Saturday, 20 June 2020

Sad News

Yesterday I received an email confirming what I thought might be true about Bruntingthorpe Airfield Cold War Jets as a venue which has seen fast taxi events and night photo shoots for as far back as I can remember.

As a member of the Lightning Preservation Group since 2009 and having been part of the CWJ open days as ground crew and had the pleasure of working on these classic jets up till November 2009 when we staged the  Lightning double reheat fast taxi as a twilight event for the photographic fraternity. Alas these events will be no more.

Cox motors acquired the airfield some time back and they use the airfield and its taxiways to store new and fleet cars for auction. Over the last few years, this has caused many problems for the collection of aircraft which are dotted around the airfield, basically a lot of them were hemmed in due to parked cars.

The Cold War Jets collection was the brainchild of one of the Airfield owners David Walton and over the years the collection of vintage aircraft has grown. Unfortunately Cox motors are not Aviation minded at all and have called a halt to aircraft events, so no more fast taxi days, photo shoots as we knew it. David Walton created a chunk of airfield land which allowed us to build a Q shed and on adjacent land which he still owns, he intends to build a museum to house some of the jets.

In the meantime, I believe that Cox motors have given notice to several of the aircraft groups that they need to remove the aircraft from the airfield. I know from articles that the Buccaneer Group are moving a few of their jets to another location. Unfortunately this may not be possible for the larger jets as they can not fly out and would have to be dismantled and transported to other locations if they can find them. The cost would be way too high for many, and I fear for the outcome of many. But we will see how this all pans out as time goes on.

As I mentioned earlier, the Q shed and the Lightnings are safe from all this upheaval as they are housed on Mr Waltons land and not part of Cox's take over. The Lightnings will still be worked on and kept in taxi condition, but the rub is that they may end up in the same situation as XR724 at Binbrook, where it is now hemmed in on a concrete hardstanding and not able to fast taxi at all. The hope is that we can still have smaller photo shoots and perhaps an anti-det engine run. All things come to an end, it is inevitable, but us small band of brothers will survive.

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