Air International 1994-10
P.Cooper - Forever Farnborough (2)
Dakota C.3 ZA947 was initially delivered to RAE West Freugh during 1971 as KG661 but was reallocated serial ZA947 by the MoD in June 1978 when it became known that the original KG661 had been destroyed in an accident on December 13, 1944. In addition to various support and transport duties, ZA947 also conducted parachute trials and aerial survey work. It is seen here in March 1992, flying over the DRA Headquarters facility. Following the disbandment of the Air Transport Flight, ZA947 joined the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Farnborough's last Comet was the Mk 4 XV814 that made its last flight on January 28, 1993 when it was relocated to Boscombe Down to be used as a spares source for XS235. First flown on December 11, 1958, this aircraft was originally in service with BOAC as G-APDF, and after sale to the Ministry of Technology during 1966 the aircraft underwent rework and was delivered to RAE during 1968. During 1971 a Nimrod-style fin was added, and it received the fin tip pod during 1986, housing an SHF Satcom fit. This classic study from the early 1980s, shows the aesthetic lines of the Comet to good advantage, which also includes the under fuselage radio and navigation equipment pod. At the time of its withdrawal from service, XV814 had amassed over 27,000 flying hours.
General view of the SBAC area seen during September 1960 showing, among others, the Gnat, Sea Vixen, Belvedere, Heron, Jet Provost, Comet, EP-9, Scout, Wasp, Whirlwind and Wessex. Note the exhibition area and the chalets, and compare with the area covered by these today.
The Empire Test Pilots School was resident at Farnborough from 1946 until 1968 occupying the hangar on the south side of the airfield, this now being used today as the civil enclave. In this view are some of the ETPS fleet at Farnborough during 1961. These include a Vampire T.11, Meteor NF.14, Meteor T.7, Hunter F.4, Hunter T.7, Dragonfly HR3, Devon C.1, Shackleton MR.2, Canberra B.2, Swift F.7 and Chipmunk T 10.
The five aircraft that departed Farnborough on March 24, 1994 for Boscombe Down made a single formation flypast shortly after take-off. They are, from right to left, BAe (BAC) 1-11 Srs 402AP XX919, Hawk T.1 XX327, Hunter T.7 WV383, Tornado GR.I ZA449 and Jaguar T.2A ZB615.
Three Canberras departed DRA Bedford on March 24, 1994 - one went directly to Boscombe Down, the other two, B.6 (Mod) WK 163 and B.6 (Mod) WH953, are seen here breaking formation over the Farnborough airfield prior to landing. These two aircraft will be tendered for disposal later this year.
Three of RAE Farnborough's large aircraft used as various trials and research platforms during the 1960s are seen here in close formation, left to right, Shackleton T.4 VP293 used for low-level TV work, Shackleton MR.3 WR972 research for Weapons Flight, and Beverley C.I XB259 for various parachute drop and low-level approach research.
RAE Farnborough’s Beverley C.I XB259 was used for research into load dropping. It is seen here during 1965 making an ULLA drop with a large sled over the Larkhill Range on Salisbury Plain.
Fixed Base Operator, Carroll Aircraft Corporation, began services during January 1989 from the former ETPS hangar and support buildings on the southern boundary of the Farnborough airfield. The Gulfstream IV, BAe 125 and Learjet give testimony to the growing business operations.
Trials were conducted during 1966 of a soft runway arrester bed, the aircraft used being an English Electric Canberra and a Lightning. Lightning P.1 XA847 is seen here entering the arrester bed (gravel pit) at speed during August 1966. Note the intake guard to prevent stones being ingested into the engines. This aircraft is now part of the RAF Museum collection.
The RAE Farnborough Aero Club has been in existence for many years, initially with Tiger Moth G-AJHS on strength. However, with retirement of this aircraft it was replaced with Chipmunk G-BDDD from the mid-1970s. Both aircraft are seen here in formation over Farnborough airfield, the Chipmunk still serving to this day, albeit now in the 'Raspberry Ripple' colour scheme.
The four Devon C.2s of the RAE Communications Flight were withdrawn during late 1985 in favour of three Piper PA-31 Navajo Chieftains. The Devons are seen here in formation, shortly before their retirement. The Navajo lasted only a short period as these loo were withdrawn, and the communications flight disbanded during March 1993. Two of the Devons, XN223 and VP959 continued in service at West Freugh for sonobuoy trials.
Shackleton T.4 VP293 served with RAE Farnborough for many years, latterly undertaking TV sensing trials. It was retired in 1976, being flown to Strathallan where it was eventually broken up early in 1990. VP293 is seen here, during May 1976, in its classic colour scheme of white, grey and Day-Glo.
Shackleton MR3 WR972, resplendent in its new RAE livery of grey, white and dark blue trim, seen here visiting RAE West Freugh during the late 1960s/early 1970s. The Author had the privilege of flying in this aircraft in the ‘nose gunner’s turret' monitoring 'stick bombs' being launched over the Larkhill Range on Salisbury Plain. This aircraft last flew on January 19, 1973 and was placed on the Farnborough fire dump thereafter and subsequently burnt.
Handley Page Hastings C.2 WD480 was purpose-built with the large under fuselage pannier that was to be used for sonobuoy dropping trials. This aircraft spent its entire life with the RAE at Farnborough and is pictured during the early 1970s prior to making its last flight on August 31, 1974 and being condemned to the Farnborough fire dump.
Jaguar B XW566 was retired from flying duties with the RAE at Farnborough some time ago and is now in use with the Avionic Systems Department. It is seen here during December 1989 mounted on an entirely non-metallic wooden plinth for electromagnetic trials.