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-   -   RAF Valley & Missile Practice Camps (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/637967-raf-valley-missile-practice-camps.html)

BEagle 15th Jan 2021 14:31

22 Jul 1982 Phantom FGR2 XV478. QRA(I) scramble for an Aberporth firing; my logbook tells me it was an 'AP2B'..

Join up with the photo chase and set up for the Sparrow firing. Flying the 'Noddy Guide' speed / height to the letter, but my nav (who was once a PPRuNer) couldn't find the Jindi', despite calls from the nav in the photochase. So we knock it off and set up for the Sidewinder back up shot. Fly the controller's headings and turn calls again with speed and height absolutely nailed like it's my IRT. See the Jindi', 'winder is growling happily as we await the controller's clearance to fire. We are given clearance and I call "Firing...", "Firing..." when the controller calls "STOP!!". So once again we knock it off, swearing at everyone and everything as the Jindi' driver has flown it out of the range danger area. We ask for another set up, only to be told that the Jindi' is low on fuel and we are to RTB. Poke off back to Wattisham feeling rather miffed as I know that I will be sure to get the blame for something which wasn't my fault! Fortunately my nav, being a nice honest chap, backs me up completely.

sarn1e 15th Jan 2021 14:55


Originally Posted by ancientaviator62 (Post 10968224)
sarn1e,
did you think to offer a trip in the T5 to any of your groundcrew ? I am sure the armourers would have been very interested to see the fruits of their labours being used as intended.

Your point is well made, though a T5 during a missile firing is not the best environment (especially in the dark) for an intro pax ride... Even the experienced French exchange officer found it interesting when one of our missiles misfired and ominously sat there after landing with the armourers creeping up to put the safety break in!

On 5 Sqn, during our last APC in 1987, our Boss took two T5s to Cyprus and flew everyone who wanted a go for 4 weeks (obviously the T5 couldn't fire on the banner). We actually ran out of passengers to fly. For the last week we took off the ventrals, which made the trips (even!) shorter - but very spectacular.

Similarly, on 25 Sqn in 1995, we finished the APC in record time and I then recommended to the Boss that we flew 2 days of (24 total) dedicated pax rides as constituted 4-ships before going to the beach for a week. I well remember a certain Chf Tech saying to me that we didn't need to fly that close just for his benefit as we flew across Akrotiri in box. When we got back to Leeming we had never seen so many serviceable jets (and seemingly limitless spares).

I learned a lot about motivation from those two examples.

endevol 15th Jan 2021 15:25

I have a couple of decent quality images from the Lightning F6 G90 gun camera. Not sure exactly when they were taken but it was late 80's at Valley. I was on the Engineering team at the time and the pilot flying handed copies of these images to the ground crew at the time. The clover-leaf detonation pattern and shrapnel water splashes in the second image are quite nice :-)

The forum software won't let me post them (not enough posts to my name, apparently) so if some kind soul can pm me an email address I will email them for said kind soul to post.

PEI_3721 15th Jan 2021 16:17

endevolhttps://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....33e2f1511.jpeg
This one ?
Short range low level, high angle off, warhead, against a 200 ft towed flare (smoke trail)

PEI_3721 15th Jan 2021 16:41

An interesting mix, types and Sqns.
Could have been for Harrier VIFF trials - Harrier at distant end of line.
More likely 1 Jul 1969 for flypast HRH Prince of Wales over Carnarvon (12 Phantom and four Lightning)


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....859e6c9bd.jpeg


Dan Gerous 15th Jan 2021 19:32

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....33e2f1511.jpeg

Mentioned earlier was "expanding rod". I'd never heard of this before and looked it up on gaggle. Plenty of descriptions, and I sort of understand it, but couldn't find any pics. Is this pic an example of an expanding rod type weapon?



CharlieJuliet 15th Jan 2021 20:46

Interesting to see #85. On 1 July 1969 6 Sqn, from Coningsby, did a flypast over Carnarvon with 12 Phantoms for the Prince of Wales Investiture; we were meant to be joined by XX Lightnings which had pre positioned at Valley, but we were told that bad weather had not allowed them to launch (presumably they had retired to the pub to tell war stories??). The weather south of Carnarvon where we held wasn't pretty, but the weather over Carnarvon was 8/8ths blue. We were told that AOC 38 Gp turned to AOC 11 Gp and asked where his aircraft were?? On 5 July we did a flypast over Cardiff for the Prince of Wales and we were accompanied by Lightnings (who were supported by many tankers in case the weather turned!!!! Anyone remember this?

