"Martin Morley lives in Somerset. He like me is an aircraft enthusiast and went up to Yeovilton a few times a week to photograph the aircraft.
He lent me a selection of his vast collection of slides on Royal Navy aircraft to put up on the FRADU Hunters site, mostly taken in the 1980's showing the older style schemes."
Many thanks also go to Mike Hall who kindly scanned them for use on my site.
(1) We start the page off with three T.22 Canberra slides, all of which had fairly long service careers with the RAF as PR.7's before conversion for use with the Royal Navy. This aircraft is WH803/856, the last T.22 to be delivered to the FRADU.
The slide was taken in April 1982 at Yeovilton. when the aircraft had just landed.
(2) This slide shows two T.22's on the ramp at Yeovilton in November 1984, with WH797/851 in the foreground and WT535/852 in the background. These aircraft were retired from service three months later.
(3) Taken in February 1985, this slide of WT525/855 shows it taxiing in after ultimately one of its last FRADU sorties before retirement on 1st March. All the T.22's were scrapped in the early 1990s, and only nose section is confirmed to survive representing the type.
(4) These shots show large groups of Hunters returning to base after deployments overseas during the early-1980's.
The first shows six aircraft, being lead by XE716/834 and contains a mixture of 4 GA.11's and 2 T.8C's.
(5) An eight-ship formation this time, comprising 4 GA.11's and 4 T.8C's
(6) A great shot of two former Blue Herons members, Derek Morter and Mike Sharp taxiing back side by side to the FRADU dispersal the day before Yeovilton's Air Day in August 1984. MORT is in the office of WW654/833 leading whilst Mike is in the other GA.11 WT744/868.
Note the line-up of Wessex' in the background, taken when the Sea King was just replacing the type.
(7 & 8) Two shots show FRADU Hunters with components from aircraft of other Air Forces across the globe.
The orange drop tank proved a bit popular as it is also fitted to a different GA.11 below, and certainly does catch the eye!
The GA.11 on the right is wearing a replacement nose cone from an RAF example, which if it remained fitted was later sprayed grey and white to match the aircraft's scheme.
(9) Canberra TT.18 WJ574 shown just before take off at Yeovilton in March 1984. This aircraft was bought on strength by the Navy as a TT.18 in 1971 after conversion from an RAF B.2 variant. It served with the FRADU for 11 years from 1974 to 1985 before being placed in storage, only to re-join the fleet a couple of years later.
(10) Two shots of one of two Canberra T.4 that were owned by the Royal Navy in the 1980s and used by the FRADU.
The aircraft, WJ874 is seen here on Yeovilton's 09/27 runway ready for departure.
(11) Here shows WJ874 on the flight-line on the northside of the airfield. As usual with shots taken here, the tower always seems to make an appearance in the background. However on this occasion it serves as a dramatic backdrop as the shot was taken as the tower was under construction in the mid-1980s.
(12 & 13) These slides, taken in August 1983, show two GA.11's taxiing out to Yeovilton's runway 09/27 to position for a pairs departure, prior to a FRADU tasking. This sight was very common during the active FRADU years at Yeovilton.
The first GA.11 of the pair is XE689/864, an aircraft with a long service record both in the RAF and Navy.
It returned to Yeovilton and participated at the Station's 2000 Air Day. The second aircraft is WV256/862.
For further information on these aeroplanes, click here, or here.
(15) This slide, taken on 26 April 1984 shows T.8C XE665 taxiing to the end of Yeovilton's runway to take off.
This aircraft had quite an illustrious Navy career, being used by the Flag Officer of Navy Aviation, which saw the aircraft prepared by Hawkers in high gloss epoxy paint with dark grey-blue upper-surfaces and white lower-surfaces.
This paint scheme also included an Admirals flag painted on the nose that made many people to refer to her as an "Admiral's Barge." Note in this picture that she is wearing a fin-flash.
(16) Taken in November 1984 T.8C WT722 is shown again taxiing out to Yeovilton's Runway 09/27 prior to departure.
This aircraft was the oldest T.8C on strength with the FRADU between 1976 and 1994, having flown over 9,500 hours and achieved over 12,500 landings. For further information on this aeroplane, click here.
(17) These slides picture two FRADU two-seaters at Yeovilton.
The first is T.8C WV396 captured in November 1984 just before the aircraft began its take-off run from Yeovilton's Runway 09/27. For further information on this aeroplane, click here.
(18) The second slide shown was taken in January 1985, and shows T.8 XF994 taxiing back to the FRADU ramp. This aircraft carried out the last ever MoD Hunter sortie in February 1995, again for further information click here.
(19) An rare and early shot of Hunter T.8M XL603 pictured during take-off at Yeovilton wearing the RN 899 Sqn. code "718" but unusually not wearing the gloved fist on the tail. This aircraft was soon re-coded "720" after the Squadron acquired some two-seat Harrier T.4 aeroplanes to further aid its training programme.
(20) Two slides of WW654 showing the two different schemes that she wore whilst serving with the FRADU.
This aircraft was a regular lead aircraft for the FRADU Hunter display team the "Blue Herons" between 1975 and 1980.
In fact in the cockpit of the aircraft is the team's former leader Derek Morter, who sent me some photos of the Blue Herons that appear here and here.
(21) This slide of WW654 was taken the day it flew back from RAF St Athan after a full refinish in May 1984.
If you enlarge the image it seems that the nose number was re-painted in the wrong place, which required correcting soon after. For further information, click here.
(22) Two shots of GA.11 WV256 taken at Yeovilton during the early 1980's.
The first was taken in January 1985, and shows the aircraft taxiing back to FRADU dispersal after landing.
(23) This slide was taken whilst the aircraft was taxiing to runway 09/27 to depart, sporting that jazzy orange drop tank that was fixed to XF300/860 above. This aircraft (and the drop-tank one assumes) got a repaint shortly after these photos were taken, as the aircraft was all-grey by the start of 1986.
(24 & 25) Both these two shots are of T.8C XF358, pictured at Yeovilton over two days in April 1986.
The first shows the aircraft taking off on the 23rd, whilst in the second slide it shows the aircraft taxiing in after landing on the 24th.
(28) Another rare Hunter image, this time of Hunter T.7 XX466. This aircraft was passed onto FRADU after service with the RAF at RAF Chivenor with 229 OCU and 1TWU, and before that with the Royal Saudi and Jordanian Air Forces.
For further information on this aeroplane, click here.
(29 & 30) These shots, taken in November 1984 and January 1985, show the two aircraft in the then new dark sea grey colour scheme, which replaced the extra dark sea grey/white (GA.11s) and aircraft grey (T.8s) finishes. After this time every FRADU Hunter would gradually go through the paint-shop and emerge in these coloirs, some of the T.8C's had their fleet identities changed as a result, but the GA.11's remained the same.