Esquadra 802: Inside the world’s last operational de Havilland Chipmunk squadron

After more than 70 years of military service, the Chipmunk basic trainer is still flying high in Portugal, as Sam Wise discovered.

The 70th anniversary of the Chipmunk’s service with the FAP was marked by a ceremony at Sintra Air Base, including a formation flight of all the serviceable Chipmunks at the time.
The 70th anniversary of the Chipmunk’s service with the FAP was marked by a ceremony at Sintra Air Base, including a formation flight of all the serviceable Chipmunks at the time. FAP

In 2021, the Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP; Portuguese Air Force) marked the 70th anniversary of the de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk’s service. The air arm is the last military service in the world that is still using the type operationally – not counting the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which uses the Chipmunk to train experienced pilots on taildragger aircraft for the ceremonial squadron.

The ven

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