The 74SA are the official veteran’s organisation for former members of the squadron. As such, membership is only open to ex-Tigers. The Association’s website is public though and contains plenty of information about the unit and its history. They played a vital part in the process of the BPAG obtaining ZE360 by being part of the negotiating team and also contributed a large financial donation. Additionally, the Association run a squadron webstore with all proceeds going to support the ZE360 restoration fund.
Now in its sixth year, Aircrew Interview publish both videos and podcasts with past and present aircrew and groundcrew members, both military and civilian. They were great supporters of the ‘Black Mike’ effort and continue to lend their enthusiasm to the BPAG’s current projects. Accessing any of their content is easily done through their website and social media channels.
Just down the road from Wattisham is the Bentwaters Cold War Museum, located at the former USAF base which closed in 1993. Run by the Bentwaters Aviation Society, the museum is home to a number of buildings preserved in their Cold War-era condition and, of course, a collection of aircraft, including Phantom FGR.2 XV401. Pride of place goes to Jaguar GR1.A XX741 which was returned to taxiable condition in 2020. In summer 2020, trustees of BCWM donated a Phantom rear canopy to the BPAG to be fitted to ZE360. Our gratitude goes out to them.
The owners and operators of XX894 and XW554 (both Buccaneer S.2B models) which are kept in taxiable condition at Cotswold Airport, Gloucestershire, TBAG have been great source of continued all round support and encouragement to the British Phantom Aviation Group, for which we will always be grateful. You can find out more about the group and their aircraft here.
The CAHC is based close to Newquay, Cornwall and was originally created to save a collection of historic aircraft that were facing an uncertain fate following the closure of a previous museum. Going from strength to strength since opening in 2015 the museum aims to let it’s visitors get ‘up close and personal’ with their exhibits and its proximity to the runway at Newquay Airport/RAF St Mawgan sometimes offers the bonus of RAF and other NATO aircraft circuit bashing. The BPAG gratefully received a donation of a genuine F-4K hydraulic system demonstrator from CAHC in 2020. Visit the museum’s website for more info on its exhibits and facilities.
Brothers Scott and Tom Sullivan have both been aircraft enthusiasts since childhood and now jointly own Flying Graphics, one of the most successful aviation merchandise companies in recent years. With a wonderful knack for developing eye catching designs, no airshow is complete without the presence of their retail stall, which is always busy. All their products are also available to order through their website if you can’t get yourself along to an event during the summer.
Our volunteer and friend Andy Groves is part of the refurbishment team at JW Smart Services, who are experts in bodywork repair and alloy refurbishment in the motor industry. However they can also now add aviation to their CV as Andy has done wonders bringing parts and components from ZE360 back to life and we are very grateful to him and all the team at JW Smart Services for their hard work and meticulous eye for detail. Amazing skills of the highest order.
Mark is another of the UK’s talented roster of photographers with a heavy interest in aviation. His stunning shot of XV582 ‘Black Mike’ at Cosford proved very popular when it was turned into a print for sale in 2018. He has since seen some of his work also issued as a signature range of t-shirts courtesy of Flying Graphics. More examples from his portfolio can be found on his website at www.marklynham.com
The home of XV490 but also one of the best private aviation museums in the country. The only place in the UK you can go to try your hand in an F-4 simulator too. Recent coups for the museum include acquiring both a SAAB Draken and the prototype Eurofighter Typhoon. More details are available on the museum website and you can also follow their Twitter feed and find them on Facebook.
Nottingham based ShirtySomething have been a merchandise manufacturer for nearly 20 years and can boast bands, businesses, schools, sports teams, astronauts, charities and now also aviation restoration groups as part of their client base. They have been the BPAG’s merch provider of choice since 2018 and have frequently gone to great lengths to service our requests. We would have no hesitation in recommending their services. More details here.
Based at a site adjacent to Carlisle Airport, the Solway Aviation Museum has a collection that is based on post war British jets that entered service with the Royal Air Force during the 1950’s and 60’s. This includes Phantom FGR.2 XV406, which was repainted in 2019 in a stunning 111 Sqn classic camouflage colour scheme. Many of their exhibits have local connections and the museum is run entirely by a team of volunteers from the Solway Aviation Society, many of whom have skills and abilities gained from experience in the aviation industry or are ex-service personnel. Check out their website for more information.
Owner and publisher of ‘Spotter’ e-magazine, Mark Zerafa, has been a supporter of the BPAG for a number of years and has been kind enough to give coverage to all our projects so far, for which we are very grateful. Every issue of the magazine can be read online, for free, and are all highly recommended. Just follow this link Spotter Magazine.
As the first organisation to move a privately owned complete F-4 Phantom airframe by road, the knowledge and experience the UAS gained and freely passed on to the BPAG was invaluable. As the curators of the largest aviation collection in Ireland with over 40 exhibits, they were well qualified to take on the restoration of XT864 which was unveiled to unanimous acclaim in 2018. The story of this achievement can be seen on the Society’s YouTube channel and info about the museum and its aircraft can be found on the UAS website.
On the site of the former RAF Wattisham in Suffolk (now an Army helicopter facility) is the Wattisham Station Heritage Museum which is home to Phantom FGR.2 XT914. Preserved in 74 Squadron colours and kept inside one of Wattisham’s original hardened aircraft shelters, it forms part of a small collection that is managed by a committee of volunteers who operate with the full support of Wattisham Flying Station but rely on visits and donations to survive. A great group of people and a cause entirely deserving of wider support.