Neil's Nostalgia

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Some of my early visits to this favourite, fine, Fife facility.
A slightly distorted image of Hawker Hunter XF437/F of 43 Squadron undergoing some maintenance. Photo: Neil Aird © 24 July 1959
Three Hawker Hunter aircraft of 43 Squadron "The Fighting Cocks".
XG237/C Hawker Hunter F.6 (41H-680049) RAF 43 Squadron, nearest camera, in a nice line up at RAF Leuchars.XXXXPhoto: Bill Bowie © 22 August 1960 - Aird Archives

d/d 16/11/1956, to G-9-268, d/d 22/07/1969 to RJAF Converted to F.73A as 828, w/o.X

XF435/P Hawker Hunter F.6 (S4/U/3311) of 43 Squadron in static display. X Photo: Neil Aird © 20 September 1960

XF435 d/d 1956, to 8880M, tendered for scrap from PEE Pendine 1992, scr. 02/1994 Birds Group, Long Marston.

XH436/R Gloster Javelin T.3 RAF 151 Squadron.

XH436 d/d 05/03/1959, 151 Sq, 226 OCU, caught fire w/o 14/05/1964.

A seventeen ship formation, quite impressive, but they made it look routine.
WL626/E Vickers Varsity T.1 at a Battle of Britain Open Day. Note typical stance of young spotters chatting to RAF Officer.

WL626 d/d 30/04/1953, sold 12/04/1976, to G-BHDD 18/10/1979, pres East Midlands Aeropark.

WF371/L Vickers Varsity T.1 (530) RAF. X Photo: Neil Aird © 19 September 1959

WF371 d/d 07/12/1951, s.o.c. 04/10/1976 at No.23 MU Aldergrove, l/f 04/10/1976 to Manston Fire Shool, perished 1981.

Vickers Varsity T. 1 WL691/N of Signals Command from RAF Tangmere sharing the ramp with a Hawker Sea Hawk F.B.4 WV793 from RNAS Abbotsinch and a Percival Provost T.1 WV505/P-N representing RAF 1 FTS.
WK887 Gloster Meteor F. Mk.8 on display. The "Meatbox" has always has been a fond favourite of mine. Photo: Neil Aird © 15 September 1962
WH286 Gloster Meteor F. Mk. 8 (-) RAF at RAF Leuchars display. Photo: Ken Marshall © 18 September 1971. d/d 31/10/1951, to Flight Refuelling 16/05/1972. Eventually destroyed as a U.16 drone.
VW456/X Gloster Meteor T. Mk. 7 of Leuchars Station Flight. Photo: Neil Aird © 19 September 1959
WF316 Gloster Meteor T. Mk. 7
Battle of Britain days were a good chance to have a close look at cockpit interiors. Here is a Station Flight Gloster Meteor Mk.8 is set up with steps for such a purpose.
WZ556/57 de Havilland DH.100 Vampire T.11 (15115) from 8 FTS RAF Swinderby. Photo: Neil Aird © 19 September 1959

WZ556 d/d 21/04/1953, sold as scrap 31/03/1965 at No.27 MU Shawbury.

VP529/T Avro Anson, the faithful "Annie" still soldiering on as a communications hack for 18 Group.
51-0059A Grumman SA-16B Albatross from the 67 ARRS USAF at Prestwick.
XN469/25 Hunting Jet Provost T.3 (PAC/W/10148) RAF 1FTS. Photo: Neil Aird © 15 September 1962

XN469 d/d 03/10/1960, w/o 23/06/1970, to Catterick Fire School 21/09/1970, since perished.

WD363/W de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10 RAF St Andrews University Air Squadron. Photo: Neil Aird © 16 September 1961
WZ857 de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10 RAF
XA536/F English Electric Canberra T. 11 229 OCU RAF Leeming. Photo: Neil Aird © 19 September 1959

XA536 d/d 04/1953, converted to T.19, to 8605M 21/08/1978, to Abingdon dump 27/11/1980, scr. 03/1984.

WP215 Vickers Valiant B.1 RAF 18 Squadron. Photo: Neil Aird © 19 September 1959

WP215 f/f 06/04/1955, d/d 30/04/1955, b/u 1964 at No.19 MU St. Athan, then sold as scrap 16/06/1965 to Marine Salvage, Portsmouth.

