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Preon
29th Nov 2017, 19:36
Iíve recently tried without luck to establish the identity of the Meteor chase aircraft and pilot that accompanied the (BAC ) Canberra B2 and T4 Lightning during TSR2 first flight. The Meteor features in the distance in at least one official photograph and appears to be a NF variant with a grey radome. Could anyone help please?

chevvron
30th Nov 2017, 02:03
I've only seen the Canberra in various films; I think it was from RAE Bedford.

megan
30th Nov 2017, 02:32
Beamont wrote in a book that the first flight was chased by Jimmy Dell in a Lightning and John Carrodus in a Canberra, both aircraft carrying photographers from Warton. No Meteor mentioned. Perhaps it just happened to be there without being a participant.

DaveReidUK
30th Nov 2017, 06:52
Beamont wrote in a book that the first flight was chased by Jimmy Dell in a Lightning and John Carrodus in a Canberra, both aircraft carrying photographers from Warton. No Meteor mentioned. Perhaps it just happened to be there without being a participant.

There's an NF meteor chase aircraft visible here at 4:29:

MgvGcFV3Xn0&t=269s

but it's clearly not the TSR-2's first flight.

Wander00
30th Nov 2017, 13:31
That as a Canberra showing it the way then, was it? Hat,.... coat.....

ImageGear
30th Nov 2017, 13:57
I saw a brief reference to a Meteor NF14 chase aircraft yesterday, and when I tried again, I had lost the URL. :(

Found another reference: "a bright yellow two seat Meteor NF14 with a clear bubble canopy for photography" from Empire of the Clouds - James Hamilton-Patterson

Also: Possibly, "Meteor NF.14 WS838 Chase Plane (yellow), Meteor NF.14 ARCX Chase Plane". (Could have been two or more? - see list below)

Below refers: Modelling site referenced in 2007

The Testing and Development Program (in 1/72)


The aim of the SIG is to cover what should have happened in the period once the TSR2 flew, rather than cancellation. The prototype batch and the first pre-production aircraft would have been completed. These aircraft would then be used to test and develop various aspects of the TSR2 flight programme and mission profiles.

The first twelve aircraft were assigned to the test program with the remaining eight pre-production machines assigned to form the first operation conversion unit. The goal for 2007 is to produce at least all twelve of these aircraft in their various roles and possibly some of the other aircraft involved in the program, form chase aircraft to systems test beds.
Prototype Batch

Initial production based upon the prototype to test and develop various aspects of the aircrafts handling, performance and systems.

Airframe Serial Development Usage Modeller
P01 XR219 Handling trials Then Buddy refuelling .... Chris Payne Done
P02 XR220 Push envelope boundaries, overseas low alt, prelim weapons release, external .... Ian Moore
P03 XR221 Navigation attack system, overseas .... Joe Cherrie
P04 XR222 Autopilot release, recce pack clearance, auto terrain following radar .... Geoff Baker Done
P05 XR223 Strike cameras, tropical trials, instrumented airframe .... Geoff Baker
P06 XR224 Engine parameters, detached to Bristol Siddley .... Geoff Baker Done
P07 XR225 Systems, flight refuelling buddy trials, recce pack
P08 XR226 Armament trials, internal .... Chris Payne Done
P09 XR227 Navigation attack trials, internal nuke delivery, low alt trials, all outside UK

Pre-Production Batch
Follow onto the prototypes intended to incorporate any modifications required as a result of prototype testing in developing a production standard aircraft. Also intended to set the operational parameters for the type and form the initial training squadron.
Airframe Serial Development Usage Modeller
P10 XS660 Overseas on terrain following radar .... Geoff Baker Done
P11 XS661 AAEE as required on clearance duties
P12 XS662 AAEE as required on clearance duties
P13 XS663 AAEE as required on clearance duties .... Geoff Baker
P14 XS664 Operational trials
P15 XS665 Final weapon operational trials
P16 XS666 237 OCU / 40 Sqdn
P17 XS667 237 OCU / 40 Sqdn
P18 XS668 237 OCU / 40 Sqdn
P19 XS669 237 OCU / 40 Sqdn
P20 XS670 237 OCU / 40 Sqdn .... Geoff Baker Done

