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

Strikemaster 1108 was built by the British Aircraft Corporation at Warton, as a Mk.80 for the RSAF (Royal Saudi Air Force). Following the necessary flight tests as 'G-27-27', it was delivered to the King Faisal Air Academy based at Riyadh during June 1969.
1108 spent its entire life in service with the academy, being upgraded to Mk.80A specification in the process, until it was withdrawn from service in 1997. During this time it was maintained under British Aerospace (the former British Aircraft Corporation) supervision.

Placed in store, the aeroplane was one of 13 acquired by UK-based Global Aviation on behalf of British Aerospace. 1108 was dismantled and was shipped to Humberside Airport by sea, where it was subsequently placed in store and offered for re-sale.

In May 2001, 1108 was acquired by Tom Moloney of Transair Ltd, and it was moved by road to Duxford on 15th June 2001. It was placed on the civilian register as G-CBPB and was converted for private use by the Aircraft Restoration Company. During 2003, it was re-registered as G-UPPI and re-finished in Ecuador Air Force colours as aeroplane FAE259. It made its air-show debut at the Kemble Classic Jets show in June 2003, and appeared at several other events later that year before Tom retired from the air-show circuit at the end of the season.

Made available for sale Gerald Williams of Gower Jets acquired G-UPPI. It was flown out of his home base at Swansea for some time and later ferried to Hawarden Airport where it was stored ready for shipping to South Africa. With Gerald's emigration to Durban, the aeroplane was dismantled by NWMAS (North Wales Military Aviation Services) engineers and shipped by sea to Cape Town, arriving in November 2005.

Now registered ZU-JAK, the aeroplane was completely rebuilt by the Aviation Business Centre, and on completion of the project was completely re-finished into a desert camouflage. It was test-flown on 6th June 2006, and had arrived at its new home in Durban by the end of that month.

'JAK made its air-show debut at Durban Air Show at her home airfield Virginia Airport on 8/9 July, where many considered it the star of the event!

During May 2008, ZU-JAK and Gerald returned to the UK, and engineers at Hunter Flying based at Exeter re-assembled the aeroplane and restored it back to the UK register as G-UPPI. It was flown again in January 2009, and the aeroplane was later sold to a local pilot based at Exeter shortly afterwards.
With the owner's permission, G-UPPI was too become one of the founder airframes of the Vipers Strikemaster display team, but suffered an accident during April 2009. Despite the pilots making a successful forced landing in a field near Tiverton, the aeroplane impacted with hedgerows which caused extensive damage to the airframe ending its flying life.
During January 2010, it was acquired for spares by Gerald Williams and placed in store at Exeter.

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