Aviation Historian 41
J.Ford - The case for the Scimitar
In the company of the Fairey Gannet AEW.3s with which the type would co-operate during anti-shipping sorties, Scimitar XD235/“149/R” has its wings folded while preparing for a display at Yeovilton in the early 1960s.
The author beside a de Havilland Tiger Moth during training. He joined Scimitar-equipped No 800 Sqn in March 1961 and later served with No 736 Sqn on Scimitar conversion duties.
Scimitar F.1 XD323/“162/H” of No 804 Sqn (note the unit’s motif of a tiger’s head with a sword in its mouth on the fin) circa 1961 while embarked in HMS Hermes. The inboard pylons carry fuel tanks, while the outboard pylons are fitted with bomb-carriers, each carrying a pair of 25lb practice-bombs.
Seen here on the port outer pylon of Scimitar XD215/“611” of No 736 Sqn, the American-built Martin Marietta AGM-12 Bullpup air-to-surface missile used a Manual Command Line of Sight guidance system - which effectively meant the launch aircraft had to follow the missile to the target, thus offering little advantage over a standard bombing run and arguably being more dangerous.
A pair of Scimitars of No 803 Sqn - XD250/“147/R” and XD320/“148/R” - roar away on a sortie, each carrying a pair of 200 Imp gal (910lit) fuel tanks on the inner wing pylons. Receiving its first Scimitars in June 1958, No 803 Sqn embarked in HMS Victorious to become the first operational unit to be equipped with the type
Scimitar F.1 XD268/“156/V” at the SBAC show at Farnborough in 1961. The type was a regular visitor to the show in the late 1950s and 1960s.
Four Scimitars of No 807 Sqn up from Lossiemouth in June 1959. The unit reformed at the Scottish base with the receipt of eight Scimitars in October 1958, and remained ashore until embarking in HMS Ark Royal in March 1960. The unit performed a memorable synchronised landing display at the 1959 SBAC Farnborough show