Everyone likes the idea of having a distinctive ‘feature’ in their home or inside their ‘man cave’ (or the female equivalent).
But not many people could envision having a cold war-era RAF Victor Jet sat in their garden (assuming that the garden is big enough).
But that is precisely what well-known comedian Johny Vegas said when he heard that RAF Marham was looking for a new owner of the vintage aircraft.
On Tuesday, Forces.net reported that RAF Marham had appealed to find someone to take the big jet because they can no longer afford to look after it.
The Victor currently sits at the entrance of the Norfolk airbase, keeping a watchful eye over visitors.
But recent inspections of the aircraft revealed that it is “suffering from structural weaknesses” and that the plane would have to be scrapped.
This cold war-era jet needs a new home
Which is a sad fate for this majestic flying machine.
The base has confirmed that it will have no choice other than to scrap it unless a new owner can be found for this (once) flying piece of history.
A spokesperson for RAF Marham told Forces.net:
“The costs associated with the repairs are well beyond the financial provision allocated to gate guardian maintenance.
“The difficult decision has been made to offer the Victor to anyone that may wish to remove the aircraft and take on its restoration.
“If no-one is able to take this on as a restoration project then, unfortunately, the aircraft will need to be scrapped.”
But Mr Vegas quickly stepped forward and volunteered to take on the aircraft. In a tweet, he said:
‘Dear @RAF_Marham I believe you have a Victor jet in need of a new home? We need to talk. Please DM or contact the wonderful @celepa. Thanking you in kind anticipation of your cooperation’.
He also tweeted to say:
‘I’ll have it and it will be loved and well kept!’
Johnny Vegas told The Big Show on Forces Radio BFBS:
“I want it because the notion of it potentially being scrapped fills me with dread – it would keep me awake at night.
“This plane deserves a home and if it goes to a museum, all well and good, but honestly, if there’s nowhere else for it, I’ll have it. I’ll find a way.”
When asked where he would keep the aircraft, he said he has explored creating an “alternative treehouse project” with a friend, and suggested he could put the Victor in a forest.
“I’d have to reutilise it, without taking anything away from what it is,” Mr Vegas continued.
“I’ll find a home for it and if I have to keep it on my roof, I will.
“It’s a gorgeous tribute to engineering.
“It can’t be scrapped – if somebody else pips me to it, and they decide there’s a better home for it, fine.
“Honestly if I’m the last man standing, I’ll save that plane, and I do something with it.”
There is no word yet from RAF Marham about whether or not they will be taking up Mr Vegas on his offer.
But I have got a feeling that more and more offers will be coming in as more people know about a ‘free’ Victor jet being up for grabs.
The Handley Page Victor was a British jet-powered strategic bomber, developed and produced by Handley Page, which served during the Cold War.
Word is starting to get around that the jet is up for grabs
It was the third and final V-bomber to be operated by the Royal Air Force, the other two being the Avro Vulcan and the Vickers Valiant.
The Victor had been developed as part of the United Kingdom’s airborne nuclear deterrent.
In 1968, it was retired from the nuclear mission following the discovery of fatigue cracks, which had been intensified by the RAF’s adoption of a low-altitude flight profile to avoid interception.
It first flew on 24th December 1952 and was retired from active service on 15th October 1993. In total, 86 were built at the cost of £300,000-£400,000 each.
Anyone interested in having the Victor aircraft should email MRM-MCOGroup@mod.gov.uk.
What would you do if you had the space for it? Let us know in the comments below.
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