Support & Trials Aircraft
In addition to these first 20 TSR2 aircraft a number of other aircraft types were used to develop & test the aircraft systems and to support the flight test program.
Type Serial Operator Use Modeller
Canberra B.2 WD937 Chase Plane (Blk./Grey) .... Chris Payne
Lightning T.4 XM968 Chase Plane (Nat. Alu.) .... Nev

Shackleton MR.2 WR972 Brake Chute .... Chris Payne Done
Vulcan B.1 XA894 Olympus Test (Silver) .... Joe Cherrie
Vulcan B.1 XA890 used for Rapid Blooming Window & IR Decoys 1962-64 (NMF)
Valiant B.1 WZ370 RRE. Trials (Silver) INS
Dakota C.1 TS423 TFR. Ferranti .... Joe Cherrie
Victor B.2 XL513
Buccaneer NA.39 XK487 TFR. Ferranti (White) .... Joe Cherrie
Javelin FAW.7 XH754 IAM. (White)
Meteor NF.11 WD790 RRE. TSR. Nosecone ? .... Martin Higgs
Hermes C.1 VX234 RRE. SLAR. (Std. Sch.)
Hastings C.2 WD496 RRE. CCS. (Std Sch.)
Meteor NF.14 WS838 Chase Plane (yellow)
Meteor NF.14 ARCX Chase Plane, Ferranti
Canberra B.2 XH567 RRE. SLAR. (Black?)
Canberra B.8 WJ643 TFR. Ferranti
Swift F.7 XF114 RAE. Braking (Black)
Scimitar F.1 XD229 RAE. Bombing (Blue) .... Geoff Baker

Hunter F6 WW598 .... Joe Cherrie
Hunter T.12 XE531 .... Joe Cherrie
NT.33 Star 51-4120 .... Joe Cherrie

Valiant B.1 WP208 SLAR
Valiant B.1 WZ383 Recce Pack trials

G-ARCX (WM261) Ex-Ferranti is at East Fortune and is probably the one in the picture shown.

The list above was compiled by a a modeller walking around various facilities looking at old photographs and documents.

Flight test elements (https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/gregersfr/tsr-2-sig-forum-t2347.html)

Google is your friend,


Imagegear

DaveReidUK
30th Nov 2017, 15:33
G-ARCX (WM261) Ex-Ferranti is at East Fortune and is probably the one in the picture shown.

I'm not sure what picture you're referring to.

The Meteor featured in the video isn't an NF.14, so it isn't either G-ARCX or WS838.

ImageGear
30th Nov 2017, 15:45
I concur that the one in the picture is not an NF14, however the aircraft listed above are the only ones that appear to have been allocated to the programme. It is possible that a substitution was made for 1st flight.

Forget the "Probably" and insert "Not" :ok:

Imagegear

DaveReidUK
30th Nov 2017, 16:48
It may be the third Meteor on your list - NF.11 WD790.

Most of the photos of it on the Net show it with its Airpass radar nose, but it didn't acquire that until after the TSR.2 project was cancelled.

ImageGear
30th Nov 2017, 18:10
Yes, I looked it up and it does seem a possibility although it is still an NF type and the picture appears to show a shorter nose.


Imagegear

megan
1st Dec 2017, 00:33
Comments made by Beamont in his book re chase aircraft.

Flight Number
1. Lightning, Canberra
2. Chase, no type mentioned
5. Chase Jimmy Dell in Lightning T4
10. Chase, no type mentioned
14. Chase Dell, Lightning T4 with phot pax John Whittaker
16. Chase Dell, no aircraft type mentioned

Total of 24 flights made

Photo of the very first landing from the book

olympus
1st Dec 2017, 13:44
I posted this in 'Where are they now' in 2014-

This is not a 'where are they now' query, more of an 'is this who I think it might be' sort of question...

I've just finished reading (and much enjoyed btw) 'Tester Zero One' by Wg Cdr Robby Robinson in which he refers to Geoff Boston as being one of the Meteor chase 'plane pilots for the TSR2's first flight at Boscombe Down in 1964. Is this the same Geoff Boston who was a Fokker F27 captain with Air UK in the 80s/early 90s?

I got this reply from lights to minimum:-

Yes, Geoff was a staff pilot at Boscombe Down and I believe one of the only non ETPS qualified men on B Squadron. To my belief he only flew the larger, multi engine types but of course he may well have flown the Meteor, although he never mentioned that fact to me.

