B.6 - WH953
WH953
WH953 at a wet Alconbury airshow, 1993 (Photo : Nick Challoner)
WH953 -
WH953 at Finningley, 1993(Photo : Allan Barley)
WH953 at Blyth
The cockpit section of WH953 at Blyth Valley Aviation Collection in 1999. The radome has been removed while work is being done.
(Photo : Damien Burke)

Built as a B.6, WH953 was ready for collection in January 1955 and was put onto the RAF's charge. It was, however, delivered to the Radar Research Establishment's works at Defford the same month and was taken off the RAF's charge a month later. During 1956 to 1958, WH953 was involved in installations and trials of the AI Mk 20 radar until, in 1959, it was transferred ro RRE Pershore and modified to a "long nose" standard.

Further trials were carried out including experimental insatllations of "single dish" CW AI radar during 1961 to 1963. From 1963 to 1969, WH953, still with the RRE, was involved experimental trials with the FMI CW radar system, a conversion of the CW AI radar, then during the period 1969 to 1971 was used in the reasearch for the JP236 AEW system. This was followed by a spell at Marconi during the development of the Tornado's AI radar until, in 1977 this B.6 ended up at the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment at Bedford.

I have no history for WH953 for any of its post-Bedford life, but it was obviously still active and flying in 1993 when Nick and Allan took the above photos. The nose section is now preserved at Blyth Valley Aviation Collection, Walpole, Suffolk. Damien's photo, taken in October 1999 at Blyth, shows WH953 in fairly cramped conditions.