Aircraft

Over the years of being at Barrows Lane the RAF has loaned a number of display aircraft to the Squadron along with owning aircraft prior.

USA Fairchild 24 C.8
G-AECO

1347 (Elmdon) Squadron received the Fairchild 24 C.8 G-AECA (formerly NC15664) from the RAF at the end of its service life.

A record and photograph of the USA Fairchild 24 C.8 G-AECA can be found in the book “A Flying Life: An Enthusiast’s Photographic Record of British Aviation in the 1930s” by Richard Riding.

De Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk T10
WB758

In the 1960′s the squadron had a chipmunk in its care. The cadets were very proud of their Chipmunk and took great care of it. One group even managed to restore the aircraft’s engine to working order. Shortly afterwards in 1967 the aircraft was withdrawn and returned to the RAF. The RAF used it as part of their travelling exhibition, the Chipmunk making its debut at Sommerville Park in Birmingham. When the aircraft was retired the RAF donated it to Torbay Aircraft Musuem.
The Museum closed in the late eighties and the aircraft auctioned off. The Chipmunk was sold for £5200, to be restored to airworthiness ( Air North Magazine from November 1988). It is suspected that the Chipmunk was acquired by K&L Aero and spares (Possibly K & L Aero Services (Holbeach) Limited)

Service History:

  • Delivery Date: 23 Nov 1950
  • To: Unknown
  • For: Unknown
  • Struck off Charge: 20 Sep 1961 as CAT 5C at No.71 MU Bicester
  • Delivery Date: 4 Sep 1967
  • To: 2030 (Elmdon and Yardley) Squadron
  • For: Ground Instruction as 7729M
  • Struck off Charge: 20 Oct 1972
  • Delivery Date: 20 Oct 1972
  • To: Torbay Air Museum
  • For: Unknown
  • Struck off Charge: Unknown
  • Delivery Date: Unknown
  • To: Privately Owned Torquay area, Devon
  • For: Unknown

WB758 – A photo of the Chipmunk taken on 11 Mar 1973 at Torbay Air Museum
Image used by kind permission of Chris England

Hawker Hunter Mk.4
XF941

In 1968 after many requests from the Squadron commanding officer for the Chipmunk to be replaced a Hawker Hunter arrived at Barrows Lane. The sleek 1950′s aircraft was a big hit with everyone on the Squadron, however as it was much bigger and more sophisticated the new aircraft was much more difficult to maintain. In 1971 the aircraft was purchased by Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd and it was renovated and rebuilt into a Mk.58A with an uprated Avon 207 series engine. Under the company’s serial number G-9-374 the Hunter was sold to the Swiss airforce. In 1974 it was sent in kit form to the Swiss Federal aircraft factory at Emmen, near Lucerne. The aircraft in Swiss airforce livery was given the serial number J-4139.

Service History:

  • Delivery Date: 19 Apr 1956
  • To: RAF Kinloss, 45MU, 71(F), 229OCU
  • For: Ground Instruction
  • Struck off Charge:
  • Delivery Date: 19 Apr 1956
  • To: 2030 (Elmdon and Yardley) Squadron
  • For: Ground Instruction as 8006M
  • Struck off Charge:
  • Delivery Date: Mar 1972
  • To: Hawker Siddeley Aviation
  • For: Conversion to FGA9 standard (FMk58A) at HSA Dunsfold (Serial G-9-374)
  • Struck off Charge: 29 Jul 1974
  • Delivery Date: 29 Jul 1974
  • To: Swiss Air Force
  • For: Active Service as J-4139, Mk 58A
  • Struck off Charge: 2 Nov 1989 at Interlaken AFB and scrapped
XF941 – A photo of the Hunter taken on 18 June 1968 at Barrows Lane.
Image used by kind permission of D Peace
J-4139 – A photo of the XF941 Hunter taken on 27 Aug 1988 at Dübendorf Air Base.
Image used by kind permission of Johan A. (Hans) Engles

Gloster Meteor TT.20
WD646

In 1972 the Squadron received a Gloster Meteor as a replacement aircraft. Built in 1950 as a night fighter, this aircraft never saw active service. It was kept in storage by the RAF until Armstrong-Whitworth converted it from an NF2 to a target tow (TT). The aircraft served with the Central Signals Establishment, 3/4 Civilian Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit (CAACU) and finally 5 CAACU . When the meteor retired from its target towing duties it was sent to RAF Cosford for use as a ground instructional airframe. After a few years at Cosford the aircraft was sent to 2030 (Elmdon and Yardley) Squadron.

When the Meteor arrived it was in a poor condition, the aircraft’s day glow panels were faded and its polished skin was showing signs of wear. The Squadron painted the aircraft in its old night fighter camouflage with the markings of 85 Squadron RAF. In 1990 the aircraft was returned to its target towing livery.

After 20 twenty years of being out in the open, the old air-frame had finally succumbed to its age and was withdrawn, the Squadron did not receive a replacement for the Meteor, and no longer has its own aircraft. The Meteor was transferred to RAF Manston History Museum with the livery and serial number of WD615.

Service History:

  • Delivery Date: 15 Nov 1951
  • To: RAF
  • For: Unknown
  • Struck off Charge: 5 Apr 1961
  • Delivery Date: 5 Apr 1961
  • To: Armstrong-Whitworth
  • For: Conversion to TT20 Standard
  • Struck off Charge: 28 Nov 1961
  • Delivery Date: 28 Nov 1961
  • To: CAACU
  • For: Active Service as Target Tow
  • Struck off Charge: 28 Nov 1961
  • Delivery Date: 28 Nov 1961
  • To: No.2 SoTT, RAF Cosford
  • For: Ground Instruction as 8189M
  • Struck off Charge: Unkown
  • Delivery Date: 1972
  • To: 2030 (Elmdon and Yardley) Squadron
  • For: Ground Instruction
  • Struck off Charge: Unknown
  • Delivery Date: Unknown
  • To: RAF Manston History Museum, Kent
  • For: Unknown as WD615 Colour Scheme)
WD646 – A photo of the Meteor taken on 26 Mar 1970 at Exeter CAACU
Image used by kind permission of Chris England
WD646 – A photo of the Meteor taken on 4 Jun 1977 at Barrows Lane.
Image used by kind permission of Bob Woolnough
WD646 – A photo of the Meteor taken on 16 Jun 1984 at Barrows Lane.
Painted in the night fighter camouflage and the markings of 85 Squadron.
Image used by kind permission of M Hopwood
A photo of the Meteor painted as WD615 taken at The RAF Manston History Museum.
Image used by kind permission of RAF Manson History Museum

RAF Manston History Museum

RAF History Museum, 
Manston Road,
Ramsgate,
Kent
CT12 5DF

www.rafmanston.co.uk
facebook.com/manstonhistorymuseum

Logo used with permission from RAF Manston History Museum