THE FRADU CANBERRAS

ENGLISH ELECTRIC CANBERRA T.22 WT535 -'852'

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WT535's service history

English Electric built Canberra WT535 as one of forty PR.7 Canberra airframes for the Royal Air Force at its Preston factory.
It was declared ready for collection in October 1955, and was later posted to RAF Wahn in West Germany to begin service with RAF 17 Squadron (Sqn).
WT535 moved with the Unit to RAF Wildenrath in March 1957, and remained with the Unit for its entire RAF career, eventually being withdrawn in 1969 following the Squadron's disbandment. The aeroplane was returned to the UK, and placed in long-term store at RAF Athan.

On 15th February 1971, WT535 was transferred to Royal Navy Charge at St Athan, and four months later was moved to the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) Salmesbury plant for conversion to T.22 specification.
The aeroplane entered Fleet Air Arm service on 22nd January 1974, with the Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Training Unit (FRADTU) at RNAS Yeovilton, for use as a radar trainer and to provide support to the Navy's shipping fleet.
Issued the fleet number '852', WT535 gave steady service to the FRADU (the word Training was dropped from the Unit's title later that year) unit until March 1979, when it was sent to RAF St Athan for a major inspection. It was returned to RNAS Yeovilton in July 1980, and was employed on numerous sorties without incident until 17th December 1984, when it was withdrawn and ferried to RAF St Athan for long-term storage, and as it transpired final retirement.
The Canberra T.22 fleet was gradually withdrawn as its replacement; civilian owned Dassault Falcon 20 aeroplanes came onto strength at Yeovilton.
WT535 remained in store at St Athan until being offered for disposal in May 1991.



[ Dave Jones]

[ Robin A. Walker]

[ 'emdjt42' - flickr.com]

[ Peter R. Foster]

[ Mike Freer]

[ Bob Turner]
 
 
 

WT535's civilian life

Hanningfield Metals bought WT535 for scrap, and the airframe was sectioned at St Athan and removed to the company's yard at Stock, Essex in October 1991.
The cockpit section remained intact for a short time but was processed along with the rest of the airframe by the end of 1992.

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