"MORE OF MORT'S BLUE HERONS COLLECTION" [page 2 of 2]
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"Derek Morter lives in France. He was a FRADU pilot from 1970-85, flying 5500 hours with the Unit.
He retired with a total of 9000hrs, 6500 of which were in Hunters. He was also founder/leader of the Blue Herons aerobatics team until its disbandment in 1980.
He sent me a second batch of photos from his collection.""


CAUGHT IN THE BOX FORMATION
 
1.
[ Royal Navy]
2.
[ Royal Navy]
1. The team photographed as they perform a flyby in the box, with XF977/865 leading the formation, with WT806/838 and XE682/835 in the No.2 and 3 slots. Lastly bring up the rear is the usual lead aircraft of the team WW654/833.
2. Another box formation photo, this time capturing the team as they are performing a formation-roll for the camera ship.
The four aircraft in the photo are WT806/838 leading, with WV267/836 and WT804/831 in the 2 and 3 slots and XE668/832 in the No.4 position.


THEN CAPTURED IN CARD 4
 
3.
[ Richard Wilson]
4.
[ Richard Wilson]
3. Looking up on the under-surfaces of the four aircraft in "card 4" formation as they carry out another piece of precision formation flying. Making up the team on this occasion were WW654/833, WT806/838, WV267/836 and lastly XE682/835.
4. This shot shows the team completing a loop whilst in the "card 4" formation. The box comprises from top left: WT804/831, WT806/838, XE668/832 and lastly WV267/836.


RESTING ON THE GROUND AT GREENHAM
 
5.
5. Here are the Blue Herons parked up on the Greenham Common ramp ready for their display slot.
On the photo you can see all the ladders have been attached to the aircraft ready for the pilots to strap themselves in; WV267/836 is in the foreground with WT806/838 behind.


SHOWING OFF THE UPPER SURFACES...
 
6. 7. 8.
 
6. Capturing above the formation as they perform a very tight box routine. This formation comprises the same four aircraft seem in photo 2, and is taken on an air-to-air photographic sortie.
7. Another box shot this time showing the team in the latter stages of pulling out of a formation roll. Aircraft here include the same as above ... again :) Here you can see the two-tone colour scheme on the RN GA.11 Hunter fleet, slightly nicer then all grey I think.
8. Another result from the photo sortie, taken at a slightly different angle then that of photo 6.


...AND THEN THE UNDER SURFACES
 
9. 10. 11.
 
9. This shot shows the aircraft with their white under-surfaces. You also get a peak at the Hunter's undercarriage too, as their wheels are down. Leading as usual is WW654/833 with XE682/835 and WT806/838 in the 2 and 3 slots and WV267/836 as No.4.
10. The team captured carrying out the Swan formation against a very cloudy backdrop. Leading is MORT in his cherished WW654/833 with WV267/836 behind. WT806/838 and XE682/835 form the wings at the rear of the formation.
11. Another peak at their undercarriage legs, but this time there are both the usual lead aircraft at the front and rear of the formation. Sandwiched in between No. 1 XF977/865 and No.4 WW654/833 are WT806/838 and XE682/835 in the box formation.


"THE THURSDAY WAR"
 
12.
[ Andy Tait]
12. Here is the scene taken from an airborne photo-ship taken by Andy Tait on 27th June 1984.
It shows a Canberra T.22 with a Hunter under each wing. The T.8C is WT722/873 whilst MORT is in the office of the GA.11 WV256/862.
This type of exercise was commonplace every Thursday when the FRADU aircraft would test out the capabilities of various RN ships in the Channel. However the photo doesn't comply with the caption as this exercise actually took place on a Wednesday :)


GREENHAM COMMON TATTOO, 1979
 
13.
[ Derek Morter]
14.
[ Derek Morter]
13. This shot captures some of the Blue Herons after they have just touched down to Greenham on completion of their display. The two aircraft pictured as they ran down the runway are WT804/831 in the foreground with WV267/836 in the background.
14. Back on the ramp for this shot that pictures the aircraft lined up ready for action the next day.


MORE COVERAGE FROM GREENHAM...
 
13.
[ Derek Morter]
14.
[ Derek Morter]
15. & 16. These two shots show the aircraft photographed on the ramp waiting for their display slot at Greenham.
On this display the Unit brought five aircraft to the show enabling them to keep a spare aircraft in case one of the other aircraft went unserviceable. The aircraft at the show were PR.11 XF977/865, with GA.11's WT804/831, XE682/835, WT806/838 and WV267/836.


THE LEADER CAPTURED IN THE OFFICE
 
13.
[ Derek Morter]
14.
[ Derek Morter]
17. & 18. Here is Derek Morter photographed taxiing out and latterly taxiing back in from the Blue Herons display at Greenham Common in PR.11 XF977.
This aircraft was a regular member of the team and often was seen as the lead aircraft when WW654 was not available.


THE 'REAL' FLEET AIR ARM HUNTER SCHEMES
 
19.
[ Derek Morter]
20.
 
19. This GA.11 made an appearance at Greenham Common's 1976 event, and shows the aircraft, XE689/864 taxiing back to its parking spot on the ramp.
20. This shot is a fantastic air-to-air experience with a Hunter T.8C. The shot was taken over the Yeovilton area and shows XL598/871 top-side, and its gorgeous colour scheme over the upper surfaces of the aircraft ... looks a lot better than dark sea grey to me :)

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Derek Morter gave all images shown above to myself. If you wish to use these photos on another web-site you must first his permission.

Mark Russell, 1998-2015