PEI_3721 15th Jan 2021 21:52

Dan Gerous, re 'expanding rod'.
Yes the photograph shows a pattern normally associated with an expanding rod warhead.
Red Top - IR homing on the flare; typically, the dark doughnut explosive ring (to the fore of the bright clover leaf) gives some spin to the ring, thus the effect is like a band saw.
Its a good picture, but begs the question where were did all of the other segments of the ring go … , photo-chase break off now !

Non Linear Gear 15th Jan 2021 22:21

Taff, you have opened a can of worms for you to sort! I was talking to my brother that has the RAF Aberporth range logs from the start to the end of released records. They have most misssile firings recorded from that time. He possiblly has been in contact already.

MAINJAFAD 16th Jan 2021 04:41


Originally Posted by Non Linear Gear (Post 10968709)
Taff, you have opened a can of worms for you to sort! I was talking to my brother that has the RAF Aberporth range logs from the start to the end of released records. They have most misssile firings recorded from that time. He possiblly has been in contact already.

Unfortunately, I don't have photos of all of the Aberporth F540's as my research was Bloodhound related. Thus if nothing of note Bloodhound wise happened in a month, I have not photographed that sheet. Also I tended to photo the parts of the page that covered the Bloodhound operations and not parts that covered anything else. The Fighter Command MPC at Valley stood up on 1st June 1962 and the first Squadron to visit was 64 Squadron with their Javelins the following month.

2- 18 July 1962 - 64 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (two successful. one partial success and two failures).
20-31 August 1962 - 33 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (three successful and two failures).
19 November - 7 December 1962 - 33 Sqn - 6 Firestreaks fired (no details bar one was successful).

1963

January 1963 - Not photographed
February 1963 - No AAM firings
18 March - ??? - 41 Sqn - 2 Firestreaks fired in March. April F540 not photographed due to no Bloodhound Mk 1 firings that month.
29 April - 17 May 1963 - 23 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (4 Successful, 1 failed).
June / July 1963 - No AAM firings
18 August - 5 September 1963 - 64 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (4 Successful, 1 failed).
22 September - 4 October 1963 - 11 Sqn - 4 Firestreaks fired (3 Successful, 1 failure)
13 - 28 October 1963 - 5 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks Fired, all successful.
16 - 18 October 1963 - Two Javelins from 41 Sqn for low level Firestreak firing trials, two missiles fired, both successful.
November 1963 - No AAM firings.

Last Bloodhound Mk 1 fired on 1st November 1963, thus there major gaps until the Bloodhound Mk 2 service firing started in June 1966, however

13 - 23 January 1964 - 5 lightnings from 92 Sqn fired 5 firestreaks (all successful).
9-13 January 1966 - 74 Sqn - 5 firestreaks fired (2 successful, 3 failures)
4-26 April 1966 - 5 Sqn - 2 Firestreaks fired successfully
8-27 May 1966 - 111 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (4 successful, 1 failure).
11-26.July 1966 - 23 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired. 4 successful, 1 failure.
5-21 September 1966 - 56 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired. ditto
17 October - 1 November 1966 - 19 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired. 3 Successful, 1 failure, 1 not recorded.
14-30 November 1966 - 92 Sqn - 3 Firestreaks fired. 2 successful, 1 partial successful.(MPC actually ended on 2nd December with no firings that month).

1967

9 January - 9 February 1967. Fighter Command Training unit deployed to FCMPC for Service Red Top Firing Trials
6 - 23 February 1967 - 29 Sqn - one Firestreak fired (failure). Weather stopped any other firings.
8-15 March 1967 - Fighter Command Trials Unit Red Top Trials (not known if deployed to FCMPC)
April 1967 - MPC details not photographed.
10-24 May 1967 - Fighter Command Trials Unit Red Top Trials (not known if deployed to FCMPC)
2-10 May 1967 - 5 Sqn - 4 Firestreaks fired (not known if deployed to FCMPC)
June 1967 - 2 Red Tops fired, no details of unit (8th and 14th June).
3 - 18 July 1967 - 92 Sqn - 7 Firestreaks fired (all successful)
21 August - 1st September 1967 - 23 Sqn - Firestreaks fired on 23rd, 29th, 30th and 1st..
18 September - 5 October 1967 - 19 Sqn - 3 Firestreaks fired, all failed
18 - 24 October 1967 - 111 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired, 4 successful, 1 failed.
November 1967 - MPC details not photographed.
December 1967 - MPC details not photographed.

