THE oldest aircraft in the RAF was retired from service yesterday (Thursday) after 45 years.
The Hawker Siddeley 125 Dominie aircraft, which was operated by a squadron at RAF Cranwell, provided training for RAF rear crew including navigators.
The plane’s final fly-past took them as far as Sheffield before they returned to land at RAF Cranwell.
Station Commander Group Captain Dave Waddington said: “It was a day to commemorate 45 years of fantastic service by this aeroplane.”
The plane was due to be retired from service within the next few years but the Government spending cuts meant this was accelerated.
Stn Cmdr Waddington said: “The shape of the front line of the RAF is changing.
“Training on the Dominie is not required for the future.”
Eight of the 22 Dominie planes that were built are still at RAF Cranwell. But only seven were still in service.
They were operated by 55 (Reserve) Squadron and Stn Cmdr Waddington says that the staff involved will be given opportunities to move on with their career development.
He added: “RAF Cranwell will still be a very big centre for training for the RAF.”