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CANBERRAPR

Canber r aPR9XH134( GOMHD)i soneof23ex ampl esoft het ypebui l t handedovert ot heRoyal Ai rF or ceon9Oct ober1959ands er vedex

T oday,t hankst oa s ubs t ant i alf i nanci ali nves t mentbyt heai r cr af t ’ so Avi at i on,s hei sonceagai nai r wor t hyandnow oper at esi nci vi l i anhan

Kar lDr ageex pl or est hes t or yoft hi sgr eatl adyandt hes econdl eas eo


PR9XH134

i l tbyS hor tBr ot her si nBel f as t ,ascons t r uct i onnumberS H. 1724.S hewas x cl us i vel ywi t ht hes er vi ceunt i l t het ype’ sr et i r ementcamei nJ ul y2006.

sowner ,Mi keDavi s ,and a s uper b engi neer i ng j ob car r i ed outbyC2 andsundert hegui s eoft heMi dai rSquadr on.

ofl i f es he’ sbeenhanded.


T heCanber r a T hePR9wast hedef i ni t i vepr oduct i onvar i antof Engl i s hEl ect r i c’ sphot or econnai s s ance ver s i on oft he ver s at i l e Canber r a,whi ch had been or i gi nal l y concei ved asa medi um bomberi n t he i mmedi at e af t er mat h ofWor l d War2. I n f act ,qui t er emar kabl y,t heCanber r apr ot ot ype f l ew f ort he f i r s tt i me on 13May1949,j us tf our year saf t ert heces s at i onofhos t i l i t i es . S uchwast heai r cr af t ’ sper f or mancet hati tdi d not t ake l ong bef or e al t er nat i ve r ol es wer e bei ng ex pl or ed f ort he pl at f or m,and even bef or e a dedi cat ed PR var i ant coul d be r el eas ed t o s er vi ce, modi f i ed B2 bomber ver s i onswer ebei ngequi ppedwi t hcamer ast o keepwat chovert heWar s aw Pactcount r i es .

T he PR3 ar r i ved i n 1952 and conf i r med t he s ui t abi l i t yf ort he r ol et hatmany had al r eady r ecogni s ed. S ubs equentdevel opment swer e madeand anevenmor ecapabl ever s i on,t he PR7,f ol l owed t he nex t year .L onger wi ngs , i ncr eas ed f uelcar r yi ng capaci t yand upr at ed Rol l s RoyceAvon109engi nesal l f eat ur edi nt he i mpr oved model ,whi ch wascapabl e off l yi ng athei ght si nex ces sof60, 000f t . A PR7,WH793,wasl at erf i t t ed wi t hf ur t her upr at ed engi nes ,Rol l s Royce Avon 206s ,and act ed as t he pr ot ot ype ai r cr af tf ort he PR9 var i ant ,f l yi ngf i r s ton8J ul y1955.Pr oduct i onof t he PR9 was s ubcont r act ed out t o S hor t Br ot her si nBel f as t ,wher e23ai r f r ameswer ebui l t bet ween1958and1962,al bei tonl y21woul dbe del i ver edf ol l owi ngt hepr edel i ver yl os sofXH129 andXH132’ ss ol eus easami s s i l et r i al st es tbed.


One not abl e ex t er naldi f f er ence bet ween t he pr ot ot ypeandt hepr oduct i onai r cr af twast hat t he ai r cr af tul t i mat el ymade us e oft he of f s et cockpi tl ayoutdevel oped f ort he B( I ) 8model . T hi schangegr eat l yi mpr ovedt hepi l ot ’ svi s i bi l i t y. L i nked t ot hi swast he i nt r oduct i onofa hi nged nos e whi ch ul t i mat el y became a deci dedl y dar k, di ngy, and ex t r emel y cl aus t r ophobi c homet ot hePR9’ snavi gat or .

det achmenti n Muhar r aq,Bahr ai n,was al s o manned by 13 S quadr on.By Augus t1976,39 S quadr onhadbecomet hes ol eoper at oroft he PR9 ( havi ng r et ur ned t o RAF Wyt on i n 1970) , af t er13S quadr on’ sai r cr af twer er epl aced by var i ant soft heear l i erPR7mar k.

Oft he r emai ni ng 16 PR9 ai r cr af t ,12 r ecei ved upgr adesbet ween 1976and 1980,al lgear ed t owar ds i mpr ovi ng t he t ype’ sl owl eveland T hePR9ent er eds er vi cewi t hNo.58S quadr onat t act i calr econnai s s ance capabi l i t y.Whi l e mos t RAFWyt oni nJ anuar y1960bef or ebei ngt aken oft he changest ookpl ace i ns i de t he ai r cr af t , onchar gebyNos .13and39S quadr onsatRAF t heygai ned t wo ex t er nal‘ acor ns ’ ,one ont he L uqa,Mal t a. I nt hos eear l yyear s ,t hePR9was l eadi ngedgeoft het ai l f i nandt heot heront he empl oyed ona mul t i t ude ofoper at i onalf l i ght s t ai lcone, f r om t he addi t i on of an AN/ ARI over t he Mi ddl e Eas t , keepi ng wat ch on 18228/ 6r adarwar ni ngr ecei ver . conf l i ct sbet ween I r aq and Kuwai tand t hen S audiAr abi a and Abu Dhabi .A per manent

Canber r aPR9XH169i ss eenabovet hecl oudsovert heNor t hS eai nOct ober1995 ( L i nds ayPeacock)


T ot hi sdayt her er emai nsadegr eeofconj ect ur eoverwhet herornott he RAF ’ sCanber r a PR9spl ayed anyr ol ei nt heF al kl andsConf l i ct .T heBBC’ s J on S now r epor t ed s eei ng mor et han one PR9 atPunt a Aer nas ,Chi l e, dur i ngt hewar( s omer epor t sevencl ai mt hatt heai r cr af tcar r i ed Chi l ean Ai rF or ce mar ki ngs ) ,t hough t he of f i ci all i ne i st hatt he Canber r asnever madei tf ur t hers out ht hanBel i z e. Addi ng t ot he mys t er y,s hor t l y af t ert he conf l i ct ,one PR9 wasnot ed car r yi ng a l ar ge dr awi ng ofa wi nki ng ‘ S noopy’ ,t he beagl e dog made f amousbyt he Peanut scar t oon. S pecul at i oni st hatt hi sr epr es ent ed an acknowl edgementoft he ai r cr af t ’ soper at i onsovert he Beagl e Channel , l ocat edpar t l yi nChi l eandpar t l yi nAr gent i na.Or ,maybe,ast hepi ct ur e bel ow s ugges t s ,i twasf armor ei nnocentandr el at edt oadepl oymentt o Denmar kar oundt hes amet i me. . . ?

