Operational Conversion Unit :: Radar Training Flight
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Updated: 6 Jun 08
Formed: 1 Sep 1972 by merging Strike Command Bomber School
Disbanded: 30 Jun 1977
RAF Scampton :: 1 Sep 1972- 30 Jun 1977
Handley Page Hastings T5 :: - 30 Jun 1977
230 OCU's Radar Training Flight had previously been Bomber Command Bombing School at RAF Lindholme, becoming Strike Command Bomber School in 1968 and not merging into 230 OCU until 1 Sep 1972. Its operated modified Handley Page Hastings, earning the nickname '1066 Sqn'.
From 1950, 19 Hastings were converted for weather recce, flying in this role until the mid-1960s. Eight became Hastings T5, entering service with the Bomber Command Bombing School at RAF Lindholme in 1959, all converted from C.1s, superseding Lincolns in the role of training V-Force bomb-aimers and navigators in the use of basic electronic equipment, used for both visual and radar bombing training. A large ventral radome was fitted containing the H2S Radar equipment as a Radar Trainer for the V-Bomber fleet NBS System, and each aircraft could carry three trainee crews, providing radar training for bomb-aimers at the Bomber Command Bombing School from 1959.
These 8 aircraft were used by aircrew training on Vulcan bombers, painted in 'dayglo' red colourway and equipped with a H2S Scanner type RADAR positioned under the fuselage just forward of the main door. The type left operational line service in 1967, 4 airframes being retired by 1974, but 4 T5s served with the 230 OCU's Radar Flight until 30 June 1977.
The aricraft were often used for weekly ‘Offshore Tapestry’ patrols, observing North Sea oil rigs and fishing fleets, maritime exercises, Search and Rescue missions and occasional short-notice transport tasks for 1 Group and HQ STRIKE. During the winter of 1975-6 they were used in fisheries protection and reconnaissance role during the Icelandic ‘Cod Wars’ observing British fishing boats and Icelandic gunboats, supporting the Nimrods and reporting the position of the Icelandic trawlers to the fleet.
Although the main training task was for Vulcan and Victor navigators, courses were latterly run approximately once a month each for Phantom and Buccaneer. Air experience flights for ATC/CCF cadets and ROC personnel were also flown.
The Radar training task was transfered in Jun 1977 to No 6 FTS Dominies.
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