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RAF Chipmunks

Old 11th Apr 2010, 12:51
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RAF Chipmunks

Dear fellow PPRuNe Members …

I’m trying to locate photographs of the following RAF Chipmunks during their service with No. 1 AEF at the various RAF Stations during the years mentioned … and wondered if any of you might be able to help ?

I know this might be a bit of a long shot for some of the early years. To help, in the early days, No. 1 AEF operated within a “pooled” fleet of aircraft shared with London UAS, RAF Biggin Hill Station Flight and No. 6 AEF. Typically, from the 60’s onwards, there were four resident aircraft at any one time on the No. 1 AEF dedicated fleet, so the additional serials shown reflect various inter fleet transfers made during the specified year.

The No. 1 AEF Fleet List reproduced below has been complied with the kind help of the UK author of “Chipmunk, The Poor Man’s Spitfire” (a recommended read for anyone interested in the history of the Chipmunk) along with some extensive aircrew log book research and cross-reference. That said there is some uncertainty around the final years at RAF Manston from 1988 to when the Flight ceased flying Chipmunks and closed in 1995.

I’m particularly keen to know if a final photograph was taken to mark the cessation of AEF Chipmunk flying at RAF Manston on the 31st March 1995. I seem to recall that RAF Manston had a semi-official Station Photographer who was a civilian working at the time with the Ground Radio Servicing Flight (GRSF) … a Mr Dave Keep … and wondered if anyone might know if he is still contactable these days ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I’m most keen to complete a potted history of No. 1 AEF during the Chipmunk years. A previous PPRuNe thread has helped with some useful information but I thought an ask outside the “History & Nostalgia” Forum might be more fruitful.

http://www.pprune.org/aviation-histo...67-1995-a.html

RAF Biggin Hill

1958 WP 846, WK 577, WP 837, WK 621, WZ 876

RAF White Waltham

1959 WK 577, WP 837, WP 846, WD 372 WZ 876, WK 621, WK 636, WZ 850, WP 862

RAF West Malling

1960 WK 577, WP 837, WP 846, WD 372, WZ 876, WK 621

RAF White Waltham

1961 WP 837, WP 846, WD 372, WD 391

1962 WP837, WP 846, WD 372, WP 974

RAF Manston

1963 WP 837, WP 846, WZ 850, WK 621, WK577, WD 304, WD 344

1964 WK 577, WP 837, WP 846, WD 344

1965 WK 577, WP 837, WP 846, WD 344, WD 390, WK 628

1966 WK 577, WP 846, WD 344, WP 837, WK 638, WB 627

1967 WK 577, WP 837, WP 846, WD 344, WB 627, WK 586

1968 WP 846, WD 344, WB 627, WK 586, WP 837, WB 569, WK 577

1969 WK 586, WB 627, WD 370, WB 569, WP 837, WK 642, WZ 845, WP 846, WD 344

1970 WD 370, WB 627, WK 642, WZ 845, WK 586, WB 569

1971 WK 642, WD 370, WZ 845, WB 627, WK 586, WB 569

1972 WK 642, WD 370, WZ 845, WB 627, WK 586, WB 569

1973 WK 642, WZ 845, WB 627, WB 569

1974 WK 642, WZ 845, WB 569, WB 627, WG 466, WD 370, WK 586, WK 518

1975 WK 642, WZ 845, WB 569, WG 458, WK 518, WG 466

1976 WK 642, WZ 845, WB 569, WK 518, WZG 458

1977 WK 642, WZ 845, WB 569, WK 518

1978 WK 642, WZ 845, WB 569, WK 518

1979 WK 642, WZ 845, WB 569, WK 518, WG 430

1980 WK 642, WZ 845, WG 430, WB 569, WK 518

1981 WK 642, WZ 845, WG 430, WB 569,WK 518, WZ 872

1982 WK 642, WZ 845, WG 430, WB 569, WK 518

1983 WZ 845, WG 430, WB 569, WK 518, WK 642, WP 855

1984 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WB 569

1985 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WB 569, WK 642

1986 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WB 569, WK 642, WK 554

1987 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WK 554

1988 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WK 554, ?

1989 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WK 554, ?

1990 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WK 554, ?

1991 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WK 554, ?

1992 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WK 554, ?