Above -XH165 i s S quadr on’ s‘ F l yi ng badge atRAFWy ( L i nds ayPeacock)

Ri ght-XH134 her Ks ar ,T uni s i a, i n ( RayDeacon)

L ef t-An i nnocen 1982 s quadr on Denmar k or a acknowl edgemen al l egedi nvol veme War ?( L i nds ayPea

T op l ef t-XH134 o bet ween mi s s i ons Ks ari n1963 ( RayD


i ss een car r yi ng 39 ng Bomb’s quadr on Wyt on i n May 1982 k)

er s el ft ax i esoutat n December 1962

entr ef er ence t oa depl oyment t o a mor e s ubt l e ent of t he PR9’ s enti nt heF al kl ands eacock)

once mor er es t i ng nson t he apr on at yDeacon)


Anot hers i l houet t edvi ew ofXH169 ( L i nds ayPeacock)

Car r yi ngt hegl obe

39 S quadr on wasdi s banded atRAF Wyt on i n May 1982 butwas r es ur r ect ed oncemor easNo.1Phot ogr aphi cReconnai s s anceUni t( 1 PRU)i nt heJ une.A l i t t l eoveradecadel at er ,i nJ ul y1992,t heuni twas r ebadgedas39( 1PRU)S quadr onandaf i nal changeofs cener ycame on1December1993whent heuni tuppeds t i cksandr el ocat edt oRAF Mar ham.

Af t ert headopt i onoft hehempcol ours cheme,39( 1PRU)S qn’ sCanber r as acqui r edat wol et t ercodef orawhi l e,l i keXH135/ AC ( L i nds ayPeacock)

Af t erpos i t i o


bet ai l mar ki ngsas s oci at edwi t hNo.1PRU,XH134i ss eenont heapr onatKai T ak,HongKong,i nNovember 1985 ( Kei t hWat s on,vi aRayDeacon)

t i oni ngawayf r om t hes unt heopencamer apor t soft hePR9becamemor eappar ent( L i nds ayPeacock)


Bot hXH131andXH135r ecei vedART F( Al kal i Removabl eT empor ar yF i ni s h)pai nt compl et i onoft het ype’ st our( Al l i magest hi ss pr eadKar lDr age)

Unl i ket heF al kl ands ,nos uchconj ect ur eex i s t s overmor e moder nday conf l i ct s ,and t he RAF ’ sCanber r aPR9sdef i ni t el ydi dt akepar ti n oper at i ons overBos ni a,I r aq,S omal i a and l at t er l y Af ghani s t an. I ndeed, t wo of t he s quadr on’ sf i nalt hr ee ai r cr af tonl yr et ur ned f r om Oper at i on HERRI CK – t he UK MOD’ s i nvol vementi nAf ghani s t an–on23J une2006, wi t ht he t ype’ sr et i r ementcomi ng j us tf i ve weeksl at er .


nts chemesf ort hei rOpHERRI CKdepl oyment s ,ass eenher eont hef or meratRAFMar ham f ol l owi ngt he


Above -S qn L drT er r yCai r nsgi vest he publ i c a good l ookatt he t op s ur f acesdur i ngadi s pl ayatRAFWaddi ngt onI nt er nat i onal Ai r s how.

T he ai r cr af twass eenoutofs er vi ce i nf i ne s t yl e wi t han‘ End ofanEr a’ s peci alcol ours cheme appl i ed t o XH134,and a handf ulofai r s how per f or manceswer es queez ed i n dur i ng t hos ef i nalf ew weeks ,f i t t i ngl y cul mi nat i ngwi t hf i nal f l our i s hesatt hatyear ’ sRAFMar ham F ami l i esDayon 27J ul yandatRAFWyt onF ami l i esDay24hour sl at er .

XH134’ sr et i r ement 39S qn‘ Wi ngedBo cr es t sofeachoft h oper at edt hePR9.

Above - On t he Mar ham wi t hXH13 col ours cheme af Af ghani s t an.

Ri ght-Depar t i ngf r I nt er nat i onalAi rT a l as tpubl i cout i ngi n

L ef t-Cl os eupoft h t hehangaratMar

Al l i magest hi ss pr e


ntt ai lf eat ur ed t he omb’mot i fandt he ft hes quadr onst hat 9.

he apr on at RAF 135r es t i ngi ni t sART F af t err et ur ni ng f r om

f r om t he2006Royal T at t oo -t he t ype’ s i nRAFS er vi ce.

t hear t wor kwhi l ei n ar ham.

r eadKar lDr age


L i f eAf t ert heRAF Byt hats t ageanauct i onhadal r eadybeenhel d t o det er mi ne t he f ut ur e oft he t hr ee r emai ni ng ai r cr af t .T hef i nal t hr eeCanber r aPR9si ns er vi ce wi t h No.39( 1PRU)S quadr on oft he RoyalAi r F or ce( XH131,XH134andXH135)wer edel i ver ed t oKembl e( now knownast heCot s wol dAi r por t ) on 31 J ul y 2006. At t hat s t age onl y one bel onged t o Mi dai rS A’ s Mi ke Davi s ,and i t was n’ tunt i ls omes i xmont hsl at ert hatt heot her t wocamei nt ohi spos s es s i onaswel l . “Wewer ei ni t i al l ypl anni ngonl eas i ngt wooft he ai r cr af t back t o t he mi l i t ar y wi t h moder n, updat ed camer a equi pment ,whi l et he t hi r d

ai r cr af twasus edf ors par es .Af t eran18mont h j oi ntvent ur e wi t hZ ei s sCamer as ,whi ch was goi ng t o pr ovi de s at el l i t e up and down l i nki n r ealt i me,unf or t unat el yt he RAFdeci ded t hat t he f ut ur el ay wi t ht he dr one and not t he Canber r a. However ,i n hi nds i ght ,I ’ m r at her gl adwedi dn’ tdoi t ,i naway! ”Mi ket el l sme. Wi t houtacl ear ,commer ci al r eas onf orbr i ngi ng t heai r cr af tbackt ol i f e,i tbecamequi t edi f f i cul t

