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Air Day from 1971 - RAF Chivenor North Devon UK

Squadron 229 - with the number formation at the end

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Mark Kettle 105/02/2016 17:38:46
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Squadron 229 - North Devon

Chivenor Air Day 1971 filmed on cine film by the late Mr Norman Easton. Filmed from a hillside over looking the airbase at Heanton with the River Taw in the background and in the film you can see the Yelland power station.
 
Where I have put ?? , I'm nor sure on the aircraft type, if anyone could help with the identification of aircraft type -or if you were they at the display please join in with information on this thread.
 
The types and aircraft I have seen in the display are:-
 
Sky divers Parachutes - Hercules C130  - Nimrod  - English Electric Lightning  - A pair of Jet Provosts  - Take off Mcdonnell Douglas F4 Phantom  - Lockheed f104 Starfighter  - Avro Vulcan
 
Return of the Mcdonnell Douglas F4 Phantom  - Hurricane and Spitfire   - 4 X Jet Provost   -Harrier Jump Jet -
 
?? A pair of red CM-170 Fouga Magister  - ?? Sea Fury -  ?? High wing monoplane maybe a Army de Havilland Beaver -
 
4 x Lockheed f104 Starfighter   -Vickers VC10 RAF Transport Command -   ?? at the end many Jet Provosts or Hawker Hunters formation number of 229.
 
I wonder if Chris Golds was stationed at the base then in the 1970's or even flying in the display.

 

 

 
 

Edited By Mark Kettle 1 on 05/02/2016 17:39:10

Edited By Mark Kettle 1 on 05/02/2016 17:40:56

John F05/02/2016 19:23:19
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What a lovely film. Was nice to see. Not sure what the aircraft were at the end but thank you for sharing.

Peter S B05/02/2016 20:15:56
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Mark,

Great film. I was in Cyprus then but a few years later I was at Chivnor working with the Hawk. I also worked on a few of the aircraft in the show over the years. Like I said great film, brings back many happy memories, thank you.

Harrier Mate05/02/2016 20:17:21
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The 2 red jet are indeed Fouga Magisters. I think they were Belgian Air Force with Belgian tricola on the fin... just a the French Air Force did with Patrouille de France for many years. A single Fouga (privately owned in same Belgian colour scheme) toured the international display circuit for several years more recently. The high wing prop ac is the Army Air Corps de Havilland Beaver and the mass formation is from 229 OCU (rather than 229 Sqn) which after demise of Hunter and formation of No1 and No2 Tac Wpns Units at Chiv and Brawdy with Hawk TMk1a disbanded at Brawdy prior to later becoming the Tornado F2/F3 OCU at Coningsby.

Mark Kettle 105/02/2016 20:35:53
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Thank you everyone for your in-put and kind words. Now the final 229 formation what aircraft is the display done with. The BAe Hawk I'm sure didn't enter service with the RAF until late in 1976, so can you help Harrier Mate?

Harrier Mate05/02/2016 20:49:12
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The 229 OCU mass formation is made up of the hunters of 22OCU. Single seaters and the T7 trainers. They did numerous air displays as massed formation in the years before disbandment.

I spent the summer of 1980 at Brawdy when it had mixed force of Hunters (63 Sqn) (about to disband) and Hawks (79 and 234 Sqn). I was a student at Chivenor a few years after the Hawk replaced the Hunter (1983), served as an instructor on the Hawk at Brawdy (88 - 91)...... and 25 years later Im doing exactly the same on 208 Sqn at RAF Valley!!!

Mark Kettle 105/02/2016 21:02:35
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Excellent Harrier Mate many thanks.

Harrier Mate05/02/2016 21:04:47
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Mark,

There are several more photos of the 229 OCU formation on the net too if you want to view.

Mark Kettle 105/02/2016 21:12:39
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Ok I'll have a look around.

I'll link in this video. Harrier you will probably recognize the lie of the land.

