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50 years ago...Abingdon waves farewell to the Blackburn Beverley

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    50 years ago...Abingdon waves farewell to the Blackburn Beverley

    On 6th December 1967, the last two Beverleys from a UK-based squadron made their final flight.

    47 Squadron disbanded on 31st October 1967 and the last two aircraft, XB269 and XB290, were transferred to the ATDU. On that December day the pair departed RAF Abingdon for 27 MU where they were declared NEA 24 hours later. From Abingdon, the two aircraft headed south at low-level to skirt the Isle of Wight and en-route carried out a formation flypast at RAF Upavon, followed by several very low passes over RAF Odiham.

    Here's a selection of images taken during that final flight.
    Attached Files

    #2
    An interesting sequence of pics, ThreeM. Did you take them yourself - were you on the flight?

    The sound of eight Centaurus must have been something both in the air and from the ground.

    Anon.

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      #3
      Oooh Loverley!
      "Where are you from?"
      "America" Somebody laughed politely.

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        #4
        Hendon's one flew there in 1968, and the Southend example touched down in Oct 71, and so ended the flying career of the Beverley.

        Interesting Bev survivor memories and photos here.

        http://www.fightercontrol.co.uk/foru...hp?f=18&t=4057

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          #5
          Your forgetting the Fort Paul machine which returned to Yorkshire 30th March 74

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            #6
            Here is a picture of the ill fated Hendon Beverley taken in 1987

            Graham

            Beverley RAFM 87

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              #7
              The pictures were taken by me using a Canon FP 35mm SLR on Kodachrome; I was an air cadet 'jollyrider.'

              This marked the last of my 14 flights on a Beverley, my first ever flight was on XB288 one Saturday morning, to Odiham with a Belvedere helicopter in the hold. Flying in a Beverley certainly was a noisy experience. Up front in the nose during the 'beat-up' of Odiham's married quarters on this particular flight was certainly very memorable (not to mention irresponsible). On the return leg to 27 MU at RAF Shawbury the two aircraft passed over Abingdon for the very last time, more 'beat-ups' followed such that the pilot of XB290 was reprimanded for flying low over Larkmead School which is close to the airfield.

              Curiously the Beverley link continues as my daughter now lives in this attractive market town and I was there last month. Last year we both visited Fort Paull, home to XB259 which is the last surviving complete airframe. First time I'd set foot on a Beverley since the day these images were taken! Happy memories.
              Last edited by ThreeM; 8th December 2017, 14:44.

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                #8
                someone sat down and came up with the Beverley ! great shape
                SMOKE SMOKE GO!
                TA out

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                  #9
                  I think the Beverley is a good example of form follows function!

                  Here's more retired Beverleys awaiting the scrapman's axe, this time at 71 MU, RAF Bicester.

                  Image taken through the open doorway of de Havilland Dragon Rapide G-AGSH, at the time operated by the RAF Sport Parachute Association and now immaculately restored and based at Old Warden.
                  Attached Files

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                    #10
                    Would the engines of been any good for earlier aircraft, Bombers and fighters?
                    SMOKE SMOKE GO!
                    TA out

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                      #11
                      A few weeks earlier at the Abingdon Battle of Britain display, four Beverleys made a ponderous flypast to marks the type's impending departure from service, If Anon thinks that eight Centauruses (or Centauri?) must have sounded something special, I can assure him that 16 Centaurus engines in loose formation was a sound never to be forgotten.

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                        #12
                        And if you have even more...

                        Picture taken at RAF Abingdon BoB display although not sure which year. Was rather a dull day with low cloud base as can be seen.Click image for larger version

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                          #13
                          Turnhouse 1964 XB??? and Finningley 1970 XL149 / 7988M
                          Attached Files
                          Robert Whitton,
                          Edinburgh, Scotland

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                            #14
                            I've gone back to the slides I took as a teenage plane spotter. Yes, there were five Beverleys at the 1968 BofB display at Abingdon, which makes 20 Centauruses at full volume

                            Edit: I've found the notes I made at the time. The five-Beverley formation was XB285, XB286, XB288, XB290 and XL131, with XB287 in the static display
                            Last edited by Scouse; 11th December 2017, 20:43.

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                              #15
                              Regarding Beverley formations. In 1961 I was in Oxford UAS and luckily had some good friends in 47 Squadron at Abingdon. I got several interesting trips in their Beverleys, including some nice formation stuff. On 8 September 1961 we set off with six Beverleys from Abingdon on our way to the SBAC display at Farnborough, landing at Odiham on the way. I was in XB285 with Flt Lt Lamb. We then did the short hop to Farnborough (this time I was in XB263 with Flt Lt Smith) where we landed in the middle of a mock battle with bomb bursts and smoke all around. We took off sharpish and landed back at Abingdon after a fly past and break.

                              I wonder if any forumites were in the audience that day!

                              My 3 pictures are cockpit view, in flight, and the break.

                              Did someone say Beverleys were noisy? Maybe, but I never noticed it as I was enjoying myself so much.
                              Attached Files
                              Laurence

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                                #16
                                Good photos, Laurence. Brings back memories of sitting on top of the battery box on the flight deck as there were no spare seats for 'jollyriders' (other than in the boom).

                                I'm sure health and safety would have something to say about that today!

                                And if you happened to be climbing up or down the ladder rungs on the fuselage sides at the rear when the aeroplane banked - as per image 3 - then you had to hang on tight!

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                                  #17
                                  Great photos and memories, everyone. Truly a triumph of thrust over drag!

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                                    #18
                                    thanks to all for sharing.
                                    pb::

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                                      #19
                                      Here are two shots of the 1963 formation at Abingdon's Battle of Britain day.
                                      Attached Files

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                                        #20
                                        Eager enthusiasts queue for a unique flying experience...only to be disappointed when the helicopter providing pleasure flights actually turns up!

                                        Click image for larger version

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