PR.7/T.22 - WT525
WT525 - external
Hiding away in a lock-up (Photo : Richy Doel)
WT525 - Nav station
Remarkably clean looking Nav/Radar station. (Photo : Richy Doel)
WT525 flying with FRADU as 855. (Photo : Unknown)

Richard Doel has recently rescued the cockpit section of this T.22. Now resident in Cambridge, WT525 will gradually be restored to, hopefully, display condition. Richard reports, "I am restoring it at the moment because it was taken apart in places with a disc cutter in the wrong places." As this is believed to be the only surviving T.22 example, Richard's restoration will be of some significance to the Canberra community at large and the FRADU community in particular.

WT525 was originally built as a PR.7 and as such was ready for collection on 23 June 1955. Taken onto RAF charge, WT525 was issued to the newly forming 80 Sqn, a Photo Recconnaissance squadron based at RAFG Laarbruch. 80 Sqn moved to RAFG Brugen in July 1957 and it is possible that during that time was when WT525 was transferred to 17 Sqn, also Photo Recconnaissance, at RAFG Wahn.

On 15 February 1971, WT525 was transferred to the charge of the Royal Navy and converted to T.22 standard. Interestingly, 17 Sqn shut down in December 1969 at RAFG Wildenrath and, assuming WT525 stayed with them until the end it leaves the question as to where this PR.7 was for 13 or so months! Of course it could be that it took this long to convert it to T.22 configuration.

The T.22s were unique to the Royal Navy's Fleet Requirements and Air Directional Unit (FRADU) with only seven of the type being produced and introduced into the Navy's FRADU system to replace the aging Sea Vixens as radar trainers. Their distinctive nose shape was due to them being fitted with a Buccaneer S.2 type radar on which future Buc radar operators could be trained. Latterly, the T.22 also provided an ECM training role for the Navy but they were finally withdrawn in 1985. WT525 was flown to RAF St Athan for storage on 1 March 1985 and posted for sale or disposal in 1991. This cockpit section now resides in Cambridge where, it is hoped, Richard Doel will bring this unique "survivor" back to life.