de Havilland Canada Chipmunk WG486 at RAF Coningsby

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de Havilland Canada Chipmunk WG486 at RAF Coningsby

One of two Chipmunks with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, they are used to train pilots in handling vintage aircraft.

WG486 was built in 1951. Although primarily a trainer, it was used for reconnaissance patrols in Cyprus and between 1987 and the fall of the Berlin Wall 2 years later, WG 486 undertook low level photo recon operations over Warsaw Pact territory from RAF Gatow in West Berlin.

23 comments on “de Havilland Canada Chipmunk WG486 at RAF Coningsby
  1. mick cooke says:

    nice work ian great little planes

  2. amyrey says:

    That top one is as crisp as owt…. you must av been panning like mad. Love the shadow underneath!

  3. nondesigner59 says:

    Great looking plane..

  4. Tech Owl says:

    Don’t know this one and neither did I know they were used for training

  5. cgullz says:

    lovely series, such crisp shots – you did well with the exposure given a dark bird against all the light. looks a very tidy machine.

  6. SolarScot. says:

    great set of shots Ian

  7. Highy says:

    Cracking shot mate, especially when considering you were stood on the car door!

  8. Ian D B says:

    Er… Yeah. Your car door. Thanks for the perch!
    [] Cheers Amy I was made up when I saw on the little screen that I had got the shadow underneath, more so when I viewed it at home and saw it was a sharp shot as well.
    [] [] [] [] [] []
    Thanks guys.

  9. rob of rochdale says:

    Neat panning matey!

  10. Stezzer says:

    great series, the first shot in flight is super crisp and hard to believe they had these in missions when to the untrained eye, look like something bound on a day trip from Barton Airport.

  11. Gizzardtreedude says:

    Nice collection of shots Ian

  12. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    Great series of shots Ian – I particularly like the bottom pic ! Over a third of all the Chipmunks built are still airworthy – given their age I reckon that`s an amazing figure ?

  13. gastephen says:

    nicely done. like the rim lighting.

  14. C J Paul (chris) says:

    great set ian

  15. stopherjones says:

    Really nice shot, great exposure and panning, looks a fun day out

  16. Tomitheos says:

    great timing Ian

  17. bill_fawcett says:

    Good to see the British version of the "U2" still flying! 🙂 . Had forgotten about the Berlin escapades, thanks for the reminder.

  18. bazylek100 says:

    Very nicely captured! The background blur works fine adding a sense of speed to the picture.
    Photo recon operations over Warsaw Pact territory in the late 80’s?! Well, who knows, maybe it wasn’t as crazy idea as it sounds. Certainly Chipmunks were uniterceptable for Mig-29s 🙂

  19. Ian D B says:

    Many thanks everybody.
    [] . Cheers Robin. Yes Chipmunks were shot at from below from time to time. [] Great link Bill
    "The last two Chipmunks used in this operation were WG486 and WG466 and, until the Berlin Wall came down and the Warsaw Pact imploded, one of these aircraft could frequently be seen slowly droning its way over Berlin."
    [] Really? I never knew that.
    [] Yeah they do. I’d like to take a flight in one!

  20. P_H_I_L_L says:

    Great capture Ian, obviously perfect timing. Looks like it has a big air intake at the front like a typhoon.

  21. het broertje van.. says:

    And touchdown……….brilliant Ian!!!


  22. SAC Williams B says:

    WG486 was at RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk in the late fifties, The ground crew were myself,Jim Batchelor,Bob Sinden,Jack eaglesham and Alan Reynolds. The CO at the time was Group Captain George Walford.

  23. Ed Cochran says:

    My son Tim then SAC[T]saw the picture of WG486 [then in black]when he was buying his fish & chips in the Coningsby chippie He snapped it on his ‘phone and asked me if I had flown it … I had, in 1966 when I was at South Cerney doing my pilot training. It’s now back in original colours. Saw it last in Gatow when I was based in Germany. Tim went on to do his junior ranks pilot training, and I asked the Station Commander Coningsby if Tim could get a trip – to fly a ‘plane his dad flew decades ago … he said he’d fix it but it never happened I’m afraid.It would have been a nice little write-up for him. However, when I wrote the third of my History of Victor Clement trilogy [Edd King, Amazon Books]my hero finishes up getting posted to Coningsby, and the Chippie gets quite a few mentions throughout the book. [Ed Cochran March 2021]

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