Social media users called out the UK PM and pointed out how he seemed to try and embody actor Tom Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell from the movie Top Gun. “What did it cost the taxpayer to let our lame duck Prime Minister go on this joyride jolly & do his pathetic Tom Cruise tribute act? Ridiculous,” television presenter Piers Morgan tweeted.
Another internet user praised Mr Johnson for keeping things “positive and popular,” while another simply wrote, “What was the purpose of this little jolly?”