t oj us t i f yt heenor mousex pens eas s oci at edwi t h apr oj ectoft hi ss i z e,butMi kewasunwi l l i ngt os i t backandl ett heai r cr af tbebr okenup.A new pl an was devi s ed,one t hatwoul ds ee one Canber r ar et ur ned t oai r wor t hys t at usand wi t h a mor e l ongt er m pl an of br i ngi ng t wo addi t i onalai r cr af tofa di f f er entt ype – t he HawkerHunt er– i nt ot he f r ay,cr eat i ng “T he Mi dai rS quadr on” . “Wes eeT heMi dai rS quadr onasanoppor t uni t y f oras ubs t ant i al gl obal br andwhocoul dus et he s quadr onasat ot al l yuni quePRandmar ket i ng t ool f ort hems el ves , ”Mi keex pl ai ns .“Wecan

s eeaf ut ur ei neventopeni ngsf orf i nanci aland t echni cal i ns t i t ut i onswhi chcoul denhancet hei r cur r ents t r at egybyaddi ng an i mpr es s i ve and noi s y1950s ’ex hi bi t i onofex cel l ence t ot he ai r . Youcani magi net heUni ver s i t yBoatRacebei ng opened by t hr ee 1950s ’mi l i t ar y ai r cr af tf l yi ng down t he T hames ,ort he s t ar tofS hanghai Gr and Pr i x bei ng over f l own by a hi s t or i c s pect acl e.T hi si sanex cl us i veoppor t uni t ywhi ch Iam del i ght edt obeapar tof . ”

Mai n-T heendofaner a.T heCanber r aPR9bowedoutofRAFs er vi ceatt heendofJ ul y2006 ( Kar lDr


XH134’ sRes t or at i on C2 Avi at i on’ s Chr i s Vaughan has pr oj ect managed t he engi neer i ng s i de oft he Canber r a’ sr es t or at i ont of l i ght ,buthow di dt he t eam deci dewhi choft heai r cr af tt or es t or e? “Wechos e‘ 134becaus ei t ’ st echni cal l ybet t er . I thad l es ss t r uct ur ali s s uest han XH135 ( XH131 hass i nce‘ gonehome’t oNor t her nI r el andand i snow ondi s pl ayatt heUl s t erAvi at i onMus eum) . Whi l s t‘ 135 coul df l yagai n,i twoul dr equi r ea s ubs t ant i alamount of i nves t ment t o do s o, whi ch woul d onl y be vi abl e i ft her e was commer ci al backi ng. ” Att heconcl us i onofherRAFcar eer ,XH134had

t or es t or e XH134t o ai r wor t hycondi t i on.I ti sa s ki l l edt eam wor ki ngont hepr oj ectwi t hmanyof t heor i gi nal Canber r aengi neer sr emai ni ngatC2 Avi at i on L t d.T he ai r cr af ti sdes i gnat ed byt he CAA asbei ng a compl exai r cr af tand i sver y aki nt o a Vul can i ni t scompl ex i t yand agei ng s ys t ems–s ever al ofwhi chwe’ ver epl aced. ” Char l i eKyl ei sC2Avi at i on’ sManagi ngDi r ect or : “T hemos ti mpor t antt hi ngf orMi keandhi st eam i st hes af et yoft hepi l ot sandcr ew whi l s ti nt heai r andont hegr ound.F ew oper at or shavegonet o t hel evel ofcar ewepr ovi deatC2Avi at i on,and f ol l owi ng t he compl et e over haulofal lai r cr af t par t s ,t heCAAhavebeent hr i l l edatt hel engt hs we have gone t o ens ur e t he Canber r a’ s ai r wor t hi nes s . ”

s er ved wi t h each of Nos . 13, 39 and 58 S quadr ons , had been a t r i al s ai r cr af t at Bos combe Down, had not ched a t ot alof 9281: 20 f l yi ng hour s and had made 4, 556 l andi ngs .S hehadal s ounder goneacompl et e r ef ur bi s hmenti nt heear l y1980s . Mi ke ex pl ai ns ,““T he r et ur nt of l i ght pr oj ect s t ar t edi near nes ti nMay2011,andMi dai rS Ahas f undedanew companycal l edC2Avi at i onL t d

Dr age)

Above -XH131,134and 135on t he apr on at Kembl es hor t l y af t ert hei rdel i ver yf l i ght sf r om RAFMar ham ( RayDeacon)


Cons ci ousoft hef actt hatXH134’ snew car eer pat h may l ead t o wor l dwi de appear ances , pot ent i al l y wi t hr educed gr ound s uppor t at t i mes ,oneoft hekeychangest het eam want ed t os ee made waswi t ht he i nt r oduct i on ofan el ect r i cs t ar t ers ys t em,i n pl ace oft he or i gi nal AVPI Nmet hod. Char l i e ex pl ai ns , “T he el ect r i c s t ar t i s a modi f i cat i onofaknowns ys t em t hatal l owsust o be much mor e f l ex i bl e and r equi r e l es s ont hegr ounds uppor t .I fwewer egoi ngt oan ai r s how i nt he Mi ddl e Eas t ,wi t ha f ul lbr i ef i ng, t her e’ sno r eas on why t he pi l otcoul dn’ thop t hr ough a coupl e of pl aces and t hen t he gr oundcr ew coul dmeett hem atanot herpoi nt . “T he ai r cr af tnow s t ar t swi t h a pi l ot oper at ed but t onpus h,wi t hnoneoft hel ogi s t i csi nhavi ng t o move danger ousai rcar go ( AVPI N) .T hi si s bet t erf ort heengi neandmeansyounol onger havet o dealwi t ha ‘ commi t t ed s t ar t ’pr oces s . We’ ve been t hi nki ng ahead atal lt i mes as XH134needst obeadepl oyabl eai r cr af t . ” T he Canber r a hass o muchs pace f ors t owage t hatt het eam i snow l ooki ngats ol ut i onst oal l ow at ow bart obef l ownwi t ht heai r cr af t ,f orus eon l andi ngatf or ei gnai r f i el ds .