1968

3-17 January 1968 - 226 OCU - 6 Firestreaks fired, 2 successful, four failures
1-15 February - 11 Sqn - 2 Firestreaks fired - successful. 3 Red Tops fired -Successful
19-23 February - 226 OCU - 4 firestreaks fired, 2 successful, two failed.
3-12 March 1968 - 29 Sqn - 4 Red Tops fired, all failed
27 April - 7 May 1968 - 5 Sqn - 3 Firestreaks (2S, 1F), 2 Red Top (2F).
26 June - 17 July 1968 - 92 Sqn - 7 Firestreaks fired (5S, 2 F)
4th July 1968 - First Red Top QRA firing (5 Sqn).
August 1968 - No AAM firings
September 1968 - MPC details not photographed.
October 1968 - MPC details not photographed.
November 1968 - MPC details not photographed.

1-9 December 1968 - 23 Sqn
3rd Firestreak S/N B481 (Flashhead) fired by Lightning XR 756
6th Firestreaks S/N B574AA and B776AA (Telemetry) fired by Lightning XR 762 and XR 938
9th Red Tops S/N YO 311 and YO 372 (Telemetry) fired by Lightning XS 937 and XR 729.

11th December 1968 Another Red Top S/N YO 709 (warhead) was fired from Lightning XP765 but this could have been either a Trial or QRA shot.

jan 96
February 1969 - MPC details not photographed.
2 - 28 March 1969 - 11 Sqn - 2 Red Tops fired (1F 1 not assessed) 3 Firestreaks fired (not assessed).
April 1969 - No AAM firings
May 1969 - Not photographed
June 1969 - Not Photograhed
July 1969 - No MPC. 2 QRA Red Top Firings.
18 August - 4 September 1969 - 111 Sqn - 5 Red Tops fired (results not recorded)
.9-21 October 1969 - 5 Sqn - . 4 Red Tops fired (9th, 16th, 21st). one warhead round, one flash head and two telemetry. (results not recorded)
21 November - 4 December 1969 - 29 Sqn - 5 Red Tops fired (21st, 27th, 28th, 4th) 1 Flash, 2 telemetry and 2 warhead (results not recorded)

12 - 30 January 1970 - 23 Sqn - 3 Red Tops fired (15th and 20th) 2 warhead and 1 flash head. results not reported..
February - March 1970 - 56 Sqn - 4 Red Tops fired, all failures.
April 1970 - No Records
May 1970 - 19 Sqn - 6 Firestreaks fired (results not recorded)
June 1970 - 111 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (results not recorded)
16- 24 September 1970 - 56 Sqn - 4 Firestreaks fired. - not all details not photographed.
7th October 1970 a 29 Sqn Lighting fired a Red Top after being detached to Valley
21st October 1970 a 5 Sqn Lighting fired a Red Top after being detached to Valley
22 October - 4 November 1970 - 92 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired. - (results not recorded)
8 - 14 December 1970 - 5 Sqn - 5 firestreaks and 1 Red Top fired. (results not recorded)

Between 1971 and 1974 the Bloodhound Firing Unit did their own F540, so I've not looked at the main Aberporth F540 in any detail during that period bar to check up on anything that the BFU ORB had missed. however I have found the stuff below.

BOI at STCAAME in Feb 1971 due to a failure of Red Top firings on 28th Jan 1971

First RAF Sidewinder MPC by 43 Sqn between 19 / 20 April 1971. three missiles fired.

11-14 May 1971 - 5 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired
14 - 26 July 1971 - 56 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired . One missile serial is that of a Lightning (XP 743?)

17-20 July 1973 - 92 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired

1-15 August 1973 - 19 Sqn - 4 Firestreaks fired
13-14 August 1973 - 23 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired

1-11 October 1973 - 31 Sqn - 2 sparrows and a sidewinder fired

6-13 December 1974 - 43 Sqn - 3 sidewinders fired

1-3 September 1975 - 43 Sqn fired 2 sparrows and 2 sidewinders

30 September - 8 October 1975 - 31 Sqn fired 2 sparrows and 2 Sidewiders

13-16 October 1975 - 17 Sqn fired 1 sparrow and 3 sidewinders

After 1975, Bloodhound firings became quite rare with no more than four missiles being fired in any year up to 1982, normally in a short three month period in each year, so I've not got much after 1975. All dates that don't have QRA or Trial next to them are MPC's at Valley.









ancientaviator62 16th Jan 2021 07:15

sarn1e,
your groundcrew who did fly were very lucky . I worked on Javelin. Hunter and Lightning squadrons have have no recollection of any of us even getting a sniff at a trip. I for one would have gone. On the rare occasions our T4 was serviceable on 92 such trips seem to go to WRAF officers. Having said that my late brother did get a trip in a T4 when he was the squadron clerk on the Lightning OCU? at Middleton St George. I think he flew with the then boss Ken Goodwin. What made it worse was at the time I was working on the u/s a/c in the hangar !
Took me years to forgive my brother.

