|THE FRADU HUNTERS|
|HAWKER HUNTER T.7 XX466 - '879'|
|XX466's service history
Hawker Hunter XX466 began life as T.7 XL620. It was built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd at Kingston-upon-Thames for the Royal Air Force, taking its first flight on 3rd January 1959. It was accepted into the RAF at 5MU (Maintenance Unit) Kemble a month later, where it was prepared for military service. XL620 was then issued to RAF 66(F) Sqn at RAF Acklington where it was used as a training aeroplane. It later moved onto the strength of RAF 74(F) Sqn at RAF Coltishall and was operated alongside its fleet of English Electric Lightnings as a pilot trainer.
In March 1966, the aeroplane was bought back by Hawker Aircraft Ltd, and it was ferried back to Hawkers' Dunsfold factory the following month for overhaul and conversion to unofficial 'T.70' specification.
In July 1974 '837' was exchanged for an RAF Hunter FR.10, and it was returned to the UK. Following another refurbishment programme at Dunsfold, the aircraft was re-introduced into RAF service at 229OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) RAF Chivenor under a 'new' military serial XX466. Its stay in Devon was brief, as 229OCU was disbanded and all its aeroplanes were transferred to the newly formed Tactical Weapons Unit (TWU) at RAF Brawdy. XX466 remained in service at Brawdy after the TWU was split into two separate sections (1TWU and 2TWU that was formed at RAF Lossiemouth) in April 1978.
XX466 was transferred to Royal Navy charge at Brawdy on 18th October 1982, but was almost immediately placed on loan to the Institute of Aviation Medicine at Farnborough.
In August 1993, the aircraft made the short journey by road to RNAS Predannack where it was used for fire Crash rescue training, a job it kept until June 1996 when it was moved to the fire pits where it was apparently destroyed within months.
[© Martin Morley]
[© John Hale]
[© Steve Ryle]
XX466's civilian life
HOWEVER, IT LIVES ON!!! - During the autumn of 2004, the cockpit section of XX466 was discovered on Guernsey Airport's fire dump.
- January 2015
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