KEITH BUTCHER'S FRADU PIX
 
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This page features photographs taken by Keith Butcher of various FRADU aircraft during the 1970's, 1980's and early 1990's.
Included are photos of the Blue Herons, as well as the FRADU Hunter fleet exhibiting their range of colour schemes."


OPENING THE PAGE ARE THE HERONS...
 
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To start of this section are four photos of the Blue Herons, all taken at Greenham Common when the team was participating in the International Air Tattoos of 1976 and 77.
 
(1) Team leader Derek Morter and No.2 Godfrey Cornish-Underwood take GA.11's WW654/833 and WT806/838 along Greenham's main runway for a pairs take-off.
(2) & (3) Pictured during their display routine at IAT76 - No.3 Jerry Gosnell flying WV267/836 and Pierre Cadoret displaying WT804/831, join Derek Morter and Godfrey Cornish-Underwood in the skies over Greenham Common.
This display earned the team 2nd place in the Shell UK trophy at the International Air Tattoo, Greenham Common.
(4) Jumping to IAT77 we see the team performing their trademark formation landing after their display, a performance that earned them 1st place in the Shell UK Oil Trophy awarded for the best overall performance at the silver Jubilee Air Tattoo. Making up the team that day were Leader Derek Morter (WW654/833), No.2 Godfrey Cornish-Underwood (WT806/838), No.3 Brian Grant (XE682/835) and Pierre Cadoret flying as No.4 in WV267/836.


3 x T.8 HUNTERS IN DAY-GLO COLOURS
 
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(5) T.8C XL598/871 pictured at RNAS Yeovilton on 21st September 1974 painted with the FRADU call-sign 870 painted on the nose. Also present on this photo is a Heron painted on the nose, this symbolises that the aircraft was a former Air Direction School machine before this Unit merged with the Fleet Requirements Unit two years previously.
(6) In this ground-to-air shot T.8C XF357/870 is pictured over RNAS Lee-on-Solent in July 1975. This aircraft wore a few FRADU 'call-signs' during its career, for further information click here.
(7) Back to Yeovilton and on finals to the main runway is T.8C WT702/877, once more for further information, click here.


FRADU CANBERRA VARIANTS FROM THE PAST
 
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(8) On the same day as Keith captured WT702/877 above, he also photographed this Canberra T.22 on finals prior to landing. This aircraft, Canberra T.22 WH780 was one of only seven aircraft converted to T.22 specification and sadly none survive complete today.
(9) We jump to RAF Marham in June 1996, four years after the FRADU retired their last Canberra airframe, so what's the relevance of this RAF Canberra?
Well this aircraft, WJ866 was one of two T.4's used extensively by the FRADU in the late 1970's until the mid-1980's. During this time the aircraft took on the call-sign '859' before returning in the RAF in 1986.

Tragically this aircraft crashed during 2004, claiming the lives of its two pilots, and seriously injuring its navigator.


MORE OLD STYLE SCHEMES...
 
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(10) WT711/833 pictured at Coventry, where it is now based with Air Atlantique's Historic Flight. This Hunter was retired in 1985, to RNAS Culdrose for ground instruction, which is probably the only reason it still boasts the older style scheme.
(11) A rare pic of a FRADU T.8C being used by the RAF! This aircraft, T.8C XE665/876 was transferred onto RAF charge in 1980 and used for training the Buccaneer crews, it returned to Yeovilton in late 1983. It is pictured at RAF Abingdon in September 1980.


STATIC T.8C'S REPRESENTING THE FRADU
 
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(12) T.8C XL584/877 pictured at RNAS Yeovilton's Air Day in July 1984, a time when the Hunters were all sacrificing their light aircraft grey (T.8Cs) and extra dark sea grey and white (GA.11s) schemes for the all dark sea grey finish. Shortly after this show the aircraft crashed, tragically killing the pilot Ted Clowes.
(13) We move away from Yeovilton and concentrate on Boscombe Down's airshow in 1990, when FRADU T.7 XF310 flew in to be part of the static display at the show. For further information on this aeroplane, click here.
(14) Back at Yeovilton and to the station's 1994 Air Day, the last show that graced FRADU-operated Hunters in the static park. The aircraft pictured is T.8C WT722/878, the FRADU's oldest T.8C.


FRADU GA.11s AT YEOVILTON AIRSHOWS
 
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(15) Yeovilton Air Day 1992 and GA.11 WT744 lands after its display.
(16) Back to Yeovilton 1994 and accompanying T.8C WT722 in the static park was GA.11 WV256/862.

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All these photographs that appear on this page are Keith Butcher.

Mark Russell, 1998-2015