Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Canberra - Survivor WT525

T.22 WT525 - Jon Goodwin, South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum, AeroVenture, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

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Canberra T.22 WT525 at South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum, 22nd September 2023; Jake Wallace

A rather large cockpit section, WT525 was originally built as a PR.7 and as such was ready for collection on 23 June 1955. Taken onto RAF charge, WT525 was issued to the newly forming 80 Sqn, a Photo Reconnaissance squadron based at RAFG Laarbruch. 80 Sqn moved to RAFG Brugen in July 1957 and it is possible that during that time was when WT525 was transferred to 17 Sqn, also Photo Reconnaissance, at RAFG Wahn.

On 15 February 1971, WT525 was transferred to the charge of the Royal Navy, having been converted to T.22 standard. The T.22s were unique to the Royal Navy's Fleet Requirements and Air Directional Unit (FRADU) with only seven of the type being produced and introduced into the Navy's FRADU system to replace the aging Sea Vixens as radar trainers. Their distinctive nose shape was due to them being fitted with a Buccaneer S.2 type radar on which future Bucc radar operators could be trained. Latterly, the T.22 also provided an ECM training role for the Navy but they were finally withdrawn in 1985.

WT525 was flown to RAF St Athan for storage on 1 March 1985 and posted for sale or disposal in 1991. Richard Doel rescued the cockpit section of this T.22 and moved it to Cambridge. WT525 was gradually restored and Richard then sold the cockpit in 2009 to a private owner who moved her to St Mawgan. After being there for several years she was moved to the Newquay Aviation Heritage Centre in 2018 where her restoration continues.

In 2023, CAHC was sadly forced to close its doors, leaving all the exhibits at risk. Thankfully, WT525 made her way off-site in May, making a brief appearance at Bruntingthorpe's Museum, before heading to its new home, the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum, in June.

Information on this page current as of 30/10/2023, last updated by Jake

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