Museum Aircraft

The museum has a growing collection of aircraft representing the “Cold War” era. Unfortunately, due to the current rules regarding loans of ex-USAF aircraft to private museums, it is unlikely that we will ever acquire any type that served at the Twin-Bases. The museum’s first acquisition was a Meteor D.16. which was purchased in 2005. It has been the subject of a very lengthy restoration and a conversion back to its original F.8 configuration. When complete it will have working electrics and hydraulics and will wear the markings of No. 72 Sqn.

During October 2009 a Sepecat Jaguar joined the museum collection, and following completion of Phase 1 of its restoration, it is now in the process of being returned to ground-running condition. On July 1st 2010, Hawker Hunter XE707, also joined the museum collection, and is currently being re-painted ready for display in late 2014 or early 2015. May 2011 saw the arrival of our English Electric Lighting. This is currently undergoing a full restoration. Subsequent purchases have included a Harrier GR.3 and Phantom FGR.2. The Museum also has on loan a second Phantom FGR.2, a Phantom FGR.2 cockpit section and a Jet Provost cockpit section.

Full details of the museum’s aircraft can be found by clicking on the aircraft manufacturer column in the table below. Please note that only aircraft listed as on display can be seen on normal museum open days. Visits to see the aircraft under restoration are possible by prior arrangement, and on group visits if requested.

Please note that aircraft under restoration are not viewable by the public due to the fact that they are in a hangar separate to the museum.

Can you help?

We are always looking for information on any of the museum aircraft, do you have any photo’s, manuals, spare parts, if so we would be very pleased to hear from you. Please use the contact page to get in touch with us.

BAe HARRIER GR.3

ZD667 was the first of a batch of four Harrier GR.3s built for the RAF as a stop-gap whilst the second generation Harrier (GR.5 later converted to GR.7 and GR.9 variants), was entering service in the late-80s. As a consequence of this, ZD667 was actually a newer aircraft than several of the Harrier GR.9s that were in service with the RAF up until December 2010. ZD667 only spent eight years in frontline service with the RAF before being retired.

Following retirement ZD667 was transferred to the Royal Navy at RNAS Culdrose where it was used for training Fleet Air Arm groundcrew in the art of handling aircraft on carrier decks. With the loss of the Fleet Air Arm’s fixed wing component (due to the retirement of the Sea Harrier), there was no longer a requirement for fixed wing deck handling training. During May 2007, ZD667 was moved to Culdrose’s satellite airfield at RNAS Predannack where it was used for fire and crash rescue training. ZD667 was purchased by Everett Aero in December 2012 and subsequently bought by the Museum in February 2013 following a generous donation by Bentwaters Aviation Society member, Brian Smee. ZD667 has been re-painted in the very colourful markings it wore whilst assigned to IV(AC) Sqn at RAF Gütersloh in West Germany during the late-1980s.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Manufacturer: BAe
Purpose: Single-seat fighter bomber
Crew: One
Wingspan: 25 ft 3″
Length: 45 ft 5 “
Height: 11 ft 3 “
Weight (Empty): 12,300 lb / 5,579 kg
Service ceiling: 55,000 ft / 16,764 metres
Engines: 1x Rolls-Royce Pegasus 11 Mk.103
Performance: 746 mph / 1,200 km/h

WEAPONS
Guns: 2× 30 mm (1.18 in) ADEN cannon pods under the fuselage (we have these fitted to ZD667)
Hardpoints: 4× under-wing & 1× under-fuselage pylon stations with a capacity of 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
Rockets: 4× Matra rocket pods with 18× SNEB 68 mm rockets each
Missiles: 2× AIM-9 Sidewinders Air-to-air missiles
Bombs: A variety of unguided iron bombs, BL755 cluster bombs or laser-guided bombs
Others: 1× Reconnaissance pod / 2× drop tanks for extended range/loitering time

HISTORY
Construction no. – To be confirmed
Place of manufacture – To be confirmed
Date of manufacture – 19th December 1967
First Flight – 26th September 1986
Date delivered – 5th November 1986

ASSIGNMENTS
14/11/86 to 1990 – Coded U No. 4 Sqn Gütersloh
1992 – Coded 3F No. 233 OCU Wittering
1993 – Coded 3B 1417 Flt Belize
1994 – Coded 3B SAH Culdrose
1999 – Coded 3,2 SFDO Culdrose

 

