HC Deb 19 January 1989 vol 145 c277W
Mr. Barry Field

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Chipmunk aircraft the RAF operates; what is their average age; how much per hour they cost to fly; what is the availability of spares; what plans the RAF has to replace the Chipmunks; if he will list the aeroplanes that have been considered as suitable replacements; and whether the RAF has flown the ARV Super Two manufactured at Sandown, Isle of Wight.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

The Royal Air Force operates a total of 77 Chipmunk aircraft. Their average age is 35 years. Their basic operating cost (including spares and servicing to normal RAF standards) is about £120 per hour; the availability of spares is satisfactory, and on current plans, the Chipmunk is expected to remain in RAF service until about the turn of the century. The RAF has not flown the ARV Super Two, though it has been used at the Empire test pilots school at the Aeroplane and Armament Establishment, Boscombe Down in the training of student test pilots.