[History of the Strikemaster] [Return to known survivors table]

During 1969 the British Aircraft Corporation received an order from the Kuwait Air Force for twelve Strikemaster jets to replace their existing fleet of Jet Provost T.51s. ZU-PER was the fourth aircraft built for the order at BAC's factory at Warton and was issued the production set number 161. During 1970 it was ready for delivery as its flight test schedule was completed under the trade plate identity (or B-class serial) G-27-154.

During June 1970 ZU-PER was delivered to the Kuwait Air Force, routing through RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, with the serial number 113. Once in squadron service the aircraft takes on the identity of aircraft 'D' and it went on to give sixteen years of steady, uneventful service with Kuwait Air Force.

In 1986 'ZU-PER' was traded back to British Aerospace and it was air-freighted back to the UK, arriving at Prestwick on 14th October. They were later moved by road to BAe's Salmesbury factory for refurbishment and re-sale.
It was kept at Warton until 1988 when it was sold to the Botswana Defence Force Air Wing, and it was ferried out to Gaberone, capital of Botswana. It used the RAF identity of ZG808 for this purpose. Given the identity 'OJ6' the jet was in service for eleven years before retirement in April 1997, and UK-based Global Aviation acquired the entire fleet.

During July 1997 OJ6 was placed on the UK civilian register as G-BXFW, and was shipped to the UK, and arrived at Binbrook in a dismantled state. It subsequently moved by road to Humberside Airport for re-assembly and flight-testing on 4th October 1997.

During November 1997 OJ6 was acquired by South African businessman Ralph Garlick, and following the completion of the flight test schedule the jet was flown to Plymouth via Exeter by Mark Linney on 12th January 1998. It was prepared by Barry Pover of the Classic Jet Aircraft Company for the long ferry flight to South Africa, and after a series of test flights the aircraft was declared 'fit to travel'.
On February 9th 1999, in the hands of Ralph and Mark Linney, G-BXFW set off on its long journey to South Africa routing through Greece, Egypt Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
It arrived at Cape Town on 15th February, where it became ZU-PER and a part of the Warbird Trust.
She remains in flying condition today, and is often housed with the Thunder City fleet.


[Return to top of page]