Regul at or yI nvol vement Nat ur al l y,wi t h a pr oj ect of t hi s nat ur e,i t ’ s abs ol ut el y i mper at i ve t hat an ongoi ng di al oguehasex i s t edbet weenC2Avi at i onand t heCAA. Char l i e el abor at es , “T he CAA has been unbel i evabl y s uppor t i ve gi ven t he l evel of changest hey’ r ef aci ng i nt er msofcut backs , and we’ r e gr at ef ulf ort hei rencour agement and ongoi ng advi ce. T her e’ sa l ot mor e del egat ed aut hor i t y t o E4 s i gnat or y or gani s at i onsnow.Yous t i l lneedt os at i s f yyour s ur veyor wi t h what you’ r e doi ng,and t hey woul dn’ tj us tgi ve outt hi sl evelofaut hor i t y l i ber al l y.You know how wel lyou’ r e doi ng by how of t en you’ r e audi t ed;i fi t ’ sever ymont h, t her e’ ss omet hi ngwr ong! ”

Above-Al ooki ns i det hecockpi tofXH134af t erh

Bel ow -T hebombbayofXH134i ss ur pr i s i ngl yr oom


rherr es t or at i on ( Kar lDr age)

omy ( Kar lDr age)

One of t he changes t he CAA want ed i mpl ement ed on t he Canber r a concer ned a f uel t anks uppr es s ants ys t em. “You have t o us et oday’ smet hods ,pr act i ces and pr i nci pl est o modi f y,s o even t hough an ai r cr af t compl i es t o t he or i gi nal des i gn s peci f i cat i ons t andar d,i t ’ sbeenmodi f i ed,and youhavet obeabl et os how t hati tcompl i est o t he cur r ent s t andar ds at t he t i me of t he modi f i cat i on. By t oday’ s pr i nci pl es and s t andar dsi ti ni t i al l yr equi r edust ohaveas econd s ki ns epar at i onont hebel l yt ank–t hemai nt ank. I ft her e’ sani s s uewi t ht hel andi ng,t her ei sahi gh r i s koff uel i gni t i on,whi chi t ’ si mper at i vet oavoi d. “Cer t ai ns ugges t i onswer e bounced ar ound s uchas‘ coul dweputaKevl ars ki noni t ?’-and i nt heend,amodi f i edver s i onofanof f t hes hel f pr oduct was t he s ol ut i on f or us , ” Char l i e ex pl ai ns . “I thad ex pl os i ve f i r es uppr es s i on t ubesi ni t , ” Chr i st el l sme,“Es s ent i al l y we’ ve j us tf i t t ed an ai r cr af tf i r e ex t i ngui s heratt he back. I t ’ s85% f l ui d,15% gasand t hei dea i st omaket hef uel evenmor ei ner t .Whatwehadt odot henwas get Dave S t ar key f r om Acr o Aer onaut i cal S er vi cest o des i gn a s ys t em wi t h us . He t hen us ed s ci ent i s t sf r om t he nucl earl abor at or i esat Cul ham S ci ence Cent r et o wor koutt he f l ui d dynami csf oruss oweknew whatbor eofpi pe t ous eandt hel engt hr equi r edandhow bi gt he hol eshadt obet odi s pens et hef l ui d. ” “F r om a pur e engi neer i ng per s pect i ve,i twas goods t uf f ! ”Char l i ei nt er j ect s . Chr i scont i nues ,“Andt henDaveandI cameup wi t hamani f ol dandr et ur nval ves ys t em andr an i t pas tJ ohn ( Mar t i n) and I an ( Chapman) , al t hough t he CAA s t i l lr equi r ed doubl es ki n pl at es .Iwas doi ng t he s af et y cas ef ort he aer opl ane att hi st i me and t her e’ d onl ybeen f i ve Canber r a PR9 cr as hes ,one ofwhi ch was r epl i cat i nganot herPR9cr as h( Bos combeDown want ed t o putan ai r cr af ti nt ot he s ame f l i ght r egi meands eei fi twoul dhappenagai n–i tdi d, butt hi st i met hepi l otmadei tout ! ) !I wentback ands howedt hem t hef l yi nghour s ,andt heCAA


wass at i s f i ed wi t ht hi s . Ij us thad one oft hos e ‘ Eur eka! ’moment sone day,Iwasj us ts att her e and Is uddenl yt hought ,‘ T her e’ sneverbeen a Canber r aPR9bel l yl andi ng! ’S oI wentt ot heCAA and t ol dt hem i twasf ourt i mesmor el i kel yt o ki l l you t hr ough cr as hi ng t han i twasl andi ng on i t s bel l y,and t heyagr eed wi t hme.Real l y,t hatwas t he moment wher e al lt he over l yl egi s l at i ve r es t r i ct i onswer er el ax ed and we coul d car r yon r es t or i ngt heai r cr af t ” . T hei mpr ovement shaven’ ts t oppedatt heai r cr af t ei t her . Aswel lasan ongoi ng pr ogr amme of r enovat i on t o C2 Avi at i on’ s hangar ,a pi l ot s ’ br i ef i ng r oom hasbeenconver t ed whi chmeans t he S quadr on’ spi l ot snow have t hei rowns pace t of ul l y pl an,pr epar e and br i eff ort hei rs or t i es , wher evert heymayt aket hem. I anChapmani saf or merengi neeri nt heRoyal Ai r F or cewi t hex per i enceonHawksands omeoft he RAF ’ sl ar geras s et s ,s uchasC17andVC10.He’ s beeni nvol vedwi t ht hepr oj ects i nceear l y2012. “I ,aspar tofJ ohnMar t i n’ st eam,l i t er al l ys pentt wo weekst r yi ng t os ett he r ange ofmovement son t heai l er ons , ”I ant el l sme.“Wepur pos el ys etout t o getever yt hi ng notj us twi t hi nt he accept abl e t ol er ances ,butbang i nt he mi ddl e att he nul l pos i t i on,and ever yt i me Igotone end oft he ai l er oncont r ols ys t em s quar edaway,i twoul dbe of fs omewher e el s e! We cr acked i tevent ual l y t hough,andnow s hef l i esl i kes he’ sf act or yf r es h! ”

F i r s tPos t Res t or at i onF l i ght Undoubt edl yt he mos ts i gni f i canteventi nt he pr oj ect ’ shi s t or yt o dat e came on 19J ul yoft hi s yearwhens he f l ew f ort he f i r s tt i me af t eral mos t ex act l ys evenyear sont hegr ound. “Asyoucani magi ne,whens he gotai r bor ne f or t hatf i r s tf l i ght ,t her e was n’ ta dr y eye i nt he hous e, ”I an s ays .“We’ ve been pour i ng bl ood, s weatandt ear si nt ot hepr oj ectf ors ol ong– and t he r el eas e of emot i on at a ver y poi gnant momentwashugef oral l t hos ei nvol ved.


