Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome & Proving Ground is a former USAF air base (RAF Bruntingthorpe) located in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. The USAF operated B-47 Stratojets from the air base until it’s closure in 1962. In 1972 it was privately purchased by the Walton family and is now run by David Walton.
As well as being a proving ground, providing driving days, storage, film production facilities and car repair facilities the aerodrome is also home to The Cold War Jets Collection. The privately owned collection of aircraft is augmented by a number of other lodger aircraft, most noticeably the Lightning Preservation Group, Canberra WT333 Operating Team, Absolutely Buccaneers Team, Sea Vixen XJ494 Preservation Group and until recently the The Vulcan Operating Company.
Recently there had been three new arrivals in the form of Nimrod MR2 XV226, VC-10 C1K XR807 and XV109.
Nimrod MR2 XV226
XV226 was flown into Bruntingthorpe on the 29th April 2010 in a fully serviceably condition by Squadron Leader Stuart Roxburgh with a flight crew of seven and support from a ground crew of eight. It will become the latest addition to the Cold War Jets Collection and it is planned to keep it in a serviceable condition allowing it to take part in ‘fast taxi’ runs.
This particular Nimrod had been requested because of it’s great condition and the 40th anniversary markings applied to celebrate 40 years of operational use of the Nimrod by the RAF. Speaking of his latest acquisition David Walton said “We consider it an honour and privilege to be custodians of this impressive aircraft which is in such fine condition. It is particularly fitting that it should be here because we have the last military Comet aircraft in the collection and the Nimrod was developed from the Comet.“
The link between the Comet and the Nimrod also means the Cold War Jet Collection already has the experience to operate this type and Phil Rydell, the pilot who fast taxis the Comet, will also be able to fast taxi the Nimrod.
VC-10 C1K XR807 & XV109
Arriving earlier in the month (6th April) was a pair of VC-10 C1Ks to be Reduced To Produce (RTP) by GJD Service Limited who have been contracted by BAe Systems to strip XR807 and XV109 for spares. The stripping of XV109 is well under way and will need to completed quickly for the parts to meet the criteria to be introduce into the parts supply chain.
As you can see the engines from both airframes has already been removed and are back at RAF Brize Norton. Once all the usable parts have been recovered from these two the rest will be scrapped. It’s hoped that one of the later VC-10s to be retired will be preserved at Bruntingthorpe in ‘fast taxi’ condition but at this time the demand for spare is too high for the RAF to be able to transfer one to the Cold War Jets Collection.
Cold War Jets Open Day 2010
If you want to see the Nimrod MR2 perform a fast taxi then you will want to attend the Cold War Jets Open Day on Sunday 30th May 2010 at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome. Along with the fast taxi from the Nimrod you will also see the Victor, Comet, Canberra, Lightning, Buccaneer, Hunter, JP and Iskra! Not to mention other static aircraft. A number of the aircraft have recently had their paint redone so this years event will be a great one to attend. You can also see the recently completed and authentic QRA sheds of the LPG team that houses their two Lightnings.
Tickets can be purchased on the day at a cost of £15 per adult, £10 for OAPs and free for children under 16 years old.
Gates are open from 10am, parking in on the airfield and is ample.
Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome is located off Bath Lane in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 5QS. Here is a picture from Google Streetmap so you know what the entrance looks like (sadly their isn’t any road signs leading to the aerodrome and the signage at the enterance isn’t obvious):