Total flying hours – To be confirmed
Date received by the museum – February 2013

ENGLISH ELECTRIC LIGHTNING F.53

Built for the Royal Saudi Air Force with serial number 53-675 and first flown by Roland Beamont on 19th December 1967 from Salmsbury, the aircraft was delivered to Jeddah on 16th September 1968 by Flt Lt Anders. From Jeddah, 53-675 transferred to 2 Sqn at Riyadh for two years whilst the Saudis worked up on the type. After serving at other bases such as Dhahran, Camis and Al Salem, still with 2 Sqn, 675 was retired by the Saudis on the 1st January 1986. Purchased back by British Aerospace for a possible deal with the Austrian Air Force and given the new serial number of ZF581, she was flown back to Warton on 14th January 1986 having made over 2100 flights with just over 2000 hours. With the Austrian deal a non-starter, ZF581, along with a number of other ex-Saudi Lightnings, were sold to Wensley Haydon-Bailey and shipped to Southampton docks for container storage. The batch of Lightnings was sold again in 1997 and moved to Marine Salvage in Portsmouth. ZF581 was the last Lightning to be sold by Marine Salvage, being purchased (again) by British Aerospace in early 2001. ZF581 was restored by the company and placed on display outside its Rochester factory in 2004.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Manufacturer: English Electric
Purpose: Single-seat fighter
Crew: One
Wingspan: 34 ft 10″ / 10.6 metres
Length: 55 ft 3 ” / 16.8 metres
Height: 19 ft 7 ” / 5.97 metres
Weight (Empty): 31,068 lb / 14,092 kg
Service ceiling: 54,000 ft / 16,000 metres / zoom ceiling >70,000 ft
Engines: 2 × Rolls-Royce Avon 301R
Performance: Mach 2.0 /1,300 mph / 2,100 km/h at 36,000 ft

WEAPONS
2× 30 mm (1.18 in) ADEN cannons,
2× under-fuselage for mounting air-to-air missiles,
2x overwing pylon stations for 260 gal ferry tanks  and provisions to carry combinations of either 2 De Havilland Firestreak or 2× Hawker Siddeley Red Top missiles

ZF581 HISTORY
Construction no. – 95280
Place of manufacture – Warton
Date of Manufacture -19th December 1967
Type – F53 53-675
Date of delivery to RSAF – 16th September 1968

ASSIGNMENTS
16th September 1968 Royal Saudi Air Force
14th January 1986 BAe Warton

Total flying hours –  2304
Date received by the museum – May 2011

GLOSTER METEOR F.8

WH453 arrived at the museum in January 2005 having arrived from Llanbedr in Wales, where it had previously been in use as a static engine test frame after retiring from flying in 1990. The aircraft started life as an F.8 fighter version serving with RAF 222sqn, 72Sqn and then 5 CAACU. In 1972 it was one of several Meteor airframes selected to be converted to a U.16 drone, which meant it could be flown by remote control from the ground whilst towing a target banner for aircraft to practice shooting at. The aircraft is currently undergoing a long term full restoration back to a F.8 fighter version and will be painted in the colours of 72 Sqn when complete.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Manufacturer: Gloster Aircraft Company
Purpose: Single seat day fighter
Crew: One
Wingspan: 37 ft 2” / 11.8 metres
Length: 44 ft 7” / 13.5 metres
Height: 13 ft / 3.9 metres
Weight (Empty): 10,684 lb. / 4,846 kg
Service ceiling: 43,000 ft / 13,106 metres
Engines: 2x Rolls Royce Derwent 8
Performance: 598mph at 10,000 ft

WEAPONS
4x 20mm Hispano cannons

HISTORY
Construction no. – G5/415582
Place of manufacture – built by Gloster aircraft company at Huccelcote
Date of Manufacture – work completed 12th October 1951
Type – built as an F.8, converted to U.16/D.16
Date of delivery to RAF –  19th October 1951

ASSIGNMENTS
19th October 1951 33MU (Maintenance unit)
11th March 1952 delivered to 222 Sqn at RAF Leuchars
9th May 1954 to Avro factory at Langar for maintenance
30th May 1954 delivered to 72Sqn at RAF Church Fenton
1st May 1956 delivered to 5 CAACU
13th October 1971 to 5 MU
18th April 1972 to MOD for U.16 drone conversion
9th April 1974 to Flight Refuelling for drone equipment installation
9th August 1974 to RAE West Freugh
6th January 1975 to RAE Llanbedr
13th September 1976 to Flight refueling for upgrades
24th November 1976 to RAE Llanbedr
10th October 1990 removed from flying at Llanbedr and used as static engine test frame

 

Total flying hours –  4106.55
Date received by the museum – 18th January 2005

HAWKER HUNTER GA.11

A very generous donation from Society member Brian Smee has allowed the Museum to add another important Cold War jet to its growing collection. The new acquisition is Hawker Hunter GA.11, XE707, which arrived at Bentwaters on 1st July following a long journey from Ashbourne in Derbyshire. As the aircraft was airworthy prior to it being dismantling, there is virtually no restoration work required…only reassembly. XE707 will eventually be re-painted in an accurate colour scheme based on one which it carried during its service life. This is likely to be a Fleet Air Arm scheme as conversion back to an RAF F.4 variant would involve some substantial modifications. Our thanks go to Chris Dovey and his team at Capel Plant Holdings Ltd. for their skill and expertise in the transportation of XE707 from Ashbourne to Bentwaters.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Manufacturer: Hawker Aircraft Limited
Purpose: Single seat fighter / fighter-bomber / reconnaissance
Crew: One
Wingspan: 33 ft 8 ” /10.26 metres
Length: 45 ft 11 ” /14.00 metres
Height: 13 ft 2 ” /4.01 metres
Weight (Empty): 14,122 lb / 6,405 kg
Service ceiling: 43,000 ft / 13,106 metres
Engines: 1 × Rolls-Royce Avon 207 turbojet
Performance: Mach 0.94 /715 mph at sea level

