Strikemaster flies again

The newly completed Strikemaster, G-RSAF, lying low through a Welsh valley during July in the hands of Ollie Suckling.

Mark Petrie’s BAC 167 Strikemaster Mk80A G-RSAF made its maiden postrestoration light from Hawarden Airport in Chester on 16 July. The aircraft has been returned to airworthiness by North Wales Military Aviation Services (NWMAS) over the past 14 years.

As the registration suggests, this aircraft is an ex-Royal Saudi Air Force example, having started life with that air arm as serial 1120. However, while the fuselage is that of the Mk80A as supplied to the Saudis, the wings come from a Sultan of Oman’s Air Force (SOAF) Mk82A variant, speciically serial 403, and sustained some battle damage during the Battle of Mirbat in July 1972. The colour scheme depicts serial 417, a SOAF Strikemaster from that period.

G-RSAF is the irst ex-military classic jet to have been issued with a new permit to ly from the UK CAA in some while. It will now be seen at airshows as part of the NWMAS Strikemaster pair, accompanying the operator’s existing Mk82A G-SOAF.

Ben Dunnell