Paul Filmer’s retrospective series looks at the goings on at Bournemouth-Hurn Airport from 1985 to 1994, a period which yielded a number of interesting international visitors.
Bournemouth was always a sleepy regional airport, but with the occasional interesting visitor you just never knew what you’d find on the ramp.
I was often passing through while working for Channel Express in Guernsey, and sometimes I even carried my camera with me, although not as often as I should have.
My earliest photo from this airfield is of All Cargo Airlines Bristol Britannia 307F, 5Y-AYR, taken sometime in 1979. This aircraft was stored at the time and was eventually scrapped here in 1982.
I never took another photo here until 1985 when I had a little spurt of activity. A Dutch Navy P-3C is seen here departing the airfield one morning.
One really unusual visitor was Ecuadorian Air Force L-100-30 Hercules FAE893, seen here parked on the ramp in September 1985. What it was doing here is unknown, but it may have been connected with the BAe Strikemasters that they operated and were manufactured here.
Dan Air HS748-2A G-BIUV is seen here awaiting passengers in September 1985. After service with Dan Air this aircraft flew with Emerald Airways before being exported to Kenya as 5Y-BXT.
Channel Express Herald 209, G-BEZB, is seen here still in its basic Arkia (Israel) colour scheme that previous operator Express Air Freight never changed.
Fast forward to the next set, which are all from 1994.
More Heralds, first up this lovely looking example from British Air Ferries, G-ASVO.
Another Channel Express example, G-CEXP, this time in full livery. This was the example that ended up on the viewing deck at Gatwick Airport, and now resides in a remote part of the airport, seemingly neglected. I flew on this aircraft many times with Channel Express.
These photos show her at Gatwick in July 2012.
New at the time to Channel Express was F-27-500 G-JEAE, which was a replacement for the venerable Herald. As the registration suggests, this was a Jersey European airframe which was being leased at the time. This later served with Air Contractors before being sold to Knight Aviation of Kenya as 5Y-BTX.
That concludes the operational shots I took at Hurn, and, as usual, I wish I’d carried my camera more often.
All the following were taken at the 1986 airshow on 31 May. All were during my black and white phase.
First we see F-100F N415FS belonging to Flight Systems. At the time they were based at Hurn performing target towing operations for the UK military. This airframe was later transferred to the USA and operated out of Mojave for Flight Systems.
This aircraft still flies as N26AZ with the Collings Foundation.
French Navy Nord 262Es were common in the UK during this period, and were seen all over the country until they were retired.
French Navy Br1050 Alize aircraft were also common at this time, especially at the Royal Naval airshows.
RAF Tornado GR.1 ZD892/FP of 16 Squadron – this airframe was later upgraded to GR.4 standard.
Last noted as just a fuselage stored at RAF Leeming for spares, but shown below at RAF Shawbury before being moved.
RAF Tornado F.2 ZD901/AA from 229OCU was eventually scrapped.
Meteor T.7 VZ638/G-JETM ended her RAF career with 237OCU at RAF Cranwell and was then stored at RAF Kemble. In 1972 she was moved to the Southend Historical Air Museum and in 1983 was sold to the Hunter One collection at Bournemouth. In this photo, the aircraft was actually a primer green/yellow colour.
After a period with Aces High from 1987 she ended up at the Gatwick Aviation Museum in Charlwood from 1988 and is still displayed there.
Sea Hawk FB.5 WM983/G-SEAH was owned by the Brencham Historic Collection when the photo was taken, and was previously displayed at the Cornwall Aero Park at Helson, Cornwall.
The airframe is currently displayed at the Military Aviation Museum in Soesterberg, and is painted as D-131 in Dutch Navy colours.
At some point WM983 and XE498 had their rear fuselages swapped out, and XE498 also still survives at the Gatwick Aviation Museum.
Meteor TT.20 WM167/G-LOSM was a flyer at the time of her display in the static park, unlike the above Meteor, which was being restored.
She still flies with the Classic Air Force at Newquay to this day.
There were a pair of Boeing 727s stored here at the time from Jetair, D-AJAA and N837N. D-AJAA is now at Oklahoma City Airport as an instruction airframe. N837N ended up with Torosair, who had a fleet of Boeing 727s, as TC-AJZ, and was broken up in the late-80s.
Spanish Air Force CASA C-212-200 TE.12B-40/792-2; these were not common visitors to UK shores. This aircraft is now an instructional airframe.
Spanish Air Force CASA C-101 E.25-47/793-37 is now out of service and stored in Spain.
81TFW A-10A 82-0656 from RAF Woodbridge/Bentwaters is seen here in the typical green camo’ of the day.
She is still active, last noted with the 354FS at Davis-Monthan, and was last seen still carrying the SP tailcode of the 81FS from Spangdahlem, Germany.
With Bournemouth’s close proximity to MoD Boscombe Down, it was nice to see a quite large presence from this normally secretive airfield.
Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) Bassett CC.1 XS770 went to the civilian register as G-HRHI and was cancelled by 2009.
The star of the show for me was the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Varsity T.1 WL679, which flew with the unit until 1991 and then went to the RAF Cosford Museum, where she still sits now inside a hangar. This was the last Varsity to ever fly.
RAE Dakota C.3 ZA947 is still flying with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
RAE Viscount 838 XT661 was eventually scrapped at RAE Bedford, but the forward fuselage was donated and transferred to Bruntingthorpe, although that was never really confirmed.
Until next time…