Prince Charles was given an insight into some of the latest aircraft technology when he visited West Norfolk’s RAF Marham.

During his visit to 617 Squadron last Friday, the Prince sat in the cockpit of one of the new fighter jets.

A spokesman said the prince met some of the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel serving on the squadron and saw first-hand the new F-35B Lightning aircraft now permanently stationed at the base.

Officer Commanding 617 Squadron, Wing Commander John Butcher said: “It was absolutely fantastic to have His Royal Highness here and to have the opportunity to show him the aircraft, talk about the capabilities and for him to meet the people that are key enablers for us to be able to operate it.”

Last week, the UK’s new F-35 multi-role combat jets tested their vertical landing capability when they used a new pad at the base for the first time.

Three of the special landing pads are being built and the Ministry of Defence has said the construction has presented a “significant engineering challenge”.

Materials had to be sourced from Germany to make a concrete able to withstand  the high temperatures created by the aircraft engines.

Prince Charles inside one of the F-35B Lightning aircraft at RAF Marham.

Lt Col Ian Jenkins, Defence Infrastructure Organisation project manager, said: “It was really exciting and rewarding to see an F-35 landing on the first vertical landing pad to be finished and I look forward to seeing more as we continue to work on other infrastructure upgrades required for the F-35s.”

Four of the new Lightning aircraft arrived at Marham in June in the build up to the newly-reformed  617 Squadron at the base.

In addition to its short take- off and landing capabilities, the F-35s have cutting-edge radar and sensor technology and electronic warfare systems.

A busy week for the base also saw the traditional  friends and families day last Thursday which included a display by the Red Arrows.