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RRE Pershore

Old 31st Mar 2013, 20:55
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RRE Pershore

What was the last flying done at Pershore before it closed?
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Old 1st Apr 2013, 06:19
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1 July 1976: Canberra B2/6 WK163 moved across to Bedford and was the first of the Canberra fleet to leave.

25 April 1977: Viscount XT661 was transferred to RAE Bedord upon the closure of Pershore.

18 May 1977: Canberra BI8(mod) B6 WT333 was moved to Bedford.

The Bedford Canberra fleet consisted of airframes:
XH567,WT327,WJ992,XH568,WH953,WK163.
Many of which would have Pershore in their history in some form.

At least 2 Hastings had operated there: TG514 & WD499 but these had been withdrawn from use by the mid seventies.

History:
06/34 to /39, Worcestershire Flying School with Tiger Moths, closed soon after the start of WW2 when the airfield was requisitioned.
Opened 02/41 the airfield was attacked by the Luftwaffe three times.
04/41 to 03/44, No. 23 OTU training Canadian crews with Wellingtons.
03/44 to /48, No. 1 Ferry Unit collecting and delivering all type of aircraft.
/48 to /53, No. 10 Advanced Flying School with Oxfords.
/57 to /78, Royal Radar Establishment Flying Unit testing many different radar test-bed aircraft.

Last edited by Tiger_mate; 1st Apr 2013 at 07:18.
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Old 1st Apr 2013, 18:47
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66/67, before 360 had its full complement of T17s we did some one week detachments at RRE -loved their aeroplanes - immaculately clean, heated socks and gloves and at half time on an exercise/trial you came below 10,000 ft for soup and sarnies. Oh, and if rudderlocks required, no flying, civvie ground crew would not take rudder locks out with engines running. Great fun and good experience.
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Old 18th Sep 2016, 20:17
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Comet Aircraft Trace

I am trying to ascertain the registration of the Comet 4 which was used at RAF Pershore in the 60's - 70's. Can anyone throw some light on this for me. I was Chief Flt Eng at 2-16 Sqn Lyneham for some 10 years and there was a Master Engineer Ginge Ellison that I taught. He was on this aircraft. I have lost touch with him and the Reg of the said Comet (4C)?
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Old 18th Sep 2016, 23:54
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Originally Posted by bahrain80 View Post
I am trying to ascertain the registration of the Comet 4 which was used at RAF Pershore in the 60's - 70's. Can anyone throw some light on this for me. I was Chief Flt Eng at 2-16 Sqn Lyneham for some 10 years and there was a Master Engineer Ginge Ellison that I taught. He was on this aircraft. I have lost touch with him and the Reg of the said Comet (4C)?
Are you thinking of Nimrod prototype XV148, which flew from Pershore between 1975 and 1977?
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Old 24th Sep 2016, 00:17
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There were never any Comets based at Pershore. RAE Farnborough had Comet 2E, XN453 and Comet 4s, XV814 and XX944, whilst RAE Bedford had Comet 2 XV144 and Comet 3 XP915 on the Blind Landing Experimental Unit. RRE had none, so this must be Nimrod XV148.
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Old 24th Sep 2016, 08:14
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In June 1972 there was a Puma HC1, XW234 based at Pershore. The trial at that time was a Low Light TV camera looking forward with a TV screen in the cockpit. As there was a lot of work under the aircraft to fit this it was put up on jacks and the undercarriage retracted to give more room. The installation was successful and they had a beautiful picture of the world through the open hanger doors.

They tidied it up, wheeled it out, the crew started it up and switched on the kit.

There was a beautiful picture of the back of the nosewheel.

I was invited to fly this from Pershore to Odiham so that the station wheels could have a looksee. Once airborne one could retract the gear and have a narrow fixed field of view ahead; sufficient for one to get lost immediately after passing over the airfield boundary. Fortunately by using DR one could find the M4 which was going the same way and we arrived at Odiham.

The idea was to see how far it could be flown on the approach before on had to look outside the cockpit. To this end I flew it with the undercarriage retracted towards our dispersal. Unbeknown to me there was a VIP visit to the squadron so there were all these senior officers having kittens and waving furiously. When I eventually lowered the gear their cardiac systems returned to normal.

