Our Aircraft

Fakenham Lancaster was set up as an Air Scout group, meaning that as our members move up through the sections an increasing emphasis should be placed on aviation skills training.  With access to airfields not always easy to arrange, and not always the best place to complete basic training, we are looking to secure an aircraft of our own to use for ground training purposes.

As you can imagine this is not a small task, nor one that will be completed overnight.  Although we do not yet have a complete airframe, we do have a systems trainer and some aircraft parts that are used for training purposes.  These are listed below.

Complete Aircraft

Sandlin Goat Project

Sandlin Goat details (opens in new window)
Currently in the advanced planning stage, the Senior Scouts (as part of their engineering training) are intending to construct a project aircraft based on the Sandlin Goat microlight glider.

Although it is not intended that this aircraft would be flown, the plan is to construct it to the same standards - so that it can be used for ground training purposes (including possibly for ground display at events).

Currently this project is on hold.

Instructional Simulators

Westland Wessex systems trainer

Although not an actual aircraft, this systems trainer is essentially the cockpit of a Westland Wessex helicopter connected to a panel allowing its controls and instruments to power up and simulate various faults.  This was used at RAF Aldergrove to train aircrew how to operate the type of aircraft, without risking damage to an actual plane.  Once restored to use it will be doing the same job with our Scouts.  

The trainer was purchased and recovered from Belgium in a fairly epic operation conducted by two leaders and a Scout parent.  On collection, Richard was able to fill a couple of holes in the panel using instruments that he had obtained previously - and he also completed a "salvage mission" with the Royal Navy in Cornwall to obtain more needed parts.  Unfortunately it is not possible to complete the electrical restoration of the systems while the trainer is stored in the corner of the workshop, and proposals for a dedicated building have been protracted.

The left hand seat retains the original instruments, and allows Scouts to be trained to operate aircraft controls as above.  The instrument panel in front of the right hand seat has been fitted with a PC monitor and computer, donated by Richard for the purpose, which will allow the cockpit to be used to control a flight simulator once the controls have been linked to the PC.

Currently this project is on hold.

Local links:  The RAF used the Wessex in various roles, including with the Air Sea Rescue flight at RAF Coltishall.  Bristows Helicopters used to use the Wessex 60 on services from Norfolk to the North Sea gas rigs and Richard's father was killed in one that crashed in the North Sea.

Aircraft Instrument Panels & Components

Nimrod MR2 (XV235), "Muscat Belle" - on loan from the RAF.

We were lucky enough to secure the SatCom Antenna radome (also known as a 'canoe') 
from Hawker Siddeley Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft XV235.   In 1977 this aircraft took part in the Queen's Silver Jubilee review of the RAF at RAF Finningley.  XV235 has local connections, in that she was operated out of RAF Coltishall during October 1990. 

On 5 November 2007, XV235 was involved in a midair incident over Afghanistan when the crew noticed a fuel leak during air-to-air refuelling.   After transmitting a mayday call, the crew landed the aircraft successfully.

The canoe was removed from the aircraft in 2010 (by Rick O'May) prior to the aircraft's move to RAF Cosford.  The cockpit of the aircraft survives on display.  Sadly we don't own it!

Local links: At least one Nimrod pilot was born in Fakenham. A complete aircraft of this type is displayed at the City of Norwich Aviation Museum. 

Large scale (flying) model aircraft 

The Group has a number of (former) flying model aircraft which are intended to be restored for training purposes.  If you are interested in helping restore them, and ideally in teaching some of our members your skills, we would love to hear from you!  We would also welcome donations of any further models.

Hawker Typhoon (DN409)

The Hawker Typhoon (or "Tiffy") was introduced in 1941 as a single seat fighter bomber, but was also used as a low level interceptor.  It was most famous, however, in the ground attack role, armed with rockets.

Only one Typhoon survives, MN235 at Hendon.  One of our Patrols, our "extra periodic" one, is named after this type of plane.  The airframe may be an easy candidate to return to airworthy condition, but it is planned to locate a suitable nose fairing and display it inside the HQ for the immediate future.

Supermarine Spitfire (W3185)

The Supermarine Spitfire is, perhaps, the most famous plane from the Second World War.  These were a common sight in the skies over Norfolk during the War, and contributed a lot to the winning of the Battle of Brtiain.

Our model represents Douglas Bader's aircraft, and has suffered damage to the tail, but is otherwise sound.  As the Spitfire is always a handful to fly, she is intended to be restored for display inside the HQ.

Generic trainer types

This generic trainer type aircraft, on loan from a member, was formerly used by the Combined Cadet Force at Cawston College until it was damaged in a crash.  An ideal type for flight training the hope is that it can be restored to airworthy condition once the wings have been rebuilt - as a number of spars have been broken, and the skin badly damaged. 

Based on a Cessna 172, it is likely that this will be the first restored to flight status.

This second trainer type plane was in good condition when collected, but the tail surfaces (both the vertical and horizontal surfaces) being badly damaged when a tent fell on it while the group was looking for a permanent home.  As a result of this, this model has moved from the most likely to be initially restored to a position where it is more likely to be displayed indoors until and unless someone with a lot of skill can repair this rather attractive aircraft.