Midair Squadron: Canberra & two Hunters

Who were Midair Squadron?

The Midair Squadron was a collection of three classic British jet aircraft: the English Electric Canberra PR9 XH134; Hawker Hunter T7 XL577 and Hawker Hunter T7 XL600.

Although one of the Hunters had been seen on the display circuit not long before, 2014 was the Canberra's first display season since 2006 and 2014 was also the first year that all three craft flew as a squadron.

What happened to Midair Squadron?

Although they were popular on the airshow circuit in 2014, the Midair Squadron's Canberra and 2 Hunters were not seen in the 2015 season. The cost of running a squadron of vintage planes is huge. The owners had hoped to gain charitable status to make funding easier and return to shows in 2016, but costs were too great and the receivers were called in to deal with the debts that had accrued and for which the planes were security. As a result, all planes had to be sold. XL577 was sold privately. The Canberra and Hunter XL600 were due to be sold by Bonhams at Goodwood on 20th March 2016. The Hunter sold but the Canberra did not. Click a name for the auction listing Canberra or Hunter XL600.

Where else have you seen the aircraft and where are they now?

English Electric Canberra PR9 XH134 (G-OMHD)

XH134 was in RAF service from 1959 until the type was retired in 2006, when she went virtually direct to Midair's stable at Kemble. XH134 did have a few outings in 2013. She was flown from Kemble in July, following a 2-year rebuild, to go on static display at RIAT, and took four proving flights shortly afterwards. She had her first proper air display at Goodwood Revival the following September and finished her year at Duxford's Autumn Airshow. 2014 was her first full display season for eight years and the first UK display season by any Canberra since the airshow career of Air Atlantique's B2 was cut short by engine damage in a bird strike in 2007. With the rest of the Midair fleet, XH134 was withdrawn from displays in the 2015 airshow season. It became available for sale by auction with an estimate of £50,000 - £70,000 to offset Midair Squadron's debts but did not sell at Bonhams on 20th March 2016. Ownership was transferred to Kemble Airfield Estates in September 2016.

Hawker Hunter T7 XL600 (G-RAXA)

XL600 first flew with the RAF in November 1958 as G-VETA and remained in military service until the early 1990s. Following an ejector seat failure which killed the pilot, XL600 became a civilian aircraft, based at Bournemouth, until she joined the Delta Jets at Kemble. Then from 2004 she was at North Weald and Cranwell with Gower Jets, subsequently with Skyblue Aviation and penultimately with Team Viper during 2012 before joining Midair in August 2013. XL600 flew in Midair's silver colours with XH134 and XL577 in the 2014 airshow season. It was undergoing a major restoration with C2 Aviation when Midair Squadron folded and was sold at auction in Goodwood by Bonhams for £14,950 on 20th March. Registration was transferred to Canada in August 2016.

Hawker Hunter T7 XL577 (G-XMHD)

Like XL600, XL577 also joined the RAF but she remained in military service for a few more years than XL600 until she was sold to Delta Jets in 1996. XL577 was never part of the Delta Jets display team, although she did sport Blue Diamond team colours from 2005. It flew a few times as part of the Midair trio but was sold to satisfy Midair's debts ahead of an intended auction sale. Registration was transferred to Jordan in February 2016.

More about the Team

The Midair Squadron web site http://www.midair-squadron.com has been suspended; their Facebook page closed and their Twitter feed is years out of date.

Canberra XH134

Midair's Canberra PR9 XH134 at Goodwood Revival, September 2013