Above -Bar r y Hegar t y appl i est he f i ni s hi ng t ouchest o XH134’ s el evat or spos tr es t or at i on. Bel ow -Backi nt he s ki eswher es he bel ongs ,XH134 af t eral mos t s evenyear sr oot edt ot hegr ound. Bot t om l ef t-I anChapmanandI onaBr andputt heai r cr af tt obedi n t hehangaraf t erherf i r s tj our neyt ot her unwayi nhernew col our s . L ef t-T he s i gn out s i de t he doort ot he pi l ot s ’br i ef i ng r oom att he Mi dai rS quadr on’ sCot s wol dAi r por thomebas e. T opl ef t-XH134t akest ot her unwayatt he2010Cot s wol dAi rS how. Att hats t age,ar et ur nt ot hes ki ess t i l l r emai nedbutadr eam. Al l i maest hi ss pr eadKar lDr age


“We wer et hr i l l ed wi t h how wel lt he f i r s tf l i ght went ,and t he pos i t i ve f eedbackwe r ecei ved f r om t he pi l ot s . F ol l owi ng t he s t andar d pos t f l i ghtchecks ,wewer edel i ght edt or epor tt hat , as i de f r om a coupl e ofver ymi nort hi ngs ,t he f l i ghthad pr oduced no s i gni f i cantpr obl emsor i nf l i ghti s s ues .Wequi ckl ys or t ed t hes eoutand s he wentup agai n.I twasf unnyt hough,wi t h t hatf i r s tf l i ghtoutoft he way,emot i onal l ywe wer equi t ebl as éaboutt hes econdt r i p! ”

RI AT2013 L at ert hats ameday,t heCanber r at ookof ff r om Cot s wol d Ai r por tand l anded atRAF F ai r f or d wher es he wasa s ur pr i s e addi t i ont ot he s t at i c di s pl ayatt heRoyalI nt er nat i onalAi rT at t oo.T hi s was heri naugur alpubl i c appear ance s i nce bei ng r et i r ed f r om act i ve s er vi ce i n 2006.I an cont i nues ,“T o achi eve t haton t he s ame day wasbeyondourwi l des tdr eams ! “Idon’ tt hi nkwe appr eci at ed j us thow much l ovet her ewasf ort heai r cr af tunt i l wel andedat RI AT .I onaBr andandI wer et her et os uppor tt he l andi ng and t ax yi ng pr ocedur e and vi s i t or st o t hes how wer ecl amour i ngt ocat chagl i mps eof her !I twasamaz i ng!Overt he cour s e oft he weekend,t her e wass o muchi nt er es tf r om t he gener alpubl i c;peopl ear egenui nel ydel i ght ed t hatwe’ ve gotan ai r wor t hyCanber r a agai n, andwer ekeent oknow whatt henex tphas eof t hepr oj ectwas . ”

Mi dai rSquadr on’ sCanber r aPi l ot s XH134’ s pi l ot i ng dut i es ar e t o be s har ed bet ween Mi ke L eckey & Dave Pi per , bot h f or merRAFCanber r a PR9 pi l ot sand bot h on 39( R)S quadr on att he bi t t erend oft he t ype’ s s er vi cecar eer . Mi kehadj oi nedt heRAFi n1988andwaspos t ed t o No.360S quadr on,f l yi ng t he Canber r aT 17. Af t er360waswoundup, hedeci dedhewant ed t o become an i ns t r uct orand,af t eracqui r i ng t he neces s ar y qual i f i cat i ons ,ul t i mat el y ended upast heQF I( Qual i f i edF l yi ngI ns t r uct or )onNo.


39 S quadr on. S ubs equenti ns t r uct i onalt our s havei ncl udedt heF i r ef l ywi t hDEF T S , t heDomi ni e wi t h No.55( R)S quadr on and Mi ke i scur r ent l y as s i gned t o No. 45( R) S quadr on as an advanced,mul t i engi ned pi l oti ns t r uct or . He’ s al s onos t r angert odi s pl ayf l yi nghavi ngbeena memberoft he Bat t l e ofBr i t ai nMemor i alF l i ght f orni neyear s ,oper at i ngt heL ancas t erandt he Dakot a bet ween2000and 2009.Hi sCanber r a hour st ot als ome2, 500,ofwhi ch1, 700wer eon t hePR9,andhewi l l beXH134’ sChi efPi l ot . Dave’ s RAF car eer has mai nl y i nvol ved bounci ng ar ound bet ween Canber r a and t r ai ni ngt our s .Whent heJ et s t r eam wasus edi n t hemul t i engi net r ai ni ngr ol e,Davewast heBos s ofNo.45S quadr onandhe’ sal s obeent heCF S ex ami neron t he T ut or .I nt ot alhe hasabout 3, 000hour sonCanber r a,ar ound 800ofwhi ch wer eont hePR9.Hehass omet hi ngofacl ai mt o f amei nt heCanber r aPR9wor l dt oo. “When we del i ver ed t he ai r cr af tt o Kembl e,I engi neer ed i t–asF l i ghtCommanderOps–t o makes ur eI wast hel as tonet ol and,s oI l anded t he l as teverCanber r at hatwasi n RoyalAi r F or ces er vi ce–XH135! “I ’ veal s odonequi t eabi tofdi s pl ayf l yi ng, ”he t el l sme,“i nt heRAFandwi t ht heci vi l i anmar ks– bot ht he T T 18t hatwasf i r s tf l own on t he ci vvy ci r cui t( now i n Aus t r al i a)bya guycal l ed Ron Mi t chel land t henl at eronwi t h( Ai rAt l ant i que) Cl as s i cF l i ghtont heB2/ 6var i ant . ” T hel as tnamed–att het i met heonl yai r wor t hy Canber r al ef ti nEur ope-bl ew anengi neback on22J ul y2007,s opr i ort oXH134’ sr es ur r ect i on, Dave’ sl as tCanber r a di s pl aywasf l own i nt he B2/ 6atRAFWaddi ngt onon1J ul y2007. Unl i keDave,Mi kewasr es i gnedt ohavi ngf l own hi sl as tCanber r at r i pwhent hei rt i mewi t h39( R) S quadr ondr ew t oacl os e. “It houghtt hatwast he end. Iwentt ot he t r oubl e oft hr owi ng al lmydocument at i on i nt o t hes ki pout s i det heS quadr onandI f el tt hatwas def i ni t el yi t .Iwasamaz edwhenIgotacal l out oft he bl ue as ki ng i fI ’ d be i nt er es t ed i nf l yi ng ‘ 134agai n. ”