PEI_3721 16th Jan 2021 09:55

Battle Fight direct from Germany.


https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....311b3fef3.jpeg


Boss had secretly allocated JP to QRA. Hooter goes, but Q2 aircraft mistakenly allocated; and everyone forgot that Q2 was the Sqn runt, christmases tree - it will never be used.
Radar fails en route, PAS fails entering the range; survival knife to cut string on chinagraph pencil; fixed cross on PAS reflector, 100% success.

'Firestreak was much more basic than Red Top, but also went bang more reliably.'
Not bad for a design which started pre 1950, no major modifications or variants; vacuum valve technology - fixed in jelly, and 30+ years inservice.
The Lightning-Firestreak combination had a commendable success rate when evaluated as a complete system from aircraft startup to shoot down. Many of the failures reported above involved unproven fusing problems where the towed flare pack began to break up, the shedded particles did not affect the guidance but could trigger an early fuse. Much development work on flare packs carried out.

Conversely the US missiles did not match the expected (salesman) success rates using the total system analysis. A two week sojourn to China Lake and Pt Magu identified that the US only considered events after trigger press, and even then some firings were declared 'no test' for other reasons, lack of photo, telemetry, switch pigs.

An unusual high angle-off shot, probably AIM-7, expanding ring warhead - and somewhat off course.

https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....5e4785de6.jpeg

condor17 16th Jan 2021 10:45

Taff , ‘fraid it’s a civi .

23/10/1973 . Beagle Husky D5 G-ASNC , gas ‘n go .

My 1st job at 20 , aerial photography for Airviews [Mcr] Ltd . Task was Hi level FL100 ish timed vertical shots of a N Wales river .

Nearest field for gas ‘n go was RAF Valley , PPR arranged . Called up , descended in .

Tower’s clearance was ‘’ Report over threshold of disused RWY , NOT above 50 ft ‘’.

Wow , this will be fun thinks I . .... Lots of parked Gnats becoming large...

‘’G-NC , disused threshold ‘’

Tower , ‘’Hold there ‘’ .......................Thinks bubble ....

‘’G-NC , we’re not an Helicopter ‘’

Tower , ‘’ Sorry , We thought you were , join downwind Etc ‘’................

Taff , re your 707 and Palouste ..

BEA’s Tridents had the original Palouste APUs replaced with Garretts . The old Paloustes were mounted on VW microbus chassis’s as GPUs . For the Speys , we’d need one Palouste for a ground airstart . Seem to remember 707s and VC10s needing one as well , but Tristar , 747s needing 2 .

‘Tho , 25yrs later 2 Goan start carts could not give enough Huff ‘n Puff for a Tristar . They had to wait 24 hrs ‘til an Indian Airlines 737-200 brought in a long enough hose to plug into it’s P&W JT8 .

Will mail logbook scan .



Rgds condor .

just another jocky 16th Jan 2021 11:51

Hi EXFIN. Assuming you don’t want home-based ac sorties (I did AFT at Valley on the Hawk 84/85), here are the details from my logbook of flights to/from or PD to VY:

