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Llanbedr (North Wales)

Old 21st Nov 2003, 01:36
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Llanbedr (North Wales)

Does anyone know if Llanbedr is still to close in either 2004 or 2005? I know there was a lot of local uproar as it is quite a big employer for the Cambrian Coast... did this change anything?

For those that don't know Llanbedr, its one of the only places in the country you can find Jindivik target drones, Hawks, Alpha Jets, Canberra (TT18 i think) and last but most DEFINATELY not least an airworthy Meteor D.16.

Many an hour was spent watching some of the training there where a hawk or two would take off and circle whilst a Jindivik would take off aboard its little trolley (no landing gear as such bar a skid). They would then formate and head out over the Irish sea. Never really knew what went on out there but a couple of times the drone didn't return!

If the closure is still going ahead then I would really hate to see the Meteor end up in a museum as it is fully airworthy and to my knowledge it still flies quite a bit (correct me if I'm wrong!) as well as the Canberra(s)...
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Old 21st Nov 2003, 01:48
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best close it - it's in wales
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Old 21st Nov 2003, 02:15
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dada,

A very inappropriate comment. At least come up with something original or the slightest bit witty about the place if you're going to slag it.
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Old 21st Nov 2003, 02:52
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He's like that, full of stupid comments!
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Old 21st Nov 2003, 20:55
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Are the Hawks still there? I thought that they got the Alpha jets because the Hawks were being transfered to the RAF to help keep the training schedule moving.

Looks like the rumours are true then QuinetiQ have already shut down West Freugh, looks like Aberporth and Llanbedr are next.

The loss of the Apprentice scheme was a great loss to an area which has little to offer young people, the loss of the bases will be even worse.
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Old 21st Nov 2003, 22:09
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Back in February, Dr Moonie disclosed that he would consider leasing the base out - apparently Boeing was asked if it was interested!

At that time, he responded to the local MP as follows -
The Llanbedr facility has been operating at a significant financial loss. Last financial year there was an under recovery of £2.4m, this financial year we are expecting losses of over £3.6m. Keeping Llanbedr open would not only result in continuing losses of this kind, the requirement to re-surface the runway and obtain the necessary flight clearance for a new model of Jindivik would incur additional costs of over £10m. These are the facts, closing Llanbedr will save the taxpayer money.
I have found no news since this, apart from a mention in June about considering Llanbedr as one of a number of "regional" airports that could be set up in Wales, along the lines of those in Ireland, using EU grants to subsidise this "public" service! Better not hold your breath on this one.
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Old 21st Nov 2003, 23:06
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I've heard reliable rumours of spirited attempts to turn it into a technology park, centred around the airfield - with Welsh Development Agency grants trying to lure in aviation and hi-tech businesses.

I must admit, I could think of worse places to live and work. Warton for example It could become a sort of British Mojave, acting as a civilian flight test centre, lots of nice open Irish sea to fly over, very little traffic, and a decent airfield facility.


The Jindiviks are / were used as targets or target tugs, mostly the latter. When dealing with autonomous missiles, occasionally you got the tug not the target, hence the use of an unmanned aircraft !

G
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Old 22nd Nov 2003, 00:25
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Used to love going down that bit of coast - standing on the dunes at Shell Island watching the Meteors, Jindiviks and Sea Vixen. Superb! There was always that air of mystery with the place too! Are the Jindiviks being replaced and is the Phantom still on the dump there?
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Old 23rd Nov 2003, 00:08
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Just heard about this from my Mum this morning

£3 Milion helicopter contract for Aberporth

so not all doom and gloom.
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Old 23rd Nov 2003, 15:31
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On a trip to Llanbedr in February 1969 there were 21 Jindivik's on site. I seem to recall that you had to guage the tides right to get to and from the 'island' is this correct?
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Old 25th Nov 2003, 16:07
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The tide across the causeway to Shell Island "holiday park" could indeed be risky if timed wrong

Spent many happy weeks there with the ATC. The sight of the Vixen , 2 of the most gorgous coloured Canberras ever doing pairs approaches , the then based Hawks tail chasing whilst the runway was closed for the Jindivik to be recovered- great stuff

Flying was sporadic but quality.

Getting in the hangar and clambering over the fleet (Vixen -still in its real colours and not the pathetic circus act scheme at the moment) Devon, 2 Hawks, 2 Meteors and about 12 Jindiviks.
The other Vixen XS577 had been retired and was sitting outside, this has since been chopped up but I believe the nose was spared - but from previous threads you may have noticed my hatred of that practice!

