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

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.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below