Chipmunk WG486 getting retro look
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Chipmunk T10 WG486 is currently undergoing major servicing with the Aircraft Restoration Company. When it was flown to Duxford in July it was painted in the standard RAF training black colour scheme with white stripes on the wings. When it rejoins the BBMF at Coningsby, to be used for the conversion and continuation training of BBMF fighter pilots on tailwheel aircraft, it will be wearing an attractive ‘retro’ RAF paint scheme from 35 years ago, when it was in service with the Bristol University Air Squadron at Filton.
The BBMF’S two Chipmunks (the other is WK518) are the last in RAF service. WG486 was built at Broughton, Chester and delivered to the RAF on 3 January 1952. It was flown by three different flying schools before being transferred to the Army Air Corps in 1957. In December 1958, it went to Cyprus with No 114 Sqn and was used for a short time for low-level front-line operations against the EOKA terrorists. Back with RAF Training Command, it was based at RAF Cranwell, South Cerney, Church Fenton and Linton-onOuse before being allocated to Liverpool University Air Squadron, and in 1968 to Bristol University Air Squadron and No 3 Air Experience Flight. WG486 returned to the front-line in 1987 when it joined the Gatow Station Flight in Berlin, where it was employed on secret photographic reconnaissance ‘spy flights’ over the Berlin Control Zone during the Cold War. It first joined the BBMF in 1995.
Mid-winter 1972, BUAS Chipmunk WG486 leads a formation takeoff from Filton