PR.9 - XH177
On cold February day at the Newark Air Museum
(Photo : Les Bywaters)

Another PR.9 with a short history. XH177 was ready for collection in 1960 and entered the RAF first with 58 Sqn at RAF Wyton. At some time after the middle of 1961, it was transferred to the charge of 13 Sqn at RAF Luqa in Malta. However, bad times befell this PR.9 as, in December 1965, XH177 was declared Cat4R due to cracks in the main spar. This was upgraded to Cat5(c) in April 1965 meaning that the aircraft was no longer repairable or flyable. It was struck off charge at Luqa on 5 August 1967.

Somehow the nose section found its way back to the UK and was bought for preservation by the Wales Aircraft Museum. This outfit now seems defunct and XH177's nose, in a fairly sorry state, ended up at Hanningfield Metals scrapyard in Essex.

Some good news though, it has been "rescued" from Essex and transported to the Newark Air Museum where I took the above picture. It will be interesting to anticipate XH177's gradual restoration to full display state as the PR.9s unique arrangement for the navigator entry makes for an interesting exhibit.