"RICHARD PARKHURST'S FRADU SELECTION" [page 1 of 2]
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"Richard Parkhurst lived in Yeovil for a number of years like myself, and was a regular visitor at the base taking photos. He is a superb aviation modeller and has made models for FRADU pilots and RNHF pilots in the past, and as such he got given the opportunity to visit the two Units inside the airfield on a couple of occasions.

Some of his vast collection of FRADU Hunter and Canberra photographs are shown on these two pages..."


AIRWORK SERVICES LTD BROCHURE
 
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[ Airwork Services]
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[ Airwork Services]
(1) Starting off this page is two photographs that were used in an Airwork Services brochure published in the early 1970's, a time when Airwork were responsible for running and maintaining the FRADU. This photo shows a combined line-up of Fleet Requirements Unit (FRU) and Air Direction Training Unit (ADTU) aircraft on the ground at Yeovilton, with an ADTU T.8 in the foreground.
(2) Inside the hangar at Yeovilton showing Hunters undergoing maintenance by the Airwork Services engineers. Aircraft in this shot include GA.11 XE685/731, and the rear ends of T.8C XF985 and GA.11 WV382.


POST THUNDERSTORM CONDITIONS AT 'VLN'
 
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
(3) Canberra T.22 WH803/856 is captured in dramatic lighting by Richard's camera just after a Thunderstorm had cleared the airfield. Note the SHAR FRS.1's in the background.


FAMILIAR SIGHTS OF YEOVILTON IN 1981 :)
 
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
All these photos were taken during 1981, by Richard whilst he was stood at the end of the lane close to the FAA Church in Yeovilton village. This was a great spot as all the FRADU Hunters, Canberras and later Hawks used to taxi past you as they made their way back to the FRADU dispersal on the south-side of the airfield.
 
(4) T.8C XL598 is shown firstly on its way back to the dispersal after a sortie. This aircraft was used extensively during the 1970s, for further information on this aeroplane, click here.
(5 & 6) At the time this aircraft was the oldest flying Hunter in the world. Formerly built as a RAF F4, T.8C WT702/874 is also caught twice on its way back to the FRADU hangars by Richard.
(7) A GA.11 this time, this aircraft XE685/861 was a regular flier around the Yeovilton area for 30 years until retirement in 1994. For further information on this aeroplane, click here.
(8) A "fast Hunter" this time - a T.8M Sea Harrier trainer, the youngest Hunter variant produced. Only three aircraft were converted to this specification, with XL580 being the first delivered to the Fleet Air Arm. It is shown here in its early RN 899 Squadron colours as 717/VL.
(9) GA.11 XF368/863 showing off her grey and white scheme for Richard's camera. For further information on this aeroplane, click here.


FRADU AIRCRAFT ON THE WAY OUT...
 
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
(10) The FRADU Hunters regularly took off in pairs on sorties, and this illustrates the point perfectly with T.8C's XL598/870 and WT799/879 caught just before leaving RNAS Yeovilton's main runway. The photo also shows both aircraft wearing RAF camouflaged tail fins, obviously acquired from the RAF at a time when both services were still using the Hunter.


...AND ON THEIR WAY BACK IN AGAIN
 
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
(11) T.8C WT799/879 is shown here taxiing back to the FRADU ramp after a sortie in the late 1970s. For further information on this aeroplane, click here.
(12) Canberra TT.18 WJ717/841 taxies along the airfield perimeter after landing on Rwy 27 at Yeovilton.


ON THE APRON RESTING ON A CHOCK...
 
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
(13) GA.11 WV256 enjoying a break from FRADU sorties on the tarmac, showing off the superb Royal Navy Hunter scheme of the 70's and 80's.


3 CANBERRAS CAUGHT ON THE WAY OUT
 
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
(14) Ah the Canberra T.22's! Richard was lucky enough to see these rare variants regularly during the 70's and 80's, and the aircraft pictured here is WT510/854, which was the variant prototype. It is seen taxiing out to Runway 09 at Yeovilton prior to take-off.
(15) Another T.22 follows WT510 up the taxiway! This aircraft is WH803/856, the last Canberra T.22 delivered to the Fleet Air Arm.
(16) Both Canberras are visible in this shot, as clearance is given to proceed onto the runway by ATC.


A RARE GLIMPSE OF A FRADU CANBERRA T.4
 
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
(17) Another Canberra prepares to move out onto Runway 09, but this time it is a T.4 variant, WJ874/858. This aircraft was transferred to Navy charge in 1969 and served with the FRU and FRADU until being retired and returned to the RAF, along with sister ship WJ866/859. WJ874 was until 2000, still in RAF service, but is now owned by Air Atlantique Classic Flight at Coventry.


"ON FINALS"...
 
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
(18) The previous four photos showed Canberras on their way out of Yeovilton, these three show them coming back in from sorties, with Canberra TT.18 WK123/840 show first on finals to Runway 09 at Yeovilton.
(19) ...next featured is the familiar T.22 WH856/856...
(20) ...and T.4 WJ874/858 completes the trio.


A SHORTER-THEN-PLANNED FRADU SORTIE
 
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
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[ Richard Parkhurst]
 
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(21) Something went wrong during this flight involving Canberra TT.18 WJ636/842, the five photos above show part of the story. This image shows the aircraft taking off from Rwy 27 at Yeovilton.
(22) Caught over the field with a Hunter as company, the pilot of the Hunter no doubt having a look to see if he could spot anything externally wrong with the aircraft...
(23) The aircraft returns to ground level, note on the enlarged image the fire trucks in the background awaiting the aircraft's arrival. When the aircraft finally grounds to a halt the pilot shuts down the engines.
(24 & 25) A team of FRADU and Yeovilton ground-crew recover the aircraft and tow it back by tractor back to the FRADU hangars, where the problem was no doubt investigated.

[Page 2 of Richard Parkhurst's images]

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NOTE: All these photographs that appear on this page are Richard Parkhurst.
If you wish to use these photos for anything other then personal use you must first get his permission.

Mark Russell, 1998-2015