1993 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WK 554, ?

1994 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WK 554, WG 458, ?

1995 WZ 845, WG 430, WP 855, WK 554, ?


Kind regards …

Coff.
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 20:33
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1AEF Manston

Just checking my logbook, 1 AEF closed on 31 March 1996, not 95 - same aircraft as 2 years earlier. My last Chipmunk trip was in WG 430 on the very last day! Sniff!
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Old 14th Apr 2010, 16:09
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Wow, those tail numbers bring back some wonderful memories of the time I spent on 1AEF in the early nineties. S/L Pete Stonham RIP was the most inspiring boss I served under during my 20 years of flying for Her Majesty.
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Old 14th Apr 2010, 16:32
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Flew most of those on a 3 month interval in my flying career, my initial training by SL Pete Stonham. All good fun.
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Old 14th Apr 2010, 22:20
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Coff

Can't help with old pics but you might want to include a contemporary pic of WK518 which went to No 1 AEF in 1974 (from the University of London Air Squadron) and from there to the BBMF in 1983 where it's still used for tail-wheel conversion.

It's been in continuous RAF service for 58 years. (Delivered to Cranwell in 1952.)








I did my first solo in WK518 in 1971.

FL
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 21:22
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Thanks for this thread....was a staff cadet at 617GS in the early 70's and used to 'drink' with the AEF staff....Don Ding was also on the staff at 1051 Dartford Squadron...a wonderful man, believe he flew on Bostons in the war.
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Old 18th Apr 2010, 09:12
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Thanks for replying

Hi Manandboy ...

I'm very interested to hear that 1 AEF closed 31/03/96 and not 31/03/95, especially as you were flying on the last day, as two separate sources in my research to date indicate 95 as the year of closure ... including a reference to when the Flight reformed at RAF St Athan (parented by UWAS) 01/04/95 flying Grob Tutors.

Many thanks ...

Hi DrumMachine, deltahotel ...

Great to hear from you both. I met S/L Pete Stonham just the once, a really nice guy, however I'm from the S/L John Shelton, S/L Paddy Brown era. You might like to have a look at the initial page I authored on Wikipedia to bring back a few more memories.

1 Air Experience Flight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Many thanks ...

Hi Flying Lawyer ...

Thanks for the background information and pictures of WK 518. If my memory serves me correctly WK 518 was fitted with a single Bendix 360 Channel (dial up) VHF radio while, at the time, all our other aircraft were equipped with a single 12 Channel (fixed) VHF radio. When Chipmunk servicing moved to RAF Shawbury in the late 70's things became a bit tricky transit wise requiring the older VHF radios to be re-crystallised with a few NATO "common" frequencies which worked reasonably well but it wasn't an ideal solution, so every opportunity was taken to transit as a two ship formation with WK 518 as lead aircraft with the more flexible radio.

I wish we had the smart High Viz Black livery that WK 518 sports today with the BBMF !

Many thanks ...

Hi spannersatKL ...

A "Northern Grass" colleague ! Great to hear from you. I remember Don Ding very well ... I think he also flew Avro Anson's. So you'll remember Bill Williams, Bob Thompson et al ?

Many thanks ...

Best all ...

Coff.

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 18th Apr 2010 at 10:12.
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Old 18th Apr 2010, 10:51
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Closure date of 1 AEF Manston

Coff,

Don't know where the confusion has come from, but no doubt that 1 AEF Manston closed in 96. I was in MOD at the time and started flying at Manston on 8 Aug 95. Between then and 31 Mar 96 I flew just over 35 hours. After that I moved to 10 AEF at Woodvale and converted (for the first time) to the Bulldog - flew cadets there until being posted back to a flying job in 97.

If I had to trust my failing memory I might be doubtful about the year, but the logbook dates tie in with what's left of the synapses, so I'm confident of dates.
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Old 18th Apr 2010, 16:48
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Closure date of 1 AEF Manston

Hi Manandboy ...

Thanks so much for your help. Firsthand confirmation like this from your 414 locks the closure date in my book ... 31/03/96 it is !

I thought you might like to see the following pictures of WG 430 in the USA (Indianapolis) where she currently resides (or did do c. 2005). Her civil registration in the US is N430WG. Apparently, after being sold by the RAF/MOD, she moved across the "pond" and spent a short time in Canada as C-GBNM before heading further south.