27 Aug 86, TTTE, Tornado, G4306 (GAF), COT-COT LL Nav/GH PD VY

21 Mar 88, 17(F) Sqn, Torn GR1, ZA370, Hi-Lo Bruggen to VY, LAYD Donna

22 Mar 88, 17 (F) Sqn, Torn GR1, ZA370, RTB Night TFR, LAYD Wain

16 Jul 90, 617 Sqn, Torn GR1, ZA613, MAR – VY

17 Jul 90, 617 Sqn, Torn GR1, ZA561, MPC Chase

18 Jul 90, 617 Sqn, Torn GR1, ZA609, MPC 1 x AIM 9G, RTB MAR

7 Apr 97, TTTE, Torn, G4305 (GAF), COT to VY

8 Apr 97, TTTE, Torn, G4305 (GAF), VY to COT

30 Jun 04, XIII Sqn, Torn GR4A, ZE116, 2v1 LL bounce trip, MAR to VY

30 Jun 04, XIII Sqn, Torn GR4A, ZE116, 2v1 LL bounce trip, VY to MAR

The first sortie, 27 Aug 86, was my first solo in the Tornado with my Luftwaffe student navigator, Lt Mueller in a Luftwaffe Tornado from the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment (TTTE) based at Cottesmore (for those that didn’t know). We flew low level out to Cheshire and we clearly became a little disoriented because we completed a couple of 360’s around the castle at Beeston in Cheshire. Following the PD to Valley, we landed back at Cottesmore to discover that my parents, grandparents and sister had all been stood atop the castle at the time we became lost. Such a coincidence!

My first missile firing I can remember vividly as the most nerve-wracking 2 minutes of my entire career, far worse than being shot at in GW1 or the nerves as we tipped in to strafe some bad guys in AFG who were <300m from friendlies. The process of calling "firing - firing - now" and squeezing the trigger, all in concert with each other, had to be very pedantic following stories of pilots mistakenly squeezing the trigger first. That MPC we were briefed after we arrived that the next crew to shoot down the Jindy would be drummed out of the air force unceremoniously. I think it was IX Sqn that had shot down 2 in the previous MPC and it was an ex-IX Sqn pilot now running STCAAME. Fortunately, the firing went well.

The 2 sorties 7/8 Apr 97 were flown with Flt Lt Greg Hurst, another Instructor Pilot from TTTE who was tragically killed in Jan 99 when his Tornado was involved in a mid-air with a GA plane near Gamston/Retford.

My 2nd MPC sortie, successfully firing an AIM 9L from low level, was flown from/to MAR. I think STCAAME had closed down by then, but I’m not sure.

If you want photos of the logbook pages, please let me know.

EXFIN 16th Jan 2021 16:02


Originally Posted by PEI_3721 (Post 10968519)
An interesting mix, types and Sqns.
Could have been for Harrier VIFF trials - Harrier at distant end of line.
More likely 1 Jul 1969 for flypast HRH Prince of Wales over Carnarvon (12 Phantom and four Lightning)


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....859e6c9bd.jpeg

would it be possible to send me a scanned copy of any Valley photos you have please at [email protected] Taff

EXFIN 16th Jan 2021 16:05


Originally Posted by MAINJAFAD (Post 10968837)
Unfortunately, I don't have photos of all of the Aberporth F540's as my research was Bloodhound related. Thus if nothing of note Bloodhound wise happened in a month, I have not photographed that sheet. Also I tended to photo the parts of the page that covered the Bloodhound operations and not parts that covered anything else. The Fighter Command MPC at Valley stood up on 1st June 1962 and the first Squadron to visit was 64 Squadron with their Javelins the following month.

2- 18 July 1962 - 64 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (two successful. one partial success and two failures).
20-31 August 1962 - 33 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (three successful and two failures).
19 November - 7 December 1962 - 33 Sqn - 6 Firestreaks fired (no details bar one was successful).

1963

January 1963 - Not photographed
February 1963 - No AAM firings
18 March - ??? - 41 Sqn - 2 Firestreaks fired in March. April F540 not photographed due to no Bloodhound Mk 1 firings that month.
29 April - 17 May 1963 - 23 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (4 Successful, 1 failed).
June / July 1963 - No AAM firings
18 August - 5 September 1963 - 64 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (4 Successful, 1 failed).
22 September - 4 October 1963 - 11 Sqn - 4 Firestreaks fired (3 Successful, 1 failure)
13 - 28 October 1963 - 5 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks Fired, all successful.
16 - 18 October 1963 - Two Javelins from 41 Sqn for low level Firestreak firing trials, two missiles fired, both successful.
November 1963 - No AAM firings.

Last Bloodhound Mk 1 fired on 1st November 1963, thus there major gaps until the Bloodhound Mk 2 service firing started in June 1966, however

13 - 23 January 1964 - 5 lightnings from 92 Sqn fired 5 firestreaks (all successful).
9-13 January 1966 - 74 Sqn - 5 firestreaks fired (2 successful, 3 failures)
4-26 April 1966 - 5 Sqn - 2 Firestreaks fired successfully
8-27 May 1966 - 111 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (4 successful, 1 failure).
11-26.July 1966 - 23 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired. 4 successful, 1 failure.
5-21 September 1966 - 56 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired. ditto
17 October - 1 November 1966 - 19 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired. 3 Successful, 1 failure, 1 not recorded.
14-30 November 1966 - 92 Sqn - 3 Firestreaks fired. 2 successful, 1 partial successful.(MPC actually ended on 2nd December with no firings that month).

