Vickers Varsity T.1 WL626 at East Midlands Aeropark

The Vickers Varsity was T.1 was a training aircraft used primarily to instruct crews of large multi-engined aircraft. This particular aircraft was operated by No.201 Advanced Flying Training School located at RAF Swinderby and had the distinction of being part of a static display at the Queens Review of the Royal Air Force at RAF Odiham in 1953. It departed Swinderby for No.2 Air Navigation School at Thorney Island in 1955. It later transferred to No.1 Air Navigation School at RAF Topcliffe in Yorkshire.

The aircraft was decommissioned in 1976 and given the civilian registry G-BHDD. In 1979 it arrived at East Midlands Aeropark where it now currently resides on display. The following photos were taken on January 18th 2015.

Photos: Tony Wilkins


English Electric Canberra T.17 WH740 at East Midlands Aeropark

Built as a B2, WH740 was delivered to No.18 Squadron at RAF Scampton in August 1953. The aircraft then became part of No.40 Squadron based at RAF Upwood. In 1958, WH740 was one of 15 B2s loaned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force as part of the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve. It joined the newly formed 75 Squadron (RNZAF) based at RAF Tengah, Singapore and saw active service in Malaya.

In 1962 the aircraft was handed back to the RAF and converted to T.17 standard before joining 360 Squadron at RAF Cottesmore. It remained with 360 Squadron for the rest of its service life, moving to RAF Wyton in August 1975. The T.17 was a rebuilt B2 with a compartment behind the cockpit which accommodated a pupil and ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) instructor.

The aircraft was struck off RAF charge in December 1987 and used as a ground instructional airframe at No.2 School of Technical Training at RAF Cosford. After providing many valuable years to young RAF Trainees it was bought for display at the Aeropark.

History: East Midlands Aeropark
Photos taken on the 18th January 2015

Running the engines.

Avro Vulcan XM575 at East Midlands Aeropark

Photos taken on the 18th January 2015


Avro Vulcan XM575 is the last surviving Vulcan of the very last ‘public’ QRA undertaken at RAF Finningley on the 19th September 1981. XM575 was delivered to the RAF in May 1963 entering service with 617 Squadron and going on to serve with the Scampton and Waddington Wings as part of 101, 50 and 44 Squadrons. The aircraft took part in the Falklands victory flypast over London in October 1982 and was retired the next year flying into East Midlands Airport. She has been on display at the East Midlands Aeropark ever since.






A fully grown man made to feel like a 12 year old again



There is no graceful way for a guy my size to climb up and down that ladder

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at East Midlands Aeropark for giving me the opportunity to climb inside this beautiful aircraft.

For more images of British military equipment and museums please visit the Galleries section or follow Defence of the Realm on Instagram

If you have photographs or articles you wish to contribute to Defence of the Realm than you can email them to If successful you will of course be given full credit for your contribution and can even promote your own website/blog/social media account.