Cl ockwi s ef r om t op l ef t : Ar r i vi ng i nt ot he RAF F ai r f or d ci r cui t ; Par ked up atRAF Coni ngs by i n May 2006; T ax yi ng i nt o par ki ng atRI AT2013; Get t i ng ai r bor ne f r om RI AT2006;XH134’ sownerandMi dai r S AMDMi keDavi ss t andspr oudl yi nf r ontof t hej etaf t eri t sar r i val atF ai r f or d;Headon af t er vacat i ng t he F ai r f or d Runway; L eavi ngas mokeyt r ai l ast hewheel st ouch downatF ai r f or df ort hef i r s tt i mei ns even year s .Al l i magest hi ss pr eadKar lDr age


Cl ear l y much haschanged on t he ai r f r ame s i nce ‘ 134’ sr et i r ement . Di d Mi ke and Dave havemuchi nputi nt opr eci s el ywhatwenton? “I twasal mos taf ai taccompl i byt het i meDave andI wer econs ul t edaboutt hechanges , s o, no, notr eal l y.Mos toft hei t emst hatwer emodi f i ed wer e ver y engi neer i ng s ens i t i ve r at her t han ai r cr ew s ens i t i ve. T he maj ormodi f i cat i on was t heel ect r i cs t ar tt ot heengi nes ,s oasf arast he ai r cr ew ar e concer ned t hat ’ sj us ta mat t erof pr es s i ng a but t on. Onet hi ng Ihavehad s l i ght i nputi ni st hes i t i ngoft heavi oni csi nt hecockpi t –I wascons ul t edovert hat .S oI t r i edt opi ckt he bes tpos i t i onf ort heGPS ,r adi os ,navi gat i ons ui t e andt hevar i ousdi al st hatwentwi t ht hat . ”

“Idi dt he f i r s tf l i ghtand di d a qui ckhal f hour s hakedowns or t i e,andt henDavej umpedi nt oi t s hor t l y af t er war ds – s o we bot hs hook t he ai r cr af t down on t he f i r s t day, whi ch, i nci dent al l y,wass evenyear sandonedays i nce Ihadl as tf l ownaCanber r aPR9! ” T hef actt hef i r s tf l i ght swents os moot hl ycame asnos ur pr i s eatal l t oDave. “Wasi ts ur pr i s i ng?No,becaus ewhenyouknow t hequal i t yoft heguyst hathavebeendoi ngt he engi neer i ng on i t ,you know t hey’ r e goi ng t o make a good j ob ofi t . We knew af t eral lt he gr oundt es t i ngt hatwedi d–t hehi ghs peedt ax i

Mi kehadt hehonouroft aki ngXH134backi nt o checks ,ands oon–weknew t hes ys t emswer e t he ai rf ort he f i r s tt i me af t erherr es t or at i on. I aboutasgood ast heywer eevergoi ng t obe. as kedhi mi fi twasl i kehe’ dneverbeenaway. Bear i ng i n mi nd I ’ ve f l own ci vi l i anoper at ed Canber r asf orqui t eaf ew year sonandof f ,s oI “I twas ,f unni l yenough.WhenI wass i t t i ngt r yi ng wasf ai r l yconf i dent . t or ecal lal lt he dr i l l set c wi t houtbei ng i nt he ai r cr af t ,Icoul dn’ tr emembert hem,butwhenI “You know when you’ ve gota good t eam of j umped backi nt oi t ,i tal lcamef l oodi ng back. engi neer sar oundyout het hi ngi sgoi ngt owor k T heyt al kaboutmus cl ememor y,and,youknow, asadver t i s ed.I t ’ smor eofat r i but et ot hes ki l l sof my ar mswer er emember i ng wher et o go f or t hem,r eal l y. “ what s wi t ches wi t hout me havi ng t o make cons ci oust hought s ,s oi twasni ce and i tdi d T her ewasoneas pectoft hef i r s tf l i ghtt hatMi ke comer us hi ngbackt ome. wasl ooki ngf or war dt ol es st hant her es t .


“T he f i r s tt hi ng Idi d was ,Igotai r bor ne and I want ed t o do a l ows peed handl i ng check becaus et heCanber r awasal waysver ydi f f i cul t t o gett he t r i ms or t ed out .T her e’ sa l i t t l es t r i p t hats i t sont hebackoft heel evat or s ,andi thas t obef i l ed;i t ’ saver ybas i cdes i gn.T hi ss t r i phas t obef i l edoutoft heuppers ur f aceort hel ower s ur f ace, dependi ng on how t he ai r cr af ti s handl i ng,and Iwasex pect i ng i tt o be f ai r l y

mar ki ngst he ai r cr af tcar r i ed whens he bowed outofRAFs er vi ce,Mi ke Davi swascar ef ult o ens ur et hat ,s houl dt he need everar i s e,XH134 coul dber et ur nedt oherf or mergl or y,s odi gi t al bl uepr i nt soft hear t wor kwer et akenbef or eany wor kbeganont henew s cheme. When t he Canber r a PR9 wasi nt r oduced i nt o

badl yout ,t o be hones t . Buti twasabs ol ut el y s poton. T hat-t he t r i m check-wast he t hi ng t hatIwas r eal l y dr eadi ng,and i tmar ched s t r ai ghtt hr oughwi t hnoi s s ueswhat s oever . ”

s er vi ce s he di ds oi n an al l overs i l vercol our s cheme,wi t hf ul l t r i col ourr oundel sandf i nf l as h and f eat ur i ng ‘ XH134’i nf our f oothi gh bl ack l et t er sundereach wi ng. Mi ke’ spl an wast o r es t or ehert oherf or mergl or y.

Achangeofcol our

S o, af t er much r ubbi ng down, mas ki ng, cl eani ng,s pr ayi ngandmor ecl eani ng,s hewas f i nal l yr eadyt ohaveherRAFmar ki ngsappl i ed.

Af t era hugel ys ucces s f ulRI ATweekend,t he r emai nderoft he ai r cr af t ’ sf l i ghtt es ts chedul e wascompl et ed wi t houtany s i gni f i canti s s ues bei ngr ai s ed.I twast hent i met oembar kupon t hes econdphas eoft hegr andpl an:XH134was t ober epai nt ed. Acut el y awar e of t he s i gni f i cance of t he

“We’ veus edat ypeofdecal t hatcaneas i l ybe r emoved and r epl aced.T hi si sf ort he s i mpl e r eas on t hatr ul esdi ct at et hati fs pons or s hi pi s car r i ed ex t er nal l y on t he ai r cr af t ,al lmi l i t ar y mar ki ngsmus tber emovedands hemus tf l yon herci vi l r egi s t r at i on,GOMHD, ”Char l i eex pl ai ns . Mai ni mageKar lDr age


Whi l et hi swi l l doubt l es scaus emuchf ur or eamongt henays ayer s ,s ur el y i t ’ sbet t ert o have t he ai r cr af tf l yi ng t han gr ounded due t oa l ackof f undi ng? And,ofcour s e,nobodys ayst heRAFmar ki ngscannott henbe r eappl i edonceanys pons or s hi pdeal shaveconcl uded.