A nice area even at 300 knots ! laugh

The flight starts off from Ashford towards RAF Chivenor, bears left over the B3231, swings right over the airbase, then left and right over the mouth of the River Taw at the end of Braunton Burrows. Turns north up the shore line of Saunton Sands. The back seat looks right at a white building 'art deco' -Saunton Sands Hotel-. Over the nose and in the distance you can see Croyde Bay on the right and behind Baggy Point. Turns left in a circle over Bideford Bay to line up onto an approach to RAF Chivenor going over Braunton Borrows and with the mouth of the River Taw right of the nose. Over flies the end of runway IX = 9 banks left over the base again and over the B3231.

Enjoy. (get the map out)

Harrier Mate05/02/2016 22:14:18
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Great vid. Since invention of Go Pro cameras, its amazing what gets on the net!!!!wink

Mark Kettle 106/02/2016 06:14:22
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This video filmed in the same area I've witness a similar event whilst on holiday in 2005. Beach practice landings on Saunton Sands next to Chivenor.

Colin Leighfield06/02/2016 07:49:54
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Fascinating, I agree with all of the aircraft identifications. Interesting to see the F104 Starfighter just before the Vilcan. Luftwaffe F104G? The last time I saw one of those I think was at an air display, probably at at Greenham Common, must have been in the early eighties.It's turning circle was so wide that it couldn't stay within the airfield perimeter.

Hard to believe that it is 45 years ago, most of these planes still look modern to me! The Nimrod must have been quite a sensation, it would have been very new into service. The first time that I recollect seeing one was at a show in I think 1973, but I can't remember where. I recall at that particular show Spitfire IX MH434 was being displayed, when it was owned by Adrian Swire of the Cunard family and before Ray Hanna took it on, don't know why that has stuck in my mind.

Matt Jones06/02/2016 11:39:53
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Mark, that Chivenor film is fantastic, I could watch stuff like that all day! Surprised there wasn't a Canberra display in there?
Mark Kettle 106/02/2016 12:44:21
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Thanks Colin and Matt.

Peter Jenkins06/02/2016 13:10:23
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Actually Harrier Mate, I was posted to RAF Brawdy in Nov 1973 some 3 weeks after Chivenor had moved to Brawdy. The unit name was the Tactical Weapons Unit and it was equipped with Hunter F6, FGA9 and T7 as well as a couple of Meteors to provide the target towing capability. TWU1 and 2 nomenclature only appeared much later. The 3 reserve Sqadrons were 63, 79 and 234. 63 and 234 dealt with the long courses while 79 did short refresher courses for experienced aircraft returning after a desk tour or re-roling to fast jets.

All the F6s were converted by BAe at Brawdy to F6A standard (basically the FGA9 wing able to carry the heavier 230 gallon drop tank) and a brake parachute. The F6 was the fighter optimised version while the FGA 9 was, as the name implies, the fighter/ground attack version. The difference being that the handling was modified to provide a more stable platform in ground attack.

Before leaving Chivenor, I believe that a 36 aircraft formation was flown. As far as I can remember, the largest formation flown at Brawdy was an informal 9 ship when two 4 ships, one with a bounce (aggressor), returned at the same time and a hasty in-flight brief was carried out to provide a diamond 9 formation.

The TWU was under huge pressure to provide the required throughput in pilots so little time was available for any form of big formation practice.

When the Wittering Hunter squadrons were finally disbanded, marking the end of the Hunter's operational RAF service, we got some more Hunters delivered to Brawdy.

I left Brawdy in June 1977 before any Hawks had turned up. However, what was fascinating was that a Hunter with its standard fuel load (full internals and 2/3 full 230 gallon drops on inboard pylons only) could fly a 55 min sortie and if the runway at Brawdy was blocked could divert to Cardiff or St Mawgan at a max. A Hawk with full internal fuel returning after a 55 min sortie could divert to Nice if they went high level! That meant the Hawk could fly two sorties without refuelling compared with the Hunter. The Hawks serviceability was also a huge improvement on the Hunters' which is only to be expected of a purpose designed training aircraft as opposed to a leading edge interceptor fighter which is what the Hunter was designed to meet.

