LAST HUNTING GROUND

LAST RAF HUNTERS

A quarter of a century ago, the RAF retired its final Hawker Hunters from one of the roles the type was never intended for, but performed anyway — that of surrogate trainer for the Buccaneer

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A memorable formation mounted in March 1993 as the Lossiemouth-based Hunters headed for retirement. T8B XF995 leads T7As XL616, XL568 and WV318.
DUNCAN CUBITT/KEY
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The author in the foreground of No 237 OCU’s staff and students during his 1984-87 tour as commanding officer.
VIA TOM EELES
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A beautiful spring day at Honington in April 1978, as T8B XF995 goes about its business with No 237 OCU.
ADRIAN M. BALCH

Not building a dual-control trainer version of the Blackburn Buccaneer might seem a strange move. The heavy maritime strike aircraft was a complex beast, with certain characteristics and systems that needed time to master. However, the bottom line was that the budget for the original Royal Navy programme did not stretch to a twinstick derivative. Another means of training would have to be found.

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