Top ’dog indeed
A really super article by Derek Sharp on the renovation/refurbishment of his EX-RAF Bulldog XX614 in August’s magazine. A somewhat different sort of article to what we read each month but one that would be, I believe, very interesting to most of Pilot’s readers. Great photos too.
I saw Derek’s Bulldog recently at Turweston and it certainly has been lovingly and beautifully restored and deserves the plaudits given. Well worth all the challenges during the refurbishment programme. As Derek says, ‘we are merely custodians of these very special machines and hopefully, they will still be flying for many years to come’. Kerr Johnston by email The August issue certainly provided a cornucopia for pilots of a certain vintage, with major articles on both the Chipmunk and Bulldog. Two small points on the Bulldog piece. Firstly, a friend of mine who flew many Bulldogs whilst OC, Examining Wing at the CFS, tells me that many Bulldogs had their rear fuselage replaced whilst in RAF service (due to fatigue issues, apparently). Secondly, Derek Sharp mentions that his G-GGRR was ‘originally delivered to the Manchester and Salford University Air Squadron back in 1974’. This is not strictly true: it was delivered to the Manchester University Air Squadron. The union with Salford only took place the following year (and was lamented by those at Manchester!) How do I know? I was a Manchester student at the time, and must have been one of the first service pilots to fly XX614, as it was the aircraft in which I did my first flight for conversion to type in June 1974.
Having seen XX614 at this year’s RIAT, I can confirm its external finish is much more shiny than I remember it from 42 years ago! Well done to Derek for getting her into such great shape. Paul Smiddy, Woodbridge