Geoff was a fine pilot who was totally unfazed by anything and a great chum of mine who I've not seen for some years.

I hope he is still around and keeping well - listening to his beloved Wagner operas.

Does this help?

DaveReidUK
1st Dec 2017, 14:19
Yes, Geoff was a staff pilot at Boscombe Down and I believe one of the only non ETPS qualified men on B Squadron. To my belief he only flew the larger, multi engine types but of course he may well have flown the Meteor, although he never mentioned that fact to me.

He did indeed fly the Meteor as part of the TSR-2 programme:

"Recollections of period as test pilot with E (Transport Trials) Sqdn at Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down, GB, 1964-1969: role of E Sqdn; character of Blackburn Beverley and Armstong Whitworth Argosy; crew on board Blackburn Beverley; landing capability of Blackburn Beverley; variation in work; flying Gloster Meteor; flying photographic chases on BAe TSR 2 in Gloster Meteor; opinion of BAe TSR 2."

Boston, Geoffrey Alan (Oral history) (29827) (http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80027950)

Preon
1st Dec 2017, 21:04
I posted this in 'Where are they now' in 2014-

This is not a 'where are they now' query, more of an 'is this who I think it might be' sort of question...

I've just finished reading (and much enjoyed btw) 'Tester Zero One' by Wg Cdr Robby Robinson in which he refers to Geoff Boston as being one of the Meteor chase 'plane pilots for the TSR2's first flight at Boscombe Down in 1964. Is this the same Geoff Boston who was a Fokker F27 captain with Air UK in the 80s/early 90s?

I got this reply from lights to minimum:-

Yes, Geoff was a staff pilot at Boscombe Down and I believe one of the only non ETPS qualified men on B Squadron. To my belief he only flew the larger, multi engine types but of course he may well have flown the Meteor, although he never mentioned that fact to me.

Geoff was a fine pilot who was totally unfazed by anything and a great chum of mine who I've not seen for some years.

I hope he is still around and keeping well - listening to his beloved Wagner operas.

Does this help?

Ref Robby Robinson quote above. So there was a Meteor chase aircraft on the first flight?
The Canberra B2 and Lightning T4 were both operated by BAC Warton

Thereís a photo of the first flight of TSR2 signed by Jimmy Dell with Meteor cropped out but itís also available with a distant NF Meteor fitted with what appears a grey radome in the distance over the snowy Wilts landscape.

I had considered WD790 but it had at least three test noses during its long service the chase NF Meteor has a standard nose and multi framed canopy consistent with the NF.11 variant but not the longer NF.14.
Ferrantis ex NF.14 at East Fortune has the frameless canopy.

Is it possible that WM367 NF.13 was used as the chase aircraft?
It hasnít been mentioned yet and it had a grey radome and was a long serving airframe , the nose section survives with East Midlands Museum.

Thanks to all for your help I very much appreciate all the contributions on this subject ifs always interesting to look again at XR219ís test flights.

I read once that no known photo exists of XR221 at Wisley or Foulness but I guess thatís another story waiting to be debunked.

DaveReidUK
1st Dec 2017, 22:00
Is it possible that WM367 NF.13 was used as the chase aircraft?
It hasnít been mentioned yet and it had a grey radome and was a long serving airframe , the nose section survives with East Midlands Museum.

That's certainly another A&AEE possibility - it's impossible to discern from that video whether it's an NF.11 or NF.13 as they were almost identical.

As for WD790, I've yet to find any photos of it before it inherited the pointy nose from one of Ferranti's Canberras, so I think the jury is still out on that one.

pmills575
2nd Dec 2017, 06:47
Just for the sake of accuracy, in the list of support aircraft the Shackleton identity is incorrect. If the serial is WR972 then the mark is 3 not 2. Clearly if the serial is something else then it may indeed be a Mk2.

DaveReidUK
2nd Dec 2017, 08:00
Just for the sake of accuracy, in the list of support aircraft the Shackleton identity is incorrect. If the serial is WR972 then the mark is 3 not 2. Clearly if the serial is something else then it may indeed be a Mk2.

Almost certainly WR972, which spent its career with the RAE, mostly on brake chute development.

PPRuNe thread from 2013 about it here: Shackleton WR972 (http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/521859-shackleton-wr972.html)