GoodwoodRevi valPr epar at i ons Herf i r s tt r i pt ot her unwayi nhernew s chemecameundert ow at0730 on t he mor ni ng of2 S ept emberf ora phot os hootahead oft he announcementt hatt he Mi dai rS quadr on woul ds pons ort he F r eddi e Mar chS pi r i tofAvi at i onatt hef or t hcomi ngGoodwoodRevi val .S hewas s t i l lt o be wei ghed and s o herf uelt anks wer e empt y. As t he phot ogr apherl uckyenought obegi vent hej obofcapt ur i ngher ,l etme j us ts ay,s hel ookedamaz i ng. Ias kedMi keDavi show hef el taboutf i nal l yget t i ngt os how t heai r cr af t of ft ot hepubl i c:“I nawayIf eel qui t ener vousbecaus ewewer egoi ng t ot akehert oGoodwoodl as tyear ,andunf or t unat el yt het i mi ngwas n’ t r i ght ,al t houghwedi dmanaget of l yt heHunt er st hen.T hi syearwi l lbe t hef i r s tpubl i cdi s pl ayofheri nhernew col ours cheme,whi chnobody hasyets een. “Wehaveagoodr el at i ons hi pwi t hGoodwood–mos t l yt hr oughmyown pas s i onf ormot or car sand aer opl anes–s o Mi dai rS Ai spr es ent i ng t he F r eddi e Mar ch S pi r i t of Avi at i on at Goodwood f or t he s econd cons ecut i veyear ,andi t ’ sabs ol ut el yi mper at i vet heCanber r ai st her e. ” S ome aer i alvi ewsofXH134’ snew col our ss i t t i ng overt he t hr es hol dt o Cot s wol dAi r por t ’ sRunway08.Al l i magest hi ss pr eadKar lDr age


Di s pl ayAut hor i s at i on Al l t hat ex per i ence, and havi ngt i cksi nt her i ghtbox es al r eady meant t hat s or t i ng outDave’ spaper wor kt of l y XH134 i nf r ontoft he publ i c wasr el at i vel ypai nl es s . “I al r eady had a Di s pl ay Aut hor i s at i on( DA)andat ype ex empt i on f ort he Canber r a, s of ormei twasaf ai r l ys t r ai ght f or war dpr oces s–i twasj us ta r enewal ofmyDA. ” Rol l s Royce’ sChi efT es tPi l ot , Phi l lO’ Del l ,handl ed Dave’ s r enewaland Mi ke L eckey’ s i ni t i al DAi s s ueonbehal foft he CAA ( Ci vi lAvi at i onAut hor i t y) -t heCAA doesnotr ecogni s e t he mi l i t ar y equi val ent ,s o Mi ke’ sDA f r om hi st i me wi t h t he BBMFwasnots uf f i ci entat Cot s wol d Ai r por t on 8 S ept ember . “Ihave t os ay,Mi ke di da s t er l i ng j ob, ” Dave t el l s me, “t obeabl et of l yt hedi s pl ayi n t he PR9asex per t l yashe di d j us t on t he r un up t hat weekend wasqui t e an ef f or t on hi s par t . He pr obabl y di dn’ tbl ow hi sown t r umpet , buthedi dagr eatj ob. ”

Ri ght-Dave Pi per( l ef t )and Mi ke L eckey( r i ght )t ake t i me outf r om a bus yweekend of di s pl aywor kupsf ora cuppa and a f ew pos es f or t he camer a. Al l i mages T om Gi bbons

t hi s

s pr ead


Above-XH134get sai r bor nef r om Cot s wol dAi r por t ’ sRunway24f oradi s pl ay pr act i cewi t hMi keL eckeyatt hecont r ol s . Bel ow -Dave Pi pers hows‘ 134’ snew col our sof ft ot r emendousef f ectat Cot s wol dAi r por tdur i ngoneofhi sownpr act i ces .


Doesi tgetmuchbet t ert hant hi s ?!I ’ mr eal l ynots ur ei tdoes !As t unni ngs t udyofXH


XH134i nt heai roverCot s wol dAi r por t( T om Gi bbons )

T heSequence Att het i meofwr i t i ng,I am s t i l l t o wi t nes s t he Mi dai r S quadr on di s pl ayf i r s thand, af t er weat her f or ced t he t eam t o abor tt he S unday’ s appear anceatGoodwood, but l ooki ng at t he r i bbon di agr am oft hedi s pl ay,t her e ar e el ement s t hat l ook f ami l i ar ! “I t ’ smor e orl es st he s ame di s pl ay t hatIputt oget her backi nt he l at e‘ 90swhenI was f l yi ng t he Canber r a t hen, ” Dave ex pl ai ns . “I s us pect t he onl y r eal di f f er ence i st he hi ghs peed pas s , becaus e you can act ual l y do a hi ghs peed pas s i n a PR9 qui t e comf or t abl y,wher easi nt he l es s power f ul var i ant s , you havet ogoqui t eal ongway away f r om t he cr owd i n or dert os t and any chance t o gett he s peed up. I nt he PR9,t hat ’ snotani s s ue! ” “Bot hDaveandmys el fwent t o s peak t o t he pr evi ous Canber r a di s pl ay pi l ot ,a chap cal l ed T er r y Cai r ns – t he l as t Canber r a di s pl ay pi l oti nt he RAF . We went and chat t ed i tt hr ough wi t h T er r y–whathedi d–andhe wasver yhel pf ul andgaveus a f ew t op t i ps f or what l ooked good i n t he Canber r a, and we i ncor por at ed a f ew oft he t hi ngshe s ai d and t ookhi s advi ce and putt he di s pl ay t oget heraccor di ngl y, ”Mi ke adds .


