Chipmunks Around the World – Exercise “Northern Venture” 25th Anniversary
In 1997 the Royal Air Force executed Exercise “Northern Venture”, which saw two of its fleet of De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10s circumnavigating the Northern hemisphere, Eastbound, crossing Europe, the expanse of the Russian Federation, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland and the Faeroes, before returning to the United Kingdom. The Expedition was led by Sqn Ldr Tony Cowan who, with Sqn Ldrs Ced Hughes and Bill Purchase, flew Chipmunks WP833 (C1-0714) and WP962 (C1-0809), supported by Hunting Aviation Engineer Dave Gill and support-ship pilot Fg Off Tony Severs. Additionally, on the traverse across the Russian Federation, the team was supported by Майор Юрий Вострокнутов (Major Yuriy Vostroknutov) of the Russian Air Force.
As the Chipmunk was withdrawn from the RAF’s Air Experience Flights the Team fought to have one of their Chipmunks preserved. WP962 was put into the RAF Museum, Hendon, and WP833 is now based in Southern California, at Flabob Airport, Riverside.
On the 25th anniversary of Northern Venture in 2022 WP833 ventured to Canada once again and on the following dates repeated these two legs:
June 23rd – June 26th: Prince Albert to Winnipeg (via Melfort, Yorkton)
June 27th: Winnipeg to Thunder Bay (via Kenora, Atikokan)
The pilot on each of these legs was Richard Wilsher, the present owner/custodian of WP833. The additional ‘via’ airfields were necessary since in 2022 the Chipmunk did not have installed its auxiliary fuel tank.
On the return trip WP833 attended AirVenture 2022. The set of 100 limited edition coins was carried aboard WP833 during its entire trip from Flabob, through Canada and back to Flabob via Oshkosh.
The names of the original Northern Venture team members are engraved around the edge of the coin.
Measuring 2.00″ in diameter and 4mm thick, each coin is individually numbered and comes in a capsule as standard along with an accompanying numbered booklet.
A donation from each sale will be made to the RAF Benevolent Fund.
You can also select a presentation box, acrylic stand or ‘floating’ coin stand from the drop down menu if you’d like to take it up a notch!