Fakenham Lancaster is 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.
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.
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.Sikorsky S-58 "Choctaw", was a workhorse helicopter for the RAF, RN and civilian operators until the 1990s. Once completed it will be used for display, instrument familarisation training, and was originally intended to be a part of our under-development flight simulator.
One of the replacement instruments on this panel is known to have come from Avro Shackleton WR973, and has been fitted to the panel along with the original stores label fitted to it by Sgt Murphy, who removed it from the aircraft after its final flight to the fire dump at Thorney Island in 1972.
The main cockpit panel from this aircraft is on loan to the Group and has been cosmetically restored (using laminated printed instruments) as a lightweight item for publicity use at events and for use as an initial flight instrument training tool.
The main cockpit panel from this aircraft is on loan to the Group and is stored, awaiting conservation work to be completed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although this model is still fitted with electric engines and control gear, damage to her polystyrene tail means that she is not likely to fly again. She serves instead as the "gate guardian" welcoming people into our current hall, which we hope will become the air training room should our long-term plans come to fruition.
Generic trainer types
Based on a Cessna 172, it is likely that this will be the first restored to flight status.