1967

9 January - 9 February 1967. Fighter Command Training unit deployed to FCMPC for Service Red Top Firing Trials
6 - 23 February 1967 - 29 Sqn - one Firestreak fired (failure). Weather stopped any other firings.
8-15 March 1967 - Fighter Command Trials Unit Red Top Trials (not known if deployed to FCMPC)
April 1967 - MPC details not photographed.
10-24 May 1967 - Fighter Command Trials Unit Red Top Trials (not known if deployed to FCMPC)
2-10 May 1967 - 5 Sqn - 4 Firestreaks fired (not known if deployed to FCMPC)
June 1967 - 2 Red Tops fired, no details of unit (8th and 14th June).
3 - 18 July 1967 - 92 Sqn - 7 Firestreaks fired (all successful)
21 August - 1st September 1967 - 23 Sqn - Firestreaks fired on 23rd, 29th, 30th and 1st..
18 September - 5 October 1967 - 19 Sqn - 3 Firestreaks fired, all failed
18 - 24 October 1967 - 111 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired, 4 successful, 1 failed.
November 1967 - MPC details not photographed.
December 1967 - MPC details not photographed.

1968

3-17 January 1968 - 226 OCU - 6 Firestreaks fired, 2 successful, four failures
1-15 February - 11 Sqn - 2 Firestreaks fired - successful. 3 Red Tops fired -Successful
19-23 February - 226 OCU - 4 firestreaks fired, 2 successful, two failed.
3-12 March 1968 - 29 Sqn - 4 Red Tops fired, all failed
27 April - 7 May 1968 - 5 Sqn - 3 Firestreaks (2S, 1F), 2 Red Top (2F).
26 June - 17 July 1968 - 92 Sqn - 7 Firestreaks fired (5S, 2 F)
4th July 1968 - First Red Top QRA firing (5 Sqn).
August 1968 - No AAM firings
September 1968 - MPC details not photographed.
October 1968 - MPC details not photographed.
November 1968 - MPC details not photographed.

1-9 December 1968 - 23 Sqn
3rd Firestreak S/N B481 (Flashhead) fired by Lightning XR 756
6th Firestreaks S/N B574AA and B776AA (Telemetry) fired by Lightning XR 762 and XR 938
9th Red Tops S/N YO 311 and YO 372 (Telemetry) fired by Lightning XS 937 and XR 729.

11th December 1968 Another Red Top S/N YO 709 (warhead) was fired from Lightning XP765 but this could have been either a Trial or QRA shot.

jan 96
February 1969 - MPC details not photographed.
2 - 28 March 1969 - 11 Sqn - 2 Red Tops fired (1F 1 not assessed) 3 Firestreaks fired (not assessed).
April 1969 - No AAM firings
May 1969 - Not photographed
June 1969 - Not Photograhed
July 1969 - No MPC. 2 QRA Red Top Firings.
18 August - 4 September 1969 - 111 Sqn - 5 Red Tops fired (results not recorded)
.9-21 October 1969 - 5 Sqn - . 4 Red Tops fired (9th, 16th, 21st). one warhead round, one flash head and two telemetry. (results not recorded)
21 November - 4 December 1969 - 29 Sqn - 5 Red Tops fired (21st, 27th, 28th, 4th) 1 Flash, 2 telemetry and 2 warhead (results not recorded)

12 - 30 January 1970 - 23 Sqn - 3 Red Tops fired (15th and 20th) 2 warhead and 1 flash head. results not reported..
February - March 1970 - 56 Sqn - 4 Red Tops fired, all failures.
April 1970 - No Records
May 1970 - 19 Sqn - 6 Firestreaks fired (results not recorded)
June 1970 - 111 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired (results not recorded)
16- 24 September 1970 - 56 Sqn - 4 Firestreaks fired. - not all details not photographed.
7th October 1970 a 29 Sqn Lighting fired a Red Top after being detached to Valley
21st October 1970 a 5 Sqn Lighting fired a Red Top after being detached to Valley
22 October - 4 November 1970 - 92 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired. - (results not recorded)
8 - 14 December 1970 - 5 Sqn - 5 firestreaks and 1 Red Top fired. (results not recorded)

Between 1971 and 1974 the Bloodhound Firing Unit did their own F540, so I've not looked at the main Aberporth F540 in any detail during that period bar to check up on anything that the BFU ORB had missed. however I have found the stuff below.

