Latest Updates

21st of September saw a special event at Duxford’s American Air Museum, when three former 74(F) Squadron commanding officers reunited for a signing ceremony to raise funds for the ongoing restoration of Phantom F-4J(UK) ZE360. The 74(F) ‘Tiger’ Squadron Association brought together retired Air Marshall Cliff Spink and former Group Captains Dick Northcote and Graham Clarke to add their signatures to a run of limited edition reproductions of an original painting by Rob Johnson depicting ZE360 and ZE359 overflying RAF Wattisham.

A small number of these prints are still available and standard, non-signed versions will be offered soon. Contact Tony Clay at webmaster74tigersquadron@yahoo.com for more details.

Saturday the 18th of September saw the BPAG roadshow roll into Cotswold Airport to attend the Battle Of Britain Vintage Fly-in. Although fielding a slightly stripped down version of our stand at Abingdon, the more intimate nature of the event, the quality of the display and a favourable location all meant our volunteers were kept busy. Despite much lower attendance than the last two events, we had a very successful day, enjoyed some great conversations with members of the public who were all very interested in our plans and happy to support us by purchasing merchandise. Thank you to everyone who stopped by.
 
Another useful aspect of these events is the chance to meet new, potential volunteers and this one did not disappoint on that front. It was wonderful to meet so many enthusiastic people who want to give up their time and talents to help restore and preserve our aircraft, we took many contact details and will be in touch in the near future. However, whilst not wishing to detract from anyone else we spoke to, one person does warrant special mention. The gentleman stood next to the seat is former Group Captain Laurie Hilditch, who- among his many other achievements- holds the distinction of being the last man to fly a Spey powered Phantom, when XT597 made its final flight on 28th January 1994. Mr Hilditch still has a great affection for 597 and will be working closely with us in the future. Watch this space.
 
This event will be our last public appearance for 2021, but we will be back next year, bigger and better. Once again, thank you to everyone who came and talked to us, offered their services or parted with their money to help us fund our projects. Finally, many thanks to our volunteers, John Bell, Paul West and Paul Wright for their hard work and dedication.

Following a very successful presence at CockpitFest at Newark a couple of weeks ago, the BPAG ‘front of house’ team next took our stall and a selection of display items to the Abingdon Air and Country Show last weekend, which was an event we were attending for the very first time.

Held at the former RAF Abingdon and featuring a range of flying and static displays, it was a busy day with over 15,000 attendees. Thank you to everyone who dropped by the stall, it was great to meet you all. Many thanks also to our hard working volunteers and to the organisers of the show for the invitation. We will very much look forward to returning next year.

Our crowdfunder campaign has now ended. The total raised was £16,558. Although short of the target, this is enough to ensure that the majority of the preparation work at Cotswold Airport can go ahead. We have other fundraising sources to pursue in the meantime, and we are confident that we can make up the shortfall. With a slight juggling of the timeframe, we will still achieve our aim.
 
Huge thanks go out to everyone contributed, your generosity has ensured that the UK Phantom Heritage Centre is on its way to becoming a reality and we are grateful for your faith in the BPAG. We will start fulfilling the rewards over the next couple of weeks, so if you claimed you should be hearing from us via crowdfunder soon.
 
Once again, our sincerest thanks to you all.