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RAF Chipmunks

Old 4th Oct 2015, 11:55
  #441 (permalink)  
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Aeromys ...

As promised, here is a bit more background for you

You might be interested to know that your Mum would have been 1 of only 13 Female VR (Preliminary Flying Badge qualified) Cadet Pilots, out of a total of 58 VR PFB Cadet Pilots in 1953.

More information here on pages 84 & 85. It's very interesting to read about the 'politics' of the time leading up to the closure of the RFS's

RAF Reserve & Auxiliary Forces

15 RFS was part of 65 (London) Reserve Group - HQ Hendon along with 18 RFS (Fairoaks), 17 RFS (Hornchurch) and 1 RFS (Panshanger)

More follows ...

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Old 4th Oct 2015, 13:02
  #442 (permalink)  
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Now let's cover the various airframes your Mum would have flown (those advised by you so far that is).

Firstly I must give due credit to Messrs H Shields, R Brown, J Goncalves and R Blievers for their help by way of their splendid book 'Chipmunk - The Poor Man's Spitfire', also B Fisher and his publication 'Chipmunk - The First Forty Years' (Published in 1986), in providing the following summaries. I have supplemented with my own research as appropriate.

Referring to the pictures you have posted, WP801 is the only airframe readily identifiable. The airframe showing 32 on the mid section of the fuselage is almost certainly a RFS airframe but I'm unable to tie it up to a Serial Number at the moment.

WP801 (C1-0683) is now under Civil Registration in the US as N801WP and is still airworthy and based in Montana.

Following service with the RFS, it would appear WP801 joined the Royal Navy and sported the Cowl Number 911.



Image Credit : M Freer



The picture you have posted is historically very interesting. Firstly you will note that she is flying without Spinning Strakes and the Spinner removed. Spinner problems plagued the RAF Chipmunk until late 1950 when the Spinner was removed permanently and the Backplate retained to duct cooling air into the front of the engine. A later mod corrected the Spinner problem.

The picture also shows the 'Two Stage Amber' screens on the sides of the front canopy perspex ... when in use the Front Seat student/pilot would wear complementary Blue Filter goggles to undertake IF training ... but that's another story

More follows ...

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 7th Oct 2015 at 07:48.
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 13:27
  #443 (permalink)  
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WP800 (C1-0692) - G-BCXN



Image Credit : M Wren

WP800 went on to serve with Southampton University Air Squadron until 1975, although it appears she may have been operated by 2 AEF during 1967.

WP795 (C1-0687) - G-BVZZ



Image Credit : Unknown

WP795, sporting the Cowl Number 901, served with the Royal Navy. She would now appear to be operated by the Portsmouth Navy Gliding Club.

WP805 (C1-0699) - G-MAJR



Image Credit : Unknown

WP805 appears to have served with 6 AEF out of Abingdon at some point. I can't be date specific, perhaps Smudge might know more. Sadly I don't have any further service information

WP808 (C1-0704) - G-BDEU



Image Credit : Unable to assign

WP808 is sadly no longer airworthy having been destroyed beyond economic repair by high winds at Prestwick in Jan 2012

More follows ...
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 13:41
  #444 (permalink)  
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Finally ...

WB638 (C1-0081) - VH-BUR and WB639 (C1-0082) - VH-RNF ... as I can't be quite sure your Mum's F414 records an 8 or 9. Both these airframes were lost whilst on the Australian Civil Register in 1957 and 1961 respectively. WB638 was a Spinning incident and WB639 was an EFATO. Perhaps our good friend Dora-9 who is a renowned authority on Australian Chipmunks, knows more here.

WP796 (C1-0688) - Variously VR-NBK, 5N-AAG and ZS-CHP went to Nigeria in the first instance after disposal by the RAF but appears to be still airworthy under the South African Civil Registration ZS-CHP and based in Stellenbosch SA. Unfortunately I've been unable to trace a current picture for you.

I hope the above has been of some interest to you ... hopefully your Mum will be pleased to see that the majority of airframes she flew are still flying !!!

Let me know if I can help further ...

Best regards ...

Coff.

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 5th Oct 2015 at 07:29.
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 13:44
  #445 (permalink)  
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Smudge ...

If Mr T still has his 3822 and a Pilot's name is recorded, I might know of him and the airframe

Best ...

Coff.
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 14:00
  #446 (permalink)  
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For those interested ...

I've been speaking to our good friend RNHF_Pilot who has kindly offered to post some current pics of the RN Historic Flight Chipmunk WK608 (906). We may also hear more on the restoration of WB657 (908) to 'airworthiness' for the RNHF

Best ...

Coff.
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 14:45
  #447 (permalink)  
 
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Coff,

805 was definitely on the inventory of 6AEF 1977 - 1979. I had the great pleasure of accompanying some fine "drivers airframe" in the aircraft. Unfortunately I have few memories of exactly who. It may well have been the aircraft I put on the grass, whilst attempting to taxy it back to the pan (under supervision of course). Something about driving it on the ground was well beyond my Ken, as they say.