The two Hawks were XX154 and XX160 - the very first Hawk to fly and one of the pre-production airframes. Due to pathetic short sightedness, the RAF had to reclaim them as there was a shortfall in the number of Hawks available.Surely in the late 80s the question should have been asked- Our Hawks will soon be knackered shall we order some more while were still making them? But no, we wait until 2003 and very nearly buy joint Italian - Russian types!.
We then had to lease the Hawks lesser rival - the Alpha Jet to perform the reserach functions - any comments from BD or Llanbedr on operating these? Has anyone at ETPS performed an inverted spin since the Hunter was retired??
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Old 26th Nov 2003, 05:12
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The Canberras, WH734 and WK128 are both still there but have not flown since April 2002. (Long term storage pending disposal I think).
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Old 27th Nov 2003, 04:34
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As I understand it Llanbedr is to close at some point in the near future. Their last lifeline is apparently them bidding for the Air Ambulance contract. The Air Ambulance are currently at Caernarfon and seemingly very happy.....so there is a bit of a battle going on.......
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Old 27th Nov 2003, 05:12
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I had heard that the flying activities were going to move down to Aberporth - great shame if that were to be the case. I presume that the Jindiviks will be replaced then as well and things will never be the same............
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Old 28th Nov 2003, 20:36
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The two Hawks were XX154 and XX160 - the very first Hawk to fly and one of the pre-production airframes. Due to pathetic short sightedness, the RAF had to reclaim them as there was a shortfall in the number of Hawks available.Surely in the late 80s the question should have been asked- Our Hawks will soon be knackered shall we order some more while were still making them? But no, we wait until 2003 and very nearly buy joint Italian - Russian types!.
Don't forget that the RAF gave the Royal Navy some "surplus" Hawks to replace the fleet of FRADU Hunters.
Brilliant decision that
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Old 30th Nov 2003, 17:46
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Red face

Jack,

When chatting to the lads in the hangar last December, I learned that severeal vital parts on the Canberras were life expired and replacements were not available.

Elsewhere, I heard a rumour that the two airframes were to be reclaimed to keep 39 Sqn's aircraft in the air; alas, they would be cut=up on site for parts reclamation.

Sad.
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Old 30th Nov 2003, 23:40
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Chairborne,

"Elsewhere, I heard a rumour that the two airframes were to be reclaimed to keep 39 Sqn's aircraft in the air; alas, they would be cut=up on site for parts reclamation."

39's trusty steeds are PR.9s and T.4s. The T.4's could benefit from some bits from the Llanbedr airframes, but not much - small items, jacks, etc. As I heard it, it's the Avons the RAF logistics (at Wyton) want for the T.4s, but there seems to be some inter-departmental thing going on preventing an easy transfer.
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Old 1st Dec 2003, 04:28
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Surely if Air Atlantique and the Ozzies can keep a privately owned Canberra flying each , then the MoD can afford a few bits n pieces to keep at least one of their TT18s flying???

Its laughable it really is - I ask you , a couple of poxy Alpha Jets to essentially replace a Sea Vixen, 2 Meteors, 2 Hawks and 2 Canberras for specialist target facilities and support functions!

Incidentally when I was up there in '91-92 (ish) there was talk of converting a couple of ex RAF Phantoms to high speed drone configuration to replace the cvix. Imagine that a red'n yella Phantom - sooperb!

Then the money dried up when the MoD went civilian.
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Old 1st Dec 2003, 04:50
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Just another example of the cash-strapped era we've ended up in.... But no doubt we're still pi$$ing money away on the worthless MRA4 and the Bureaufighter - can they get its wheels to go up and down yet?

And as for having to rob what are virtually museum pieces in order to keep the ancient aircraft of the RAF's only PRU flying.....words fail me!
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Old 1st Dec 2003, 06:04
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Beeayeate,

For

'There seems to be some inter-departmental thing going on preventing an easy transfer'.

Read

We will sell the spares back to you. (Yes its true)!

hairyclameater

'Surely if Air Atlantique and the Ozzies can keep a privately owned Canberra flying each , then the MoD can afford a few bits n pieces to keep at least one of their TT18s flying'?

Being in the loop I can tell you that both a/c have little problem with spares.

BTW both Llanbedr aircraft have fairly low hours, 3,800 hrs in WK128ís case and WH734 with only1,900 hrs.
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