BOI at STCAAME in Feb 1971 due to a failure of Red Top firings on 28th Jan 1971

First RAF Sidewinder MPC by 43 Sqn between 19 / 20 April 1971. three missiles fired.

11-14 May 1971 - 5 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired
14 - 26 July 1971 - 56 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired . One missile serial is that of a Lightning (XP 743?)

17-20 July 1973 - 92 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired

1-15 August 1973 - 19 Sqn - 4 Firestreaks fired
13-14 August 1973 - 23 Sqn - 5 Firestreaks fired

1-11 October 1973 - 31 Sqn - 2 sparrows and a sidewinder fired

6-13 December 1974 - 43 Sqn - 3 sidewinders fired

1-3 September 1975 - 43 Sqn fired 2 sparrows and 2 sidewinders

30 September - 8 October 1975 - 31 Sqn fired 2 sparrows and 2 Sidewiders

13-16 October 1975 - 17 Sqn fired 1 sparrow and 3 sidewinders

After 1975, Bloodhound firings became quite rare with no more than four missiles being fired in any year up to 1982, normally in a short three month period in each year, so I've not got much after 1975. All dates that don't have QRA or Trial next to them are MPC's at Valley.

Fantastic, we are also looking for the early firins in the 50's too. Cans are there for opening!!! Best wishes, Taff

EXFIN 16th Jan 2021 16:08


Originally Posted by just another jocky (Post 10969064)
Hi EXFIN. Assuming you don’t want home-based ac sorties (I did AFT at Valley on the Hawk 84/85), here are the details from my logbook of flights to/from or PD to VY:

27 Aug 86, TTTE, Tornado, G4306 (GAF), COT-COT LL Nav/GH PD VY

21 Mar 88, 17(F) Sqn, Torn GR1, ZA370, Hi-Lo Bruggen to VY, LAYD Donna

22 Mar 88, 17 (F) Sqn, Torn GR1, ZA370, RTB Night TFR, LAYD Wain

16 Jul 90, 617 Sqn, Torn GR1, ZA613, MAR – VY

17 Jul 90, 617 Sqn, Torn GR1, ZA561, MPC Chase

18 Jul 90, 617 Sqn, Torn GR1, ZA609, MPC 1 x AIM 9G, RTB MAR

7 Apr 97, TTTE, Torn, G4305 (GAF), COT to VY

8 Apr 97, TTTE, Torn, G4305 (GAF), VY to COT

30 Jun 04, XIII Sqn, Torn GR4A, ZE116, 2v1 LL bounce trip, MAR to VY

30 Jun 04, XIII Sqn, Torn GR4A, ZE116, 2v1 LL bounce trip, VY to MAR

The first sortie, 27 Aug 86, was my first solo in the Tornado with my Luftwaffe student navigator, Lt Mueller in a Luftwaffe Tornado from the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment (TTTE) based at Cottesmore (for those that didn’t know). We flew low level out to Cheshire and we clearly became a little disoriented because we completed a couple of 360’s around the castle at Beeston in Cheshire. Following the PD to Valley, we landed back at Cottesmore to discover that my parents, grandparents and sister had all been stood atop the castle at the time we became lost. Such a coincidence!

My first missile firing I can remember vividly as the most nerve-wracking 2 minutes of my entire career, far worse than being shot at in GW1 or the nerves as we tipped in to strafe some bad guys in AFG who were <300m from friendlies. The process of calling "firing - firing - now" and squeezing the trigger, all in concert with each other, had to be very pedantic following stories of pilots mistakenly squeezing the trigger first. That MPC we were briefed after we arrived that the next crew to shoot down the Jindy would be drummed out of the air force unceremoniously. I think it was IX Sqn that had shot down 2 in the previous MPC and it was an ex-IX Sqn pilot now running STCAAME. Fortunately, the firing went well.

The 2 sorties 7/8 Apr 97 were flown with Flt Lt Greg Hurst, another Instructor Pilot from TTTE who was tragically killed in Jan 99 when his Tornado was involved in a mid-air with a GA plane near Gamston/Retford.

My 2nd MPC sortie, successfully firing an AIM 9L from low level, was flown from/to MAR. I think STCAAME had closed down by then, but I’m not sure.

If you want photos of the logbook pages, please let me know.