WB586 A Chipmunk T.10
WK589 C Chipmunk T.10
WP805 D Chipmunk T.10
WP914 E Chipmunk T.10
WZ847 F Chipmunk T.10

Whatever was, or happened to B (Bravo) ?

Smudge

Last edited by smujsmith; 4th Oct 2015 at 15:26.
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 15:44
  #448 (permalink)  
 
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WP805 was still operated by 6AEF at Benson until June 1993 when I last flew her but it could have continued for a while longer. WP914 was there in March 1995, WZ847 was there in July 1995 and WK589 in January 1994 when I last flew them.

Last edited by 26er; 4th Oct 2015 at 16:01.
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 16:53
  #449 (permalink)  
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Smudge ...

I'll have a look at your airframe Serial Numbers for 6 AEF ... and report back

Welcome 26er ... Good to have you join in

Best ...

Coff.
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 16:55
  #450 (permalink)  
 
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RAF Chipmunks

I too can add a bit about the 6 AEF Chipmunks. I was an Air Cadet on an Air Cadet Navigation Scholarship in Apr 1980. My pilot for the course was a regular officer F/O I G Smith (wonder where he is now) but also did a couple of flights with Flt Lt O B Hart and one afternoon did a trip with Air Cmre Brooke from MOD. The AEF boss at the time was S/L Don Gardner who designed a 6 AEF badge based on the Uffingham White Horse, a badge I still have. The aircraft I flew in were:WP877, WP805, WK589, WB586 & WP914. Although I did a Flying Scholarship later that year at Compton Abbas without doubt that two weeks at Abingdon was one of the highlights of my cadet life.
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 17:06
  #451 (permalink)  
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Thanks ATR43 ...

I'll include WP877

Coff.
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 18:26
  #452 (permalink)  
 
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RAF Chipmunks

Coff ; Please accept apologies for a typo error, serial no should read WZ877
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 18:39
  #453 (permalink)  
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No worries
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 21:22
  #454 (permalink)  
 
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ATR43,

Sqn Ldr Don Gardner (Gardiner ?) was the boss of 6 AEF during my time there. Whilst I served only as pond life, as I left on promotion to senior pond life circa 77 I did not have the pleasure of your enjoyment of one of Oxfordshires best kept secrets. I remember that one of the regular pilots was a VR gentleman, who had a habit of staying airborne beyond our published working hours, and really pushed the belief in the fuel gauges on each main plane. His late return one day was followed by our refuelling the aircraft with 20 gallons of fuel. Those who know will remember that the gauges had a "full" level of 9 gallons a side. He was pushing it. We decided to bring his late arrivals, and our annoyance, to his attention. So he became the gentleman who taxied on to the pan to be greeted by no marshaller, only a fire extinguisher with a note on it - "Hangar keys under the mat, put it to bed yourself". As I recall he managed to get some help from the duty crew. It had no effect though as I recall. He always came back late. I would admit though that he flew me over the cooling towers at Didcot power station, inverted, insisting it was the best way to see "the workings". 6 AEF was indeed, a great place to work for Groundcrew.

Smudge
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Old 4th Oct 2015, 23:38
  #455 (permalink)  
 
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ATR 43
'Hobie' Hart was one of our regular chippie pilots at 6 AEF and used to put a lot of hours in.
When Don Gardner retired he reappeared next day as a VRT Flying Hofficer,and ISTR was looking forward (if you will excuse the pun) of flying the chippies from the front seat for a change.
Whilst I was involved with 6AEF/ULAS (1980 - 83) -
One of our local Air Traffic Master Pilots did a recurrency course as his resettlement course and came back as a VRT Flying Hofficer !
ISTR that an Air Commodore did as well

rgds LR
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Old 5th Oct 2015, 00:59
  #456 (permalink)  
 
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Devil

Perhaps our good friend Dora-9 who is a renowned authority on Australian Chipmunks, knows more here.
Flattery, Coff, as you well know, will get you everywhere! Here are the histories I have for those two Chipmunks:

C1-0081 DHB.f.14
T.10
WB638
05.06.1950 Delivered
09.06.1950 18 RFS, Fairoaks
14.06.1951 15 RFS, Redhill
11.11.1953 20 MU, Aston Down
17.08.1955 Non effective stock
11.09.1956 Sold to WS Shackleton Ltd dismantled at Ashton Down by
Helliwells Ltd.

