Day 8 of our aircraft profile for the B/E Aerospace Festival of Flight is the BAC Strikemaster which is making its debut in Newcastle this Saturday!
The Strikemaster coming to Newcastle is operated by NWMAS Ltd (North Wales Military Aviation Services Ltd) and they were formed to meet a requirement for maintenance of military aircraft and flying training in ex- military aircraft.
The BAC 167 Strikemaster is a British jet-powered training and light attack aircraft. It was a development of the Hunting Jet Provost trainer, itself a jet engined version of the Percival Provost, which originally flew in 1950 with a radial piston engine.
The BAC 167 Strikemaster is essentially an armed version of the Jet Provost T Mk 5, which you may remember displayed in Newcastle in the 2014 Festival of Flight.
the Strikemaster was modified with an uprated engine, wing hardpoints, a strengthened airframe, new communication and navigation gear, uprated ejection seats, shortened landing gear, and a revised fuel system including conformal fuel tanks on the wing tips.
First flown in 1967, the aircraft was marketed as a light attack or counter-insurgency aircraft, but most large-scale purchasers were air forces wanting an advanced trainer, although Ecuador, Oman and Yemen have used their aircraft in combat. A total of 146 were built.
The Strikemaster coming to Newcastle is flown by Mark Petrie.
Mark, who is 54, began flying in the RAF when he was twenty, leaving in 1990, by which time he was a Flight Lieutenant with 1,200 hours. “I might have stayed longer,” he says, “but I wasn’t very good at biting my tongue when I thought something was wrong.”
He moved to flying for the airlines and is currently a 787 Captain with BA, so NWMAS, plus his ownership of the flying school, are second strings to his bow. The maintenance operation looks after the school aircraft at Hawarden and many of the private aircraft based on the airfield, including Mark’s de Havilland Chipmunk and several LAA Permit aircraft, including some homebuilts.
We look forward to hearing and seeing the Strikemaster in the skies of Newcastle for the first time. It is a fantastic display put on by Mark Petrie.
Information on aircraft from wikipedia, information about NWMAS Ltd from NWMAS website and information about Pilot Mark Petrie taken from an article by Country Small Holding and Photo from Sam Whitfield Photography via the Strikemaster Display UK facebook page
Check back tomorrow for our penultimate aircraft profile, which again will be a loud and fast jet!