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Hunting Jet Provost T.4 XS181 was built, and first flown at Luton in 1963.
During November that year, it was ferried to RAF Shawbury-based 27MU (Maintenance Unit) for final preparation work, ready for military service.

On 14th January 1964, XS181 joined No 3 Flying Training School (3FTS), based at RAF Leeming.
It remained with the unit for 14 months as aircraft '32', until being re-issued to RAF Cranwell in March 1965. Now part of the Royal Air Force College (RAFC) fleet, XS181 was given the fleet code '96' and was tasked with training sorties for the next six years.

On 14th October 1971, XS181 moved onto its third posting, this time with the Central Air Traffic Control School (CATCS) at RAF Shawbury. Assigned the letter code 'F', the aeroplane was used as a live training tool for junior Air Traffic Controllers. Over the next three years, the CATCS received further Mk.4 Jet Provost aircraft, eventually becoming the sole Unit to operate the variant.
XS181 remained in use with it for the rest of its RAF career, aside from loan spells at RAF Brawdy (March-April 1983) and RAF St Athan Station Flight (December-January 1986).
In July 1989, the CATCS retired all aircraft and went back to computerised training, and XS181 was placed in storage, pending a decision on its future.

During 1991, the aeroplane was moved by road to RAF Halton, joining the RAF School of Technical Training (1SoTT). Assigned the maintenance serial 9033M, it was employed as an instructional airframe for training future RAF technicians. During 1993 the school was facing closure, and most of its large collection of aircraft was gradually being disposed of. XS181 was a late departure from the site, leaving for Phoenix Aviation based at Bruntingthorpe airfield, Leicestershire in March 1995.

A year later, XS181 was broken up at Bruntingthorpe. Only the cockpit section was saved and was sold to Paul Smith Esq, moving to his Northamptonshire home in December 1996. During late 1997, XS181 changed hands and was on the move again, travelling to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. Now under the ownership of the Buckinghamshire Aircraft Recovery Group (BARG) XS181 was placed on display in a small museum for the next four years.
The aeroplane was again sold in 2001, moving to North Weald airfield, Essex in September.

A year later, XS181 was under the ownership of John Standish. It was moved during the summer of 2002 to Bruntingthorpe, where it is now based. It was used by No.1084 Air Training Corps, based at Market Harborough as a fundraiser for Leicester Royal Infirmary Cancer Unit, one of the Squadrons two Charities. During 2008, the cockpit was sold to new private owner, and it is believed to be still resident at Bruntingthorpe.

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