THE FRADU CANBERRAS

ENGLISH ELECTRIC CANBERRA T.22 WT525 -†'855'

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WT525's service history

Canberra WT525 was one of forty PR.7 Canberra airframes built at Preston by English Electric under contract for the Royal Air Force.
Declared ready for collection in October 1955, the aeroplane was moved to RAF Wahn in West Germany and was issued to RAF 17 Squadron (Sqn). WT525 moved with this Unit to RAF Wildenrath in March 1957, where it would remain in service for its remainder of its RAF career, which ended in 1969 when 17 Sqn was disbanded.
Now a redundant airframe, WT525 was returned to the UK and placed into long-term store at RAF St Athan.

During February 1971, the airframe was transferred to the Royal Navy, and was moved to Salmesbury for overhaul and conversion to T.22 specification during the following June. After nearly three years of work, the now serviceable WT525 was moved to Marshalls Aerospace at Cambridge, whom had completed much of the design work on the T.22, in August 1974 for trials work. It remained based there for the next three months until it was returned to RAF St Athan on 4th December 1974.

On 16th January 1975, WT525 entered Fleet Air Arm service at RNAS Yeovilton where it joined the Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit (FRADU) as aeroplane '855'. It remained in service, aside from two short spells at RNAS Lee-on-Solent (October-December 1975, and November 1978-February 1979) until October 1979, when it was ferried to RAF St Athan for a major airframe inspection. It was returned to the FRADU in September 1980, and gave steady service for the next five years, until it role was taken on by civilian owned Dassault Falcon 20 aeroplanes, which had been specially converted for their new taskings. WT525 was ferried to RAF St Athan on 1st March 1985, where it would remain for the next six years until it was offered for disposal in May 1991.



[© Robin A. Walker]

[© Dave Jones]

[© Pedro Arag„o]

[© Kev Slade]

[© Mike Freer]

[© Stephen Rendle]

[© Bob Turner]
 
 

WT525's civilian life

WT525 was acquired by Hanningfield Metals, based at Stock in Essex for scrap, and it was sectioned and moved to its yard in October 1991 for processing.
The cockpit section was separated and was later sold into private ownership, and was moved off to a private location in South Woodham Ferrers in Essex in February 1994. Little was heard of the cockpit for the next nine years, until it resurfaced in 2003, following a sale to a new owner. It was moved to RAF Wyton, and restoration was begun to bring the sole remnants of the T.22 back to life.

In 2011, WT525 is owned by aviation artist Barry Welland, and is housed close to the former RAF St Mawgan airfield in Cornwall.
Restoration is continuing when possible.

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