Flight demonstrations were an essential part of the work, and XX105 was renowned for always being serviceable at the scheduled time, even if the pilots and scientists sometimes had to hide experimental system failures.
Flight trials were required in a large variety of conditions and geographic locations. These included hot and cold weather, involving detachments to the Mediterranean, Greenland and Svalbard (flying as near to the North Pole as the fuel load permitted). Navigation and Flight Management System development required operation throughout most of Europe, as did demonstrations of the EFIS system, which also required a month’s tour of the USA in 1981, with an intensive schedule of demonstrations to aircraft manufacturers, airlines and aviation regulators. Needless to say, the aircraft remained serviceable throughout the tour.
With the closure of RAE Bedford Airfield in 1994, XX105 was transferred to Boscombe Down where it continued similar work until its last flight in 2003.
XX105 was rightly recognised as the most capable, flexible and reliable flying laboratory in Europe, and probably second to none in the world. She was operated at RAE Bedford from 26th March 1973 until February 1994, and then at Boscombe Down until 2003, and will be remembered with great affection by all the pilots and scientists who flew in her, and by all the engineers who looked after her with such skill and dedication.