By Royal Appointment

Emerging from the paint shop in 1960 wearing a spectacular red scheme, de Havilland Chipmunk WP903 was about to become one of the most recognisable examples of the type. As Darren Harbar explains, it would serve a very special role

ROYAL TRAINER CHIPMUNK WP903

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HRH Prince Charles receives his wings from Air Marshal Leslie Mavor, AOC-in-C RAF Training Command (far left). Sqn Ldr Philip Pinney is in the centre.
HENLOW CHIPMUNK FLYING GROUP

Chipmunk WP903 flying over the former RAF Bassingbourn airfield in Cambridgeshire, where HRH Prince Charles flew his first solo flight in the aircraft, in January 1969. ALL AIR-TO-AIR IMAGES DARREN HARBAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Chipmunk WP903 was among hundreds of the type licence-built in the UK and while most faced unremarkable futures training thousands of pilots, this one was destined to find a unique place in history.

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