WEAPONS
4× 30 mm ADEN cannons, 4 underwing hardpoints with a capacity of 7,400 lb / 3,400 kg

HISTORY
Construction no. – HABL/003098
Place of manufacture – built by Hawker Aircraft Limited in Blackpool
Date of Manufacture – September 1955
Type – built as Mk4 variant
Date of delivery to RAF –  1st September 1955

ASSIGNMENTS
1st September 1955 5MU (Maintenance Unit)
93(F) Sqdn at RAF Jever, West Germany
118(F) Sqdn at RAF Jever, West Germany
1960 Stored in the UK
January 1961 moved to Arbroath with the Royal Navy
1962 converted to GA.11 variant by Hawker Aviation in Dunsfold
7th August 1963 738 NAS at Lossiemouth
End of 1963 moved to RNAS Brawdy
December 1964 764 NAS at Lossiemouth
February 1968 moved to Dunsfold for new cockpit equipment testing for the RN GA.11 and PR.11 variants
October 1968 moved to Boscombe Down for a brief period
23rd October 1969 moved to RNAS Lee-on-Solent
October 1972 moved to RNAS Yeovilton to join the ADTU (Air Direction Training Unit)
June 1973 placed into long term storage
19th March 1982 assigned to FRADU at RNAS Yeovilton
9th November 1983 moved to RAF St Athan to become the first FRADU Hunter to sport the new all over dark sea grey paint scheme
21st April 1994 final FRADU flight and then placed into storage at RNAS Yeovilton
November 1994 sold by auction at Sothebys to George Lazik and exported to the USA, becoming the first Hunter aircraft to make a transatlantic crossing
1998 sold to Global Aviation Inc
2005 imported back to the UK by Chris Perkins

 

Total flying hours –  6173.5
Date received by the museum – 21st June 2010

SEPECAT JAGUAR GR.1A

Sepecat Jaguar XX741 was purchased by the museum on 16th August 2009, following a very generous donation by Bentwaters Aviation Society member Brian Smee. The aircraft is one of the best examples of the type in the UK. Following its rollout after Phase 1 of its restoration on 17th August 2013, XX741 is now entering Phase 2 which could ultimately see it return to ground running condition.

With the electrical system already serviceable, No.1 and No.2 hydraulic systems have been filled, pressurised and checked for leaks. The accumulators in the hydraulic system will be re-charged with nitrogen as soon as a charging rig is available. It is hoped that by the end of Summer 2014 we should be able  to demonstrate working undercarriage doors, airbrakes, tailerons and rudder. Flap, slat and spoiler movement requires the sourcing and re-fitting of a number of missing components that were stripped out of the wing whilst in storage at RAF Shawbury. There is a possibility that two Adour 104 engines may also become available to us but this is the early stages at present.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Manufacturer: Sepecat
Purpose: Ground attack
Crew: One
Wingspan: 28 ft 5” / 8.64 metres
Length: 50 ft 11” / 15.52 metres
Height: 16 ft 1” / 4.92 metres
Weight: 16970 lb. / 7700 kg
Service ceiling: 45930 ft / 13920 metres
Engines: 2x Rolls Royce Adour
Performance: 1056 Mph

WEAPONS
2x 30mm Aden cannon and various external fuel tanks, and bombs on 5 under aircraft hardpoints

HISTORY
Construction no. – S.38
Place of manufacture –  Warton, UK
Date of Manufacture – During early 1974, First Flown 4th October 1974
Type –  Built as a GR.1, updated to GR.1A standard
Date of delivery to RAF –  18th November 1974

ASSIGNMENTS
With 226 OCU at RAF Lossiemouth Scotland Moved to RAF Coltishall serving with 54 Sqn
At RAF Coltishall serving with 6 Sqn
Deployed to Thumrait, Oman on 11th August 1990 for initial aircraft deployment for the Gulf War, although XX741 returned to Coltishall and did not fly any active missions during the gulf war.
XX741 was the RAF Jaguar airshow display jet for 1993,   participating in shows at North Weald & in Malta.
On charge with 226 OCU / 16(R) Sqn at Lossiemouth, although still retaining 6 Sqn markings, but with 04 code.
Final flight from RAF Lossiemouth to RAF Shawbury for   deep storage on 14:05 hrs on 31st January 1994.
Sold to Everett Aero at Sproughton, Suffolk on 18/11/2005

Total flying hours –  4260.20
Date received by the museum –  16th October 2009

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS PHANTOM FGR.2

Awaiting Restoration

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS PHANTOM FGR.2

On Display

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS PHANTOM FGR.2

On Display (Cockpit)

HUNTING JET PROVOST T.3A

On Display (Cockpit)