Your entries are excellent as they are, no need for the logbook scans, John Watts was my QFI at Cottesmore, on my first solo with a German AF Nav who had never flown low level in Wales he suggested as we entered low level he'd put some music on too which i replied 'Let's NOT'! Best wishes, Taff

EXFIN 16th Jan 2021 16:15


Originally Posted by CharlieJuliet (Post 10968659)
Interesting to see #85. On 1 July 1969 6 Sqn, from Coningsby, did a flypast over Carnarvon with 12 Phantoms for the Prince of Wales Investiture; we were meant to be joined by XX Lightnings which had pre positioned at Valley, but we were told that bad weather had not allowed them to launch (presumably they had retired to the pub to tell war stories??). The weather south of Carnarvon where we held wasn't pretty, but the weather over Carnarvon was 8/8ths blue. We were told that AOC 38 Gp turned to AOC 11 Gp and asked where his aircraft were?? On 5 July we did a flypast over Cardiff for the Prince of Wales and we were accompanied by Lightnings (who were supported by many tankers in case the weather turned!!!! Anyone remember this?

Just been researching the very event! There is a photo on lightningpilots.com showing 18 Lightnings from 5/11 & 23 on the STCAAME ramp for the PoW Investiture, never knew they were cancelled though. Managed to chase down the serials as they flew down to Fairford 3/4.7.69 which would fit in with your Cardiff Flypast. Paddy O'Flynn on FB explained that 6 flew direct from Coningsby but as a 9 ship plus 1 possible airborne spare, there is a photo floating around showing the diamond 9 above cloud with a singleton plus photoship. I'm not sure if the FAA did something too. Best wishes, Taff

MAINJAFAD 16th Jan 2021 18:11


Originally Posted by EXFIN (Post 10969200)
Fantastic, we are also looking for the early firins in the 50's too. Cans are there for opening!!! Best wishes, Taff

Bloodhound Mk 1 Service Firing Trials didn't really get going until mid 1961 and North Coates Trials Wing produced a number of reports that covered the service trials in great detail. (The Woomera Trials didn't finish until May 1960). Thus I've not looked at any of the Aberporth ORB's before Jan 1962. However the following AAM trials were run on the Range from Jan 1962 to June 1962.

Jan 1962 MOA/AM Firestreak Continuation Trials - Three (Telemetry) missiles fired. Two near misses and a direct hit.
Mar 1962 MOA/AM Firestreak Continuation Trials - 7 missiles fired off 5 aircraft (4 missiles fired in a pair, 2 with Telemetry and 2 with Warheads). Only 3 missiles were counted as successful,
Mar 1962 Lightning / Firestreak Tactical Trials on the range for AI / missile harmonization by AFDS
Apr 1962 Javelin / Firestreak Service Trials. Trial have been on hold for a while most likely due to Fuzing issues which had been noted in the January F540. Final six firings carried out in April. 13 missiles fired in total during the trials, 10 Successful, 1 partly successful, 2 failure.
Apr 1962 AFDS Lightning / Firestreak Tactical Trials. First 4 missiles all fired successfully
May 1962 AFDS Lightning / Firestreak Tactical Trials. Six firings one of which was a ripple pair (one Telemetry and one warhead). Two firings resulted in direct hits killing a Meteor and a Jindivik. three near misses and one firing was a failure.
June 1962 AFDS Lightning / Firestreak Tactical Trials. 4 Missiles fired, One direct hit, One Near miss, two failed to home, though the last two were fired while the aircraft were in a 3g and 4g turn respectively.
July 1962 AFDS Lightning / Firestreak Tactical Trials. After a number of carry over simulated launches in high g turns the next 2 firings in the same conditions resulted in a direct hit and a near miss.

There is nothing to state whether any of these sorties were flown from Valley or not.

CharlieJuliet 16th Jan 2021 18:27

I thought that we were a 12 ship, but will bow to Paddy's better memory. I remember that we flew at low level in loose formation in some pretty bad weather. As we neared Bardsey Island, our I/P, we were called up by the AOC 38 Gp's Devon who was orbiting the area and said that the weather wasn't good. The Boss was lees than complimentary when he told the Devon to get out of the way as he was about to arrive with a large phantom formation!! I recall that half way up towards Carnarvon the weather cleared into 8/8ths blue. I have a pic of the Cardiff flight and will try to find it. In the meantime here is a pic of 5 Sqn enjoying MPC! Note Leafy in the roundel!
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....40ba854c78.jpg
Sqn on MPC!



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