B.2 / T.11 / T.19 - WH903
WH903 - Nose
The B.2 nose of WH903 at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington (Photo : Les Bywaters, 1999)
WH903 - Charlwood
WH903 nose at Charlwood, 2000
(Photo : Damien Burke)
WH903 - In Service
WH903 as a T.19 with 85 Sqd. Shown with one of the TFS Meteors, WH291. (Photo : Unknown)

Built in 1954, this B.2 was taken into RAF charge with 617 Sqd at RAF Binbrook (the "Home" of the Canberra in those days). It was later transferred to the charge of 102 Sqd, which was probably at RAFG Gutersloh at that time.

Ten years after entering service, WH903 was sent to the Boulton Paul works at Seighford where is was converted to a T.11 - it is probably at this time that its B.2 nose was "saved". From Seighford, the new T.11 joined 228 OCU first before transferring to the 85 Sqd, Target Facilities Squadron at RAF West Raynham. As one of the TFS aircraft on 85 Sdq, WH903 acquired that squadron's famous red and black chequered flashes on either side of the fuselage roundels. Its "sister ship" on 85 Sqn, WH904 (preserved whole at the Newark Air Museum), will give you some idea what WH903 looked like in its T.11 guise. In 1966 WH903 was converted to T.19 type which was basically similar to the T.11 but with ballast replacing the AI radar in the nose, an uprated oxygen system and a later mark ejection seat. It was returned to 85 Sqd.

Sometime after 1970, WH903 was transferred to the charge of 7 Sqd at RAF St Mawgan. Now 7 Sqd flew B.2s and TT.18s from 1970 to 1981.

In 1977 however, WH903 was at RAF Marham, allocated the ground number 8584M to be used for fire practice. The nose was saved though and was at Chalderwood, Sussex, in 1989. One photo, above, shows it in 1999 as a well presented static display in the hanger at the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington with a prespex panel let into the side to provide a view of the navigator's position. Damien's photo shows it at Charlwood in 2000.