Having said that, the Hunter has to be the prettiest jet fighter in the world ever! It is a great pity that the re-heated version was never ordered by the RAF as it would have given the RAF its first supersonic in level flight fighter well before the Lightning entered service.

Harrier Mate06/02/2016 14:05:24
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Peter,

I agree with you that the hunter is a most beautiful design and especially the sound of its blue note in a high speed pass. And the Hawk is considerably more fuel efficient than its predecessor (we can actually get 4 miles per gallon at 35000ft!!!). However, it not quite as fuel efficient as you might think. We regularly used to stage (and still do occasionally) through Nice on route to overseas destinations (usually AWTI Decimomannu when it was open and I did Solenzara in Corsica a few months ago via Orange 30mins nw of Nice). On a full tank of fuel we could make Nice. Unfortunately, we would never be able to make it as a diversion at the end of a sortie. There are many times I wish we could!!! We, however, are also restricted to diversions as far a field as Cardiff and Brizenorton (350kg from Valley, 250kg from Brawdy) or when the weather is really bad, Lossiemouth is achievable but at the expense of our sortie duration.

cymaz07/02/2016 06:18:29
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Someone will know this..... what are the black lines on the top of the Hawk canopy, shown in the video?

Colin Leighfield07/02/2016 07:19:16
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I understand that there are fracture lines built into the canopy to facilitate ejection through it without the need to jettison it, also aerials for avionics. However, the chap with the real know how on this one must be Harrier Mate, so are those assumptions correct?

Peter's comments about the supersonic Hunter (P1083)? are interesting. It still seems mad that government's at the time could not justify supporting the introduction of aircraft that gave a progressive step through into supersonic fighter capability until the Lightning came into service from 1960 on, particularly as the P 1083 would clearly have had the same sort of export potential as the Hunter did and the earnings from that would have almost certainly have more than paid for it as well as crucially boosting foreign earnings and supporting the crucial cutting edge aerospace industry that governments now are realising were stupidly thrown away. You wonder why Hawker didn't have the guts to complete it as a private venture on that basis, it is very likely that if they had the RAF would later have bought it anyway. I can only think that they decided the future was with the P1021, if they had known that would be cancelled as well they might have thought differently. The P1083, was after all part built and some of the fuselage detail finished up in the Hunter F6, but not the crucially important supersonic wing.

The Supermarine 545 was in the same category. The prototype was built and not far off flying when that was cancelled. It seems very sad to me that this plane, after being on display at Cranwell, was scrapped a few years ago. Supermarine had learned enough from the problems with the Swift to get that one right and it's potential was similar to if not greater than that of the P1083. What a waste.

Low pass Pete07/02/2016 07:22:38
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They are detonation cords designed to shatter the canopy as ejection is initiated.

Fabulous film which brings back so many memories. I may well have actually been at that show as I lived in North Devon (Barnstaple) at the time but had joined the RAF and was stationed at RAF Lyneham . I would have been at the show with my future wife who lived in nearby Braunton. I have some old slides of one of the Chivenor shows but do not recall which one at the moment. The slides are in the loft so will did them out to see it the was the show I went to. I recall the 229 formation well. I doubt if the current RAF could put up enough aircraft to repeat such a spectaclesad

The lazy runway was filled a line of all the show aircraft which was pretty fantastic. The show I went to displayed the last Gloster Javalin flying, from I think Boscome Down. it was in a red/white livery and now resides in the Duxford museum.

Happy memories indeed. Chivenor is very quiet these days, it is now a Royal marine base.

Mark Kettle 107/02/2016 10:05:06
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I'm glad you enjoyed it Low Pass Pete, it would be go if you could get your slide images on here.

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