HAWKER SIDDELEY HAWK T.1 XX245

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XX245's initial service history

Hawker-Siddeley Hawk T.1 XX245 was delivered to the Royal Air Force on 4th December 1978. Painted in the standard red and white colours, complete with the last three digits of its serial applied on the nose and tail fin, XX245 was allocated to RAF No.4 Flying Training School (4FTS) at RAF Valley and was used for advanced flying training purposes. It remained based at Anglesey, aside from periods of maintenance and storage for the next fourteen years, ending its time with 4FTS resplendent with the attractive blue spine and tail training colours that were adopted in the 1980s.
During September 1992, XX245 was transferred to RAF Chivenor and was issued to 7FTS' shadow unit RAF 19(R) Squadron (Sqn), where it was operated on tactical weapon training sorties for the next two years.

XX245's FRADU career

XX245 was placed on loan to the Royal Navy from the RAF on 7th April 1994, and was ferried from RAF Chivenor to RNAS Yeovilton to join the Fleet Requirements & Air Direction Unit (FRADU). It was operated on FRADU taskings from the Somerset airfield until 20th November 1995, when it was ferried to RNAS Culdrose in preparation for the Unit's official move there the following month. The aeroplane continued with FRADU until its turn for a refinish arrived in January 1997, and it was ferried to RAF St Athan for this work to be completed. An opportunity was taken to fit new wings to the airframe at the same time, and it was returned to FRADU, in the standard training black colour scheme on 18th March 1997, sporting 'ROYAL NAVY' lettering on the rear fuselage.
However, its period of service was brief, as just over seven months later XX245 was ferried to RAF Shawbury and placed in long term store.

Return to the RAF

During the summer of 1998, the airframe was moved to RAF St Athan to be prepared for a return to RAF service. All traces of its Royal Navy colour scheme was removed and when released for service the following year it was allocated to RAF Valley for use with RAF 208(R) Squadron, a 'shadow' squadron responsible for RAF advanced flying training. It went through the Hawk fuselage replacement programme at St Athan during 2002, and following its return to Valley it gained the Unit's blue and yellow striped markings on the fuselage and established itself as a regular member of the training fleet.

Prior to the 2009 airshow season, XX245 was selected to be one of the two official RAF Hawk display airframes, and it gained a unique colour scheme. It emerged from the paint-shop with an outstanding rippled Union Jack flag effect stretching from the tail fin and fading through to the centre section, and the RAF Benevolent Fund emblem on its belly.
It was seen at numerous events throughout the year both in the UK and abroad prior to being returned to standard colours at the end of the season. It recommenced its training duties with RAF 208(R) shortly afterwards.

In June 2012, XX245 was re-allocated to the Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team (RAFAT), the Red Arrows, adopting the famous red livery.
It has now become an integral part of the 2013 display fleet, and will continue to do so in the future.

- January 2015



[ Robert Turner]

[ Dave Burrow]

[ Geoff Wakeham]

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