The DHC1 Chipmunk was designed just after World War II with the intention for it to replace the Tiger Moth as a trainer and was first flown in 1946. Originally designed and built in Canada it went on to be built in both Britain and Portugal, with a total of 1298 being assembled in the three countries.
735 of these aircraft were used at the RAF’s primary pilot training bases, these were upgraded to the Gipsy Major 8 engine and designed as T 10’s. The Chipmunk was not fully withdrawn from service until 1996.
Our Chipmunk is WP 796 and the history is as follows:
Built as part of the Air Ministry contract 6 ACFT/6449 for 145 Chipmunk T10 for delivery between May 1952 and April 19653. Constructors number C1-0688.
01/07/1952 – 15 reserve Flying School, Redhill, Surrey/ Coded “15”
15/03/1954 – No/ 10 Maintenance Unit for storage on closure of RFS Units
20/06/1957 – Nottingham University Air Squadron for summer camp use
01/08/1957 – RAF Woodvale
18/10/1957 – 22 MU Siloth
09/06/1958 – 64 Group Communication flt/ RAF Rufforth
22/10/1958 – 22 MU
15/06/1959 – Hull UAS – summer camp use
31/08/1958 – Durham UAS – summer camp use
13/10/1959 – 22 MU
24/02/1960 – Free issue to Nigeria
July 1960 – Overhauled by Hants and Sussex Aviation, Portsmouth.
Registered VR-NBK as DHC-1 Chipmunk 22a to The Federal Flying School, Lagos, Nigeria
07/08/1960 – Delivered to packers for crating and then on to the docks
Date Unknown – 5N-AAG Registered to the Federal Government of Nigeria
15/12/1968 – C of A issued as 5N-AAG
During RAF service other than with 15 RFS the aircraft was used as a general duties aircraft filling in with UAS Summer Camp duties and also as a relief aircraft returning to 22 MU for winter storage.
Four ex RAF Chipmunks were delivered to Nigeria as VR-NBH to NBK inc. and these became 5N-AAD to AAG upon independence. The transfer to Nigeria is almost certainly for training of commercial aircrew in conjunction with BOAC who set up Nigeria Airways about that time.