It was a prototype for the myriad observation systems that are mounted in helicopters nowadays.
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Old 24th Sep 2016, 09:24
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Fareast driver: similar thing happened with the Varsity at Farnborough which trialed FLIR and LLTV. It came back from a trip late at night and OC Flying flew over the airfield to find out what detail he could see and was heard to declare on the tape 'I'm happy to try a landing using that picture'.
So he flew a visual circuit and lowered the gear, only for the nosewheel to block the view of the FLIR, both it and the LLTV sensors being in the forward vision panels in the 'bomb bay' below the aircraft!
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 16:47
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Still looking for that elusive Comet 4C which was used by the RRU at Pershore. To my knowledge it was not the 3 aircraft that Dave reid and Amos Keeto mentioned above. I'm sure it was a passenger Comet 4C.
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 18:23
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Well we tried ...
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 23:20
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Yes indeed. I related all the facts regarding the locations of all the military Comets. There was NO Comet 4C based at RRE (not RRU) Pershore! The only possible answer was it was one of those I listed detached from Farnborough. As the RAE later absorbed RRE and Pershore became RAE Pershore, that is more than likely it was Comet 4 (not '4C')XV814 which was operated by the Avionics Division, or possibly XX944.
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 11:36
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'814 was based at Farnborough continuously from Aug '74 until the day it was my sad duty to write in the ATC Log Book in the early 90s that it had just departed to Boscombe Down on its final flight. I scrounged several flights in it, the longest being 4.5 hours flying from Farnborough, then backwards and forwards between Alconbury and Ullapool.
Talkdownman did better than that. He was on a flight which due to weather got diverted to Kinloss where they had to stay overnight. The sight of him next day when he finally arrived back at Farnborough having not shaved can best be described as 'gruesome'.
When it arrived back at Farnborough in Aug '74, the runway having just that day been re-opened after re-surfacing, I remember there were two other Comet 4s which arrived at the same time, one of them being newly acquired from Dan Air (possibly '944) and was flown for only a few hours before being sent to Lasham but what happened to the other I don't know.
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 13:52
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Comet 4 XW626 'Conrod' operated from RRE Bedford ~ 1977-78. I made one (only one) guest appearance during the early radar trials. Flying was disappointing, involving 'wing warping' for roll and gear changes for pitch control.
Most disconcerting was the presence of a test engineer on the flight deck equipped with a radiometer /dosimeter looking for stray energy from the radar waveguide which ran just to the side of the first officers seat (mine)!
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 14:08
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Comet XV147 was built as a Comet 4C and made just one flight in 1965 from Chester to Woodford where it was converted to the second Nimrod prototype and made its second flight 31st July 1967, although it always retained the Avon 525 engines. It went to Pershore on 23/12/75 for Nimrod avionics research, then to the [email protected]
So this airframe was very likely the one mentioned in post #4
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 15:26
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Originally Posted by sandringham1 View Post
Comet XV147 was built as a Comet 4C and made just one flight in 1965 from Chester to Woodford where it was converted to the second Nimrod prototype and made its second flight 31st July 1967, although it always retained the Avon 525 engines. It went to Pershore on 23/12/75 for Nimrod avionics research, then to the [email protected]
So this airframe was very likely the one mentioned in post #4
Are you saying that the sources quoting XV148 as arriving at Pershore on that date, as referred to above, are incorrect? What's your source?
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 16:27
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Dave
The date is quoted in a 1993 Aviation News article on trials Comets, whether it is correct or not I cannot confirm. It does make sense for XV147 to have been at Pershore for the Nimrod avionics trials as that was what it was intended for, its Avons being fitted with additional engine driven generators to supply the large power demand. XV148 on the other hand was the aerodynamic prototype and that had Speys.
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 18:06
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The Pershore flight operations diary shows Nimrod 148 operating from there from December 1975 onwards. First noted flight on 30 December 1975.

Bill Sleigh's "Aircraft for Airborne Radar Development" says: "To accommodate the Searchwater project in a more representative aircraft during the period
following the decision to close Pershore, BAe Woodford was contracted to prepare the first Nimrod/Spey prototype XV148 for installation of Searchwater. This task was completed and
the aircraft delivered to Pershore on 23 December 1975 for installation of the radar, including modifications omitted from the contract. Nimrod XV148 operated from Pershore aerodrome
from mid 1976 until June 1977 when it was one of the last aircraft to transfer to Bedford"
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Old 13th Oct 2016, 16:28
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Amos

Just for info re your post I have 915 down in my log book when it was at BLEU in Feb 65 as a 3C - Don't know the implications of the C though

JF
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Old 13th Oct 2016, 18:06
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Originally Posted by John Farley View Post
Just for info re your post I have 915 down in my log book when it was at BLEU in Feb 65 as a 3C - Don't know the implications of the C though
Me neither. The only Comet 3 that ever flew, G-ANLO/XP915, started life as a 3 and later acquired the wings of the 4B, becoming a Comet 3B.

I've never seen any reference to it as a "3C",though I suppose it's possible that the MoD might have referred to it as the Comet C.3, given that the C.4 came along later.
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Old 18th Oct 2016, 20:09
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Thanks Dave, It would appear that the Comet was 148 which was later used as the nimrod trials aircraft. Of interest, I was chief Flt Engineer at RAF Lyneham during the 70's and was teaching a Master Engineer Ginge Elliston at that time. He was on the "Comet" at Pewrshore but i never did get the aircraft registration from him. He must be long gone now but I would have liked to know if anyone has heard of him or knew him. The only remaining Comet 4C's of 2-16 Sqn are XR398 (In a field in Germany in Dan Air livery) and XR399 which is at East Fortune airport nr Edinburgh also in DA livery> 395/6 and 7 were used by Dan Air after RAF and then scrapped I believe at Lasham. Thanks all of you for the info you have provided. - Tony Clack
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