Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor WT804

GA.11 WT804 - Privately Owned, Todenham, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire

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Hunter GA.11 WT804 at Todenham, 14th March 2020; Daren Eaton

Built as an F.4 and first flown in March 1955, WT804 served with 247 Squadron before being placed in storage as improved marks became available. In 1961/62 she was taken out of storage and converted to GA.11 standard and assigned to the Fleet Air Arm. Serving with 738 NAS at RNAS Lossiemouth from late 1962, but by May 1963 was back in storage - at RNAY Sydenham. Moving to Kemble and 5MU in April 1965, she was back in the air the next year with 738 NAS once again, now based at RNAS Brawdy. With occasional spells at maintenance units for various upgrades including fitting a Harley light in the nose, WT804 went on to joint the Fleet Requirements Unit at Hurn in July 1969 and stayed on when the unit moved to Yeovilton and became FRADU.

She was retired to storage at Kemble once more in 1982, and became a ground instructional airframe. She was used as such at Shawbury and Culdrose (in taxiable condition there for use with the School of Aircraft Handling), finally being retired from active use in January 1994. By May of that year she had moved home to the Home Office Fire & Emergency Training Centre at Moreton-in-Marsh (now the Fire Service College). Her nose wheel is retracted and she's apparently pole-mounted to keep her securely in place while trainees practice extracting people from the cockpit. Alas visitors are not welcome, with the College citing health & safety risks.

In 2017, WT804 was moved at last down the road to Todenham with a private owner where it is currently under restoration. It can be seen with its nose sat on a stack of wood and tyres to hold the airframe level until the nose gear is able to come down.

Information on this page current as of 02/08/2021, last updated by Jake

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