VH-BVR

10.01.1957 Goulburn Aero Club,
Goulburn NSW.
19.01.1957 Spun in SE of Goulburn NSW
20.01.1957 SOR


“Crashed about one mile SE of Goulburn Aerodrome. The Chipmunk had only arrived at the club some two weeks ago and was being flown by Stephen Joseph Sykes (36) president of the Aero Club with passenger Selwyn William Jolly. At about 2000 feet, entered a spin, failed to pull out and crashed into ‘Newacres’, a property owned by former Governor-General Sir William McKell. Sykes was ex-RAAF and had flown with 455 Squadron on Beaufighters earning a DSO and a DFC.” (Sydney Morning Herald 20.01.57)

John Willis (former LaTrobe Valley Aero Club CFI) advises that this aircraft was initially purchased by LVAC, but was sold on by them with the aircraft still crated.




C1-0082 DHB.f.15
T.10
WB639
01.06.1950 Delivered
09.06.1950 18 RFS, Fairoaks
21.07.1953 9 MU, Cosford
21.07.1953 20 MU, Aston Down
17.08.1955 Non effective stock
11.09.1956 Sold to WS Shackleton Ltd,
dismantled at Ashton Down
by Helliwells Ltd.

VH-RNF*
19.09.1958 ATR Royal Newcastle Aero Club
Broadmeadow NSW.
09.12.1961 Lost power after T/off,
West Maitland NSW.
14.12.1961 SOR




*Second use- see also C1-0467

“Engine failed on take-off from West Maitland Aerodrome & the aircraft crashed in an adjoining paddock. Pilot & passenger escaped serious injury, but ‘RNF was extensively damaged.” ( AHSA Journal Dec 1961).






Now, the photo larder is rather bare here - no photos of either WB638 or WB639, nor any of VH-BVR (hardly surprising considering that it was in service for a mere 10 days!). But I do have a photo of the RNAC's first VH-RNF.





I hope this fills in a few corners.
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Old 5th Oct 2015, 13:59
  #457 (permalink)  
 
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Would anyone have a definitive list of aircraft operated by 6AEF at White Waltham,between Sept `67 and Feb `68...? Were there any other units there that `pooled` the aircraft,as my logbook appears to have regs. that don`t appear on Chipmunk listings...possibly I was dyslexic,or under other `influences` whilst writing it up...?
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Old 5th Oct 2015, 14:10
  #458 (permalink)  
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Sycamore ...

Let me help the guys above first ... then I'll gladly help you. If you PM me with the Serial Numbers you have ... that will help

White Waltham did have some pooling ... but let's have a look

Best ...

Coff.
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Old 5th Oct 2015, 14:14
  #459 (permalink)  
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Thanks Dora-9

So it was WB638 that served with 15 RFS.

I'd gladly buy you a beer, but given the distance between us ... 'flattery' will have to do

Best ...

Coff.
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Old 5th Oct 2015, 15:02
  #460 (permalink)  
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Smudge, 26er, ATR43 and Longer Ron ... Gentlemen ...

I thought it might be a good 'Kick Off' point with a bit of history on 6 AEF. This isn't a definitive chronology ... more info I have pulled together from various sources. If we can add to it ... so much the better

6 AEF was formed at RAF White Waltham in July 1958 where it was co-located with the then HQ Air Cadets. At the time I believe First Line Servicing was the responsibility of Short Bros.

The Flight moved to RAF Abingdon in September 1973 where it was co-located with the University of London Air Squadron (ULAS) and Oxford University Air Squadron (OUAS). First Line Servicing was then undertaken by RAF personnel.

As mentioned by ATR43, 6 AEF trained students who were accepted for the Cadet Air Navigation Training Scheme.

I believe that 6 AEF was responsible for the production of the Air Cadet briefing film 'Air Experience Flying'. This was the second of two films produced for Chipmunk AEF briefing (aka Jump, Jump, John). The first of the Chipmunk briefing films had become somewhat dated (obsolete) by the mid 70's and was originally shot at White Waltham. This original film featured the old Four Point seat harness and Wire Frame headsets and dangly ox mask Mics (with the giant WWII non NATO plug) for the cadets.

I also believe 6 AEF played a role in the BBC TV production 'Squadron' ... now there's got to be more stories to add here ?

6 AEF Flight Commanders - The Chipmunk Era

1958 - 60 F/L D R Baxter
1960 - 63 F/L R Hudson
1963 - 66 F/L B Milroy
1966 - 69 F/L M Huckins
1969 - 73 S/L F Urquart
1973 - 76 S/L K S Knott
1976 - 77 S/L W J McL Wilson
1977 - ?? S/L D F Gardner

Please feel free to correct any errors I may have made and/or add to the history

It would be good to record any notable WWII Pilots that may have served with 6 AEF in the early days.

To come right up to date ... 6 AEF now operates the Tutor out of RAF Benson ... For those interested there is a Twitter Feed

https://twitter.com/OC6AEF

Also a Wikipedia page ...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._...nce_Flight_RAF

Best ...

Coff.

More follows ...

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 6th Oct 2015 at 11:56.
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