XM171/R English Electric Lightning (95058) RAF with N1854 Fairey Fulmar of the Fleet Air Arm Historic Flight,

also Percival Provost T.1 XF612/M-C (PAC/56/320) of RAF 6 FTS. Photo: Neil Aird © 15 September 1962

XM171 f/f 20/09/1960, d/d 10/11/1960, s.o.c 29/03/1974, scrapped 07/1974 at No.60 MU Leconfield by J.Shackleton Ltd, Siddal, Halifax.

XF612 d/d 30/04/1955, sold as scrap 13/07/1964 at Shawbury.

XD183 Westland Whirlwind HAR.10 (WA26) of RAF 228 Squadron, a long time fixture of RAF Leuchars. Photo: Neil Aird © 17 September 1960

XD183 f/f 20/07/1954, d/d 18/08/1954, w/o 22/06/1970, s.o.c 10/12/1970 and donated to the Royal Malaysian AF for G/I.

XD226/615 Supermarine Scimitar F. Mk. 1 of 736 Squadron Lossiemouth, Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm.

XD226 d/d 20/01/1958, to Arbroath 07/01/1965 for G/I as A2562, remains to Farnborough 1970, since scrapped.

25245/B-H in a nice close up shot taken the same day by the late Wilf White. Trust Wilf to get out on the dispersal!XXXXXXXXXXXXXPhoto: Wilf White © 14 September 1963
The annual Battle of Britain Displays brought a few interesting aircraft from elsewhere. I was very happy to see these four North American F-86F Sabre aircraft in exotic Kongelige Norske Luftforsvaret - Royal Norwegian Air Force markings. 25245/B-H F-86F-30-NA 338skv, 31195/MU-Z F-86F-25-NA 338skv, 25301/PX-V F-86F-25-NA 336skv, 25026 PX-Z F-86F-30-NA 336skv. Photos: Neil Aird © 14 September 1963
Koninklijke Luchtmacht - Dutch Air Force visit Leuchars with five Lockheed T-33 of "Whiskey Four". Present were M-29 52-9913, M-33 59-1612, M-36 59-1615, M-37 55-4950, M-38 55-4951. Photo: Neil Aird © 16 September 1962
PS853 Supermarine Spitfire P.R. XIX shares the flight line with XM166 English Electric Lightning F.1 (95047) RAF. Photo: Neil Aird © 14 September 1963

XM166 f/f 01/07/1960, d/d 02/08/1960, scrapped at No.33 MU Lyneham 16/12/1966 by B A Taylor, West Bromwich.

On 14 April 1965 I took the day off from my studies, and travelled by train across Scotland to RAF Leuchars to "catch" four visiting French Air Force, Sud Ouest (S.N.C.A.S.O.) SO-4050 Vautour II IN aircraft on exchange. The were very rare indeed. The serials were 354/30-FI/red; 355/30-FJ/red; 368/30-OJ/yellow; 370/30-OY/yellow of 30e Escadre Tout-Temps. I have a negative somewhere of a successful attempt to take a picture of two of the Vautour through my telescope. As you can see they were parked quite far away, and remember, no long lenses back then for this photographer.
Photos: Neil Aird © 14 April 1965
Visiting for the 1965 Battle of Britain Display, English Electric Lightning T5 XS423 (B1/95008) and XS416 (B1/95001) RAF. Photo: Neil Aird © 18 September 1965

XS416 f/f 20/08/1964, d/d 16/07/1965, sold 1988 to Tank and Vessel Industries Rossington, to Humberside 12/1992, to Grainthorpe, moved 09/2008 to New York, Lincolnshire.

XS423 f/f 31/03/1965, d/d 01/06/1965, l/f 09/1974, to Binbrook for G/I as 8532M, scrapped by Swafling Engineering, Suffolk 09/1987.

XN503/16 Hunting Jet Provost T3 (PAC/W/10164) RAF. Photo: Neil Aird © 18 September 1965

XN503 d/d 22/12/1960, s.o.c 28/05/1976 as CAT 5(S) at No.5 MU Kemble, (C) preserved Boscombe Down Museum, Wiltshire.

XE956/67 de Havilland Vampire T11 (15664) RAF. Photo: Neil Aird © 18 September 1965

XE956 d/d 04/05/1955, 67APS Sylt, 3CAACCU/8 FTS, 1FTS , sold 02/02/1971 to St Albans College, to de Havilland Aviation Ltd, Bridgend 1992, to G-OBLN 14/09/1995, canx 14/02/2005, to Pen-Coed, Wales 2003, to Rocester, Kent 14/05/2004.

