The Fly Navy Heritage Trust exists to help preserve the memory of Royal Naval aviation, from the first airship in 1911, the Mayfly (she didn’t!) to the Harrier and beyond. Much of their funding helps to keep the aircraft of the Royal Navy Historic flight – two Swordfishes, two Sea Furies, a Firefly, and a Sea Hawk; all owned and operated by the Royal Navy. they have also recently acquired a Sea Vixen which is privately operated.
All these are expensive to operate, as you can imagine, and the Trust’s responsibilities in this regard are huge.
But they have nothing to help represent naval aviation prior to the Swordfish, and were therefore very interested in the Bristol Scout, and particularly in 1264, which is a Royal Naval Air Service machine, and can tell the story of an important part of British naval aviation.
So I’ve been delighted to hear from their vice Chairman that they are prepared to support our efforts to get the Scout out to Thassos, and the actual airfield from which the RNAS operated, exactly 100 years after they were there.
The details of the arrangement have yet to be sorted out, but we are very grateful for their support and look forward to a fruitful co-operation in the future!
Back in September I visited the RAF Museum in Hendon to look at the Bruce Collection – the incomparable collection of photographs by Jack Bruce, probably the pre-eminent WWI Aviation historian.
They had pulled out for me the pages relating to the Bristol Scout, and I’ve been going through them, and come across all sorts of pleasurable surprises.
In particular, it’s been noted that the wings of original aircraft don’t look as transparent as ours, so I was delighted to find this one which does!
Some of you have been asking about the Scout’s public appearances, so today I’ve added a menu at the top of the page which lists the things we’re hoping to achieve this year.
See you there, I hope!
It’s only eight months ago I bought a Land Rover Discovery to tow the Scout trailer, after my lovely Octavia estate proved to be too light.
The Disco has a reputation as the best tow vehicle in the world.
Since then, it’s had to have replaced:
- transfer box,
- prop shaft,
- two tyres,
- rear brake shoes & discs
- front brake shoes, discs & calipers,
- one front wheel bearing,
- suspension bushes,
- suspension compressor,
- two front suspension units complete,
- drive shaft boot,
- LP fuel pump,
- towhitch and crossmember,
- and the sunroof drip tray drains have had to be cleared.
But above all, I never felt happy towing the trailer at speeds above 45mph.
Its replacement, a Hilux which has a reputation for being a bit light at the back end, tows it on rails. I felt utterly confident towing at 52mph for a couple of hundred miles in all conditions.
And it’s all been unplanned expenditure. essentially it amounts to almost half of what I’ve put into the Scout, and – unlike the investment in the Scout – I’ll see very little of it back.
But today a nice man came and took the Disco away and I’ll never have to look at it again, and while the Hilux may be an expensive luxury, at least I have complete confidence in it.