In this picture you will see that the Radio Frequency Card still carries the Manston frequencies !



The pictures were kindly shared with me by the UK author of the fabulous book "Chipmunk - The Poor Man's Spitfire".

As you were flying on the final day ... did S/L Stonham mark the cessation of Chipmunk flying at Manston in any way ... and if so ... are there any pictures to your knowledge ? I'd really like to obtain copies if I can.

Many kind regards ...

Coff.
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Old 18th Apr 2010, 18:30
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Coff. Held At Manston for 3 months in 1985 between FJ n ME. Pete Stonham was the boss, but Paddy Brown (F/L Reserves I think) still there limping heavily to and from ac. Pete S great boss - lots of dits about Canberras in the far east - lots of effort into the BoB museum at Manston. lot of fun.

DH
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Old 18th Apr 2010, 19:29
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I did my first solo in WK518 in 1971.
Good old '518! I did my second ever ULAS trip in WK518 from White Waltham on 4 Oct 1969; Fg Off Jerry Brown was the QFI. 'Ex 1-6; 12&13' all completed in 0:50, so it must have been a busy trip!

We were so lucky, FL - the UAS system of today is an utter travesty compared to the happy times you and I knew......

Last edited by BEagle; 19th Apr 2010 at 06:51.
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 06:13
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I trained on Chipmunks a way back and remember the neumonic I used for the start checks - sogriada.
Think the first three were switches, oil, generator - but the rest have disappeared... anyone help?
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 06:30
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Didn't My Friend Fred Have Hairy Balls come into it somewhere.

Surprisingly happy days those 56 hours.
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 06:47
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Mixture Fuel Flaps Harness Hoods Brakes! Flew 518' on AEF duties from Bicester (ATC/CCF Summer Camp?) 22nd July 1974. Also FIRA' on re-joining' and TTMFFPHH pre-take-off?
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 09:16
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- "Jump, jump Johnny..."

- "Jump, jumping Sir!"


I spent many an hour sat around the side of the 1AEF building playing cards or kicking a ball about, awaiting my turn for a flight in a chippy.

I'll have to dig out my Desmond and see which of the above I flew in.

I would love a flight in one just for old times sake, I wonder if anyone out there offers them?
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 09:25
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The Senior Service had them too, don't forget, at Britannia Flight based at Roborough. My trusty steed for my first 10 minutes of aviation freedom in Betty's club is now in Oz.
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 14:22
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Was an instructor at EFTS when the first girl students arrived. The downwind checks had to be changed to "My Friend Fiona Has Huge Breasts" for them.
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 15:41
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I came across the ( to me anyway as a VERY good question ) as to how come a lot of Light aircraft and indeed trials Military aircraft were painted white or grey respectively or whatever, making acquisition by the various cameras tricky at best?

The answer was that although there are thermal engineering issues for gliders and GCA, as far as mil' aircraft go no-one sees anything but a dark object in the sky, so it might as well be black.

I'm not sure how reassuring this would have been to people flying - one way or another - in the FRS/ FA2 testbed HS125 with Blue Vixen, which was painted mostly white and often had to formate on trials Sea Harriers in cloud !
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 15:52
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"Fuel on Brakes on Throttle closed Switches off!"

I still say that occasionally when I jump into my Airbus, much to the astonishment and confusion of my First Officer

Ah those were the days....

Last edited by Wizzaird; 19th Apr 2010 at 17:28. Reason: spelling
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 16:41
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Closure of 1 AEF Manston

Coff,

Nice piccies of WG 430 - brings to mind the smell of Avgas, leather and sweat that I associate with Chipmunks (all happy memories!).

I am embarrassed to say that I don't remember what happened to mark the closure of the AEF at Manston. I vaguely recall all the pilots who were there trooping out for a group photo by an aircraft after lunch, but can't rememberl who was taking the pictures - I haven't got any copies. I also seem to recall a function in the Mess, which I couldn't attend. There must be someone else around who flew at Manston - it's not that long ago!

I visited the little Battle of Britain museum at Manston a few years later and the chap who was looking after it knew Pete Stonham well - could that be another possible line of inquiry?
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