WK640 de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10 (C1/0655) RAF St. Andrews University Air Squadron. Photos: Neil Aird © 18 September 1965

WK640 d/d 03/06/1952, sold, to G-BWUV 18/07/1996, Bagby, North Yorkshire.

Another portrait from the other side of St. Andrews Chipmunk WK640.
XP530/36 Folland Gnat T.1 (FL532) RAF. Photo: Neil Aird © 18 September 1965

XP530 f/f 27/02/1963, d/d 25/03/1963, to No.1 SoTT Halton 29/09/1978 for G/I as 8606M, sold 10/1993 and exported to USA as N530X Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.

XM974/T English Electric Lightning T4 (B1/95074) RAF 74 Squadron. Photo: Neil Aird © 18 September 1965

XM974 f/f 18/06/1961, d/d 06/1962, w/o 14/12/1972 near Happisburgh, Norfolk.

XH767/F Gloster Javelin FAW.9 RAF x Photo: Neil Aird © 18 September 1965

XH767 d/d 29/10/1959, to No.187 ATC Sqn, Worcester as 7955M 10/07/1967, pres. Elvington, Yorkshire.

XA911 Avro Vulcan B1A RAF Bomber Command. Photo: Neil Aird © 18 September 1965

XA911 f/f 09/1957, d/d 01/11/1957, sold as scrap 08/11/1968 at No.19 MU St. Athan to Bradbury's of Bournemouth.

56-0011 McDonnell F-101C-45-MC Voodoo (157) USAF 81TFW/78TFS. Photo: Ken Marshall © 19 September 1964.

Now RF-101H on display KFSM - Fort Smith, Arkansas.

56-0027 McDonnell F-101C-45-MC Voodoo USAF 81TFW/78TFS with sister 56-0009. Photo: Neil Aird © 18 September 1965

56-0009 is on a pedestal at Sheppard AFB, TX. 56-0027 was later converted to an RF-101H.

55-3669 North American F-100D Super Sabre (-) USAF. Photo: Ken Marshall © 19 September 1964. To MASDC 17 April1979. Converted to QF-100D.
55-2814 North American F-100D-45-NH Super Sabre (-) USAF. Photo: Ken Marshall © 14 September 1968.
56-3884 / LS North American F-100F Super Sabre (243-160) USAF. Photo: Ken Marshall © 18 September 1971. To Turkish AF16 May 1972 as 56-3884. Crashed at Bor/Nigde 26 November 1974.
65-10595 / MU-Z Northrop F-5B-15-NO freedom Fighter (N7004) Royal Norwegian Air Force / Luftforsvaret, 338 skv. Photo: Ken Marshall © 16 September 1967. Later 595.
65-105631 / MU-B Northrop F-5A-25-NO freedom Fighter (N7011) Royal Norwegian Air Force / Luftforsvaret, 338 skv. Photo: Ken Marshall © 16 September 1967. Later 563.
65-10571 / MU-F Northrop F-5A-25-NO freedom Fighter (N7019) Royal Norwegian Air Force / Luftforsvaret, 338 skv. Photo: Ken Marshall © 16 September 1967. Later 571.
65-10564 / MU-C Northrop F-5A-25-NO freedom Fighter (N7012) Royal Norwegian Air Force / Luftforsvaret, 338 skv. Photo: Ken Marshall © 16 September 1967. w/o 07 February 1968.
XM498 Bristol Britannia C.1 (13510) RAF Transport Command. Ken Marshall © 19 September 1970. f/f 30/09/1959, d/d 17/10/1959, to OO-YCG, to EL-LWG, to 9Q-CHY, scr. Kinshasa.
XR727 / F English Electric Lightning F.6 (95210) RAF 23 Squadron. Ken Marshall © 19 September 1970. f/f 06/03/1965, d/d 10/09/1967, to 8968M, scrapped RAF Wildenrath 1992.
Flight line at RAF Leuchars for the 1964 Battle of Britain Display. Ken Marshall © 19 September 1964. More Norwegian Sabre shots to follow.
12845 Canadair CF-104 Starfighter (1145) CAF,with 12891 (1191) and 12823 (1123) at RAF Leuchars for the 1969 Battle of Britain Display. Ken Marshall © 20 September 1969.