Previous names

  • RTTL 2757
Certificate no 636
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Location Hendon
Vessel type RAF Air Sea Rescue Launch
Current use Museum based
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Thornycroft, J I & Co Ltd, Woolston, Southampton
Built in 1957
Hull material
Rig None
Number of decks 2
Number of masts
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Petrol
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
19.00 feet (5.80 m)
5.90 feet (1.80 m)
Length: Overall
67.97 feet (20.73 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



Built in 1957 by Vospers, Southampton, this was a high speed motor launch used by the Royal Air Force as a rescue vessel. She was delivered new to RAF Alness in January 1958. She was powered by twin turbocharged Rolls Royce “Griffon” engines which were 16 and a half litre V12 petrol engines using 130 Octane Avgas highly leaded petrol. These were the same engines as used in the Shackleton Maritime Patrol aircraft except that the marine version had a water jacket fitted for cooling. Each engine developed 1750 BHP and they were configured to run through a “V” drive to the propellers.  i.e. the back of the engine faced forward. In 1974-5, the vessel was regularly commanded by F/Lt Colin Chandler, completing some 50 operational exercises/sorties, mainly involving RAF aircraft, though with some work with the Royal Navy and Army. She was latterly kept serviceable at RAF Mountbatten pending being gifted to RAFM, being the last 68ft H.S.L. in the UK. On 26 November 1977, she made her last voyage from RAF Mountbatten up the English Channel to London's Royal Victoria Docks (arriving on 28 November) for movement by road to Hendon where she became a museum exhibit on 4 December 1977. After 25 years in one position at the end of the Museum car park, she was moved across the car park to her present display position by crane and lorry on 15 August 2002 to make way for the new landmark ‘Milestones’ building. She continues to be restored and maintained by volunteers, a friends team and contractors, with a partial re-paint completed in November 2003


Brouwer, Norman J, International Register of Historic Ships, Anthony Nelson, Edition 2, 1993  

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