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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 236321
Last updated: 18 November 2021
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Type:Boulton Paul Balliol T Mk 2
Owner/operator:238 Operational Conversion Unit Royal Air Force (238 OCU RAF)
Registration: WN171
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:RAF Wattisham, Suffolk, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:RAF Wattisham, Suffolk
Destination airport:RAF North Luffenham, Rutland
Boulton Paul Balliol T.Mk.2 WN171: Delivered 26/4/54. RAF service career was with 238 OCU RAF North Luffenham, Rutland only. The task of the Balliols with 238 OCU was to act as "targets" for trainee A.I. (Airborne Interception) radar operators, flying Bristol Brigands with the Basic Flying Wing of 238 OCU in blacked out cockpits. The Balliol would take off from RAF North Luffenham or RAF Wattisham, and the pursuing Brigand would then be tasked with locating it. At least three Balliols - WN162, WN171 and WN517 were written off while with 238 OCU.

Written off (damaged beyond repair) 27/6/55: The pilot of Balliol WN171 was unable to raise the aircraft's tail during the take off run from RAF Wattisham, Suffolk, and took off with the aircraft in a "three point" attitude. To overcome the problem, the pilot of Balliol WN171 retracted the undercarriage and made a forced belly landing at RAF Wattisham. The pilot - Flying Officer Peter Botterill - was unhurt

Balliol T.Mk.2 WN171 was the last production aircraft of a batch of 136 aircraft planned against Contract 6/Acft/6251 as WN132-WN181, WN196-WN234 and WN255-WN303. However, production was terminated at WN171, the 40th aircraft of this production run


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.167 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 80)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.141
4. The Boulton Paul Balliol: The Last Merlin-Powered Aircraft By Alec Brew

Revision history:

22-May-2020 19:10 Dr. John Smith Added
22-May-2020 20:44 MIG29 Updated [Operator, Location, Nature, Operator]

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