Kar lDr age Whi l e Goodwood’ s unus ual l ys haped di s pl ay l i ne meant t hat t he di s pl ay needed t o be t weaked a l i t t l e, f eedback has been over whel mi ngl y pos i t i ve, wi t h r ealemphas i s pl acedupont he“Avonhowl ” .F r om t hepi l ot ’ s per s pect i ve,t hough,what ’ st he bes tbi t ? I as kedDave: “Il ove t he t akeof fand get t i ng i nt ot hatf i r s t s t eep t ur n;Iqui t e enj oy t hatasa pr ocedur e becaus e you’ ve gott o be f ai r l yaccur at e wi t h t hat ,f ai r l yt i ght ,and makeyouradj us t ment st o r ol l outoft hatoneoncr owdcent r e. “I s uppos ef orpur eex hi l ar at i on,i t ’ sgott obet he hi ghs peed pas s .T hati squi t es omet hi ng!You don’ tof t enhearmuchnoi s e–muchf eedback –i ns i de t he Canber r a when you’ r ef l yi ng,but whenyouputf ul l poweronyouf eel i tandhear i t . And,ofcour s e,i ts oundsgl or i ousf r om t he out s i de! ”

T om Gi bbons

Si ngl ePi l otCr ew T he r es t or at i on s aw t he ai r cr af t go f r om a t woman cr ew t o a s i ngl e pi l ot wi t h t he navi gat or ’ s s eat i n t he nos e becomi ng r edundant . Now t hat t he pai r has mor e ex per i ence of f l yi ng t he ai r cr af t i n her pos t r es t or at i on s t at e, what ’ s t he gener al f eel i ngaboutoper at i ngher ?

Kar lDr age

“T he ai r cr af tal wayswasdel i ght f ult o handl e ands t i l li s , ”Mi kes ays .“I t ’ sl i ght ert hani twasi n s er vi ce,s ot hatmakesi tmor e pl eas antt of l y– t hepower t owei ghtr at i ohasi mpr ovedwi t ht he r emoval ofs omes ens or set c. ” Andt hes wi t cht oas i ngl epi l otcr ew?

Kar lDr age

“I ti ncr eas est hewor kl oad a bi t .Butt heGPSi s ver ygood. We now have a GPSwi t ha vi s ual di s pl ay,whi ch we di dn’ thave pr evi ous l y–we j us thadanavi gat orwhowoul ddes cr i bet hi ngs t o you. A pi ct ur e pai nt sa t hous and wor ds ,as t heys ay,and bei ng abl et ol ookdownatt he GPS s cr een means t hat your s i t uat i onal awar enes si si mpr oved i mmens el y. T he onl y L ef t-F r om l ef t :Char l i eKyl e,Bar r yHegar t y,Mi ke Davi s ,I onaBr and& Chr i sVaughan


T om Gi bbons t hi ngt hatr eal l yi ncr eas est hewor kl oadi shavi ng t owor kt het r ans ponderandt her adi os ,andt he equi pment ’ sal l abi tnew andabi tunf ami l i ar ,s o t r yi ng t o get us ed t o t he t ouch s cr een t echnol ogy–andwehadaf ew i s s ueswi t ht he t ouchs cr eensnotwor ki ng t hr ougha gl ove,s o t hat ’ ss t i l lwor ki npr ogr es s .I ’ ms ur et hatonce bot hDaveandI getus edt ot heavi oni cs ,i t ’ l l be ver ygood. ” Whi l et her e mi ghtonl ybe one oft hem i nt he ai r cr af tatt hes amet i me,t her e’ sver ydef i ni t el y as t r ongt eam et hi cevi dentatCot s wol dAi r por t , asDavei skeent opoi ntout . “Mi keandIdowor kver ymuch‘ handi ngl ove’ . We’ r es quadr on buddi es ,we’ ve keptt hi ngs t i cki ngal ong–i t ’ sbeenver ygood,act ual l y,t o have anot herpi l otofs i mi l arcapabi l i t y and ex per i ence t o be abl et o bounce i deasof f ,I t hi nkwe’ r e wor ki ng pr et t ywel lt oget her .L ong mayi tl as t ! ” “C2 hasdone a cr acki ng j ob ofr es t or i ng t he ai r cr af t , ”Mi ke i skeen t o add,“and Ihave f ul l conf i dence i n whatt hey’ ve done,ot her wi s eI woul dn’ tbe s t r appi ng mys el fi nt oi tand goi ng f l yi ng. ”

Kar lDr age


2013ors omet i mei nt he1950s ?I t ’ sabs ol ut el yf ant as t i ct ohaveanai r wor t hyCanber r abacki nEur opea


eans ki esoncemor e Kar lDr age

T hepl anmovi ngf or war di ss t i l l f ort heCanber r at obe s uppl ement ed by t he t wo HawkerHunt er s ,XL 577 ( GXMHD)andXL 600( GRAXA) . “T heHunt er swer ef l yi ngl as tyear .What ’ si mpor t antt o usi st o homogeni s et he ai r cr af ts ot hatt hey’ r e al li n t hes amepai nts chemeandf l yi ngasas quadr on.T he t wo Hunt er sbot h needed maj orchecks ,and Iam ant i ci pat i ng t he pai nt wor k and checks wi l l be compl et edbyt hel at t erpar toft hi syear , ”Mi keDavi s s ays . T he us e oft he wor d “S quadr on” doesl eave me wonder i ngwhet herwecanex pectt os eeanyot her t ypesj oi ni ngt heCanber r aandHunt er s : “T he i nt ent i on i st o keep t he Mi dai rS quadr on asa s howcas i ng ex ampl e of Br i t i s h engi neer i ng ex cel l encef r om t he1950s .Whi l s tt hei mmedi at epl an i sf ort hes quadr ont of l yasat r i o,Iwoul ddear l yl ove t o puta Vi ct orbomberi nt he ai r ,butIt hi nk t he economi csoft hatar ebeyondmywi l des tdr eams ! ” Havi ngnow mett hemaj or i t yofkeypeopl ei nvol ved i nt heMi dai rS quadr on,Ihavet os ay,i t ’ sver ydi f f i cul t t obeanyt hi ngot hert hanhugel yi mpr es s edwi t ht he oper at i onf r om t opt obot t om.T hewhol eet hosi sbui l t ar ounddoi ngt hi ngst her i ghtway,t hes af eway,and i sgear ed t opr ovi di ngs omeoft hebi gges tbr andsi n t he wor l d wi t ha f i r s tcl as spl at f or m f r om whi ch t o pr es entt hems el vest oat r ul ygl obal audi ence.

Kar lDr ageext endss i ncer et hankst oMi keDavi s , t oever yoneatC2Avi at i onandt oI nt erRel at i ons &Company.

Midair Squadron's Canberra PR9 XH134  

Republished for the 'Best of Global Aviation Magazine' series.