Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Lost Toy

Sitting in a forgotten corner of the MOD Central Fire Training School at Manston, is what I'm told is the last Phantom F4J in RAF colours in existence. Apparently, the other sole surviving RAF 4J is at Duxford museum in United States Navy colours .

I remember watching these aircraft both RAF and USAF flying from Manston when I was a boy and the Phantom occupies a special place in my memory as the aircraft I first wanted to fly more than anything else and perhaps I still do! What this one needs is a team of loving and dedicated restorers and a new indoor home, before it rusts away, out of sight from the public as a piece of forgotten Cold War history.

You can compare the two aircraft and what the Manston airframe might look like restored to its former glory with its partner at the Imperial War Museum


Bluenote said...

Shame and it always concerns me that we do not do more to conserve examples of our military history. Far too many planes, tanks and vehicles no longer exist because no one or organisation bothered to look after the last example.

Bluenote said...

How sad that something really interesting like a relic of the cold war era attracts hardly any comment, but two Labour councillors kicking lumps out of each other or a few after meeting sandwiches and the local blogging world goes into overdrive.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
Phantoms got to Manston about 1965,
I was with them in Bitburg Air Base in Germany with them in 1964, till they moved a few over to the UK.

Anonymous said...

Someone once remarked that the Phantom was proof that given enough horsepower a housebrick could be made to fly. Personally I think there are probably better aircraft, ships, and tanks worth preserving, but as remarked above we seem spectacularly bad at such things in the UK. If I could go back in time I would have started a campaign to preserve HMS Warspite but like most of the relatively recent past it seems such things are no longer considered worth preserving. A sad state of affairs really.