1911 Waterbird replica flies for first time

After an epic battle to realise their dream,  Lincolnshire Skunk Works craftsmen and the Waterbird Trust have finally had the gratification of seeing their hand built replica sea-plane take to the skies for the first time.  Though only a short hop, the aircraft gracefully took off, landed and made small adjustments in the skies. This hop was the first of hopefully more air tests necessary to satisfy aviation authorities of its airworthiness – which has proved quite a challenge for this design breaking pre-WW1 aircraft, some of whose struts are made of bamboo.

The star of this restoration story, Gerry Cooper, is a successful engineer and pilot who has thousands of hours as a crop spraying pilot, aerial survey pilot and vintage aircraft ace.  Along with his team of woodworkers and aircraft engineers they’ve spent thousands of man hours perfectly replicating this early twentieth century aeroplane while also incorporating painstaking and necessary design alterations that allow it to be flown as a UK certified aircraft by the CAA.

Watch this space as we plan to launch a Web TV series documenting the full story of this phenomenal build, a story we hope to see culminate with the Waterbird replica flying from Lake Windermere where the namesake aircraft was designed, built and flew over 100 years ago.

To find out more about Waterbird Trust and the original aircraft’s history in the Lake District please visit http://www.waterbird.org.uk/.

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FOOTBALL DUO RECEIVE CHANCELLOR’S MEDAL

Danny and Nicky Cowley, Manager and Assistant Manager of Lincoln City FC have joined hundreds of University of Lincoln students at their graduation today. Former Essex P.E. teachers, the pair quit their jobs to guide Lincoln City FC to the National League title and became the first non-league team to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for over 100 years. Since this remarkable event the club have been enjoying record attendances at home with increased tick sales.

They received the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Lincoln in recognition of this amazing success, and for their contribution to the city of Lincoln.

In a Lincolnite interview, Danny said: “Myself and Nicky are very privileged to receive the Chancellor’s Medal. Since we’ve arrived at the club it’s been a pleasure to work closely with the University of Lincoln’s lecturers and students.”

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NEW ERA FOR EAST KIRKBY

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Our cameras capturing the wing section being lifted from the low loaded, at East Kirkby Airfield

The Aviation Heritage Centre, at East Kirkby in Lincolnshire, has received delivery of a very rare new bird – Mosquito NFII HJ711.  The Mosquito has been lovingly rebuilt over the last 45 years by Tony Agar, who has moved it to East Kirkby to realise his dream to see it taxying under it’s own steam again.

Yesterday, our cameras caught this auspicious arrival and interviewed Andrew Panton, manager of the Aviation Heritage Centre, who confirmed this to be a new era for the Aviation Heritage Centre. He added:

“East Kirkby was originally home to the Lancaster, Dakota and Mosquito aircraft so having it here has completed our collection… I can’t wait to see 6 merlin engines running on our airfield simultaneously as these world war two icons taxy together for the first time.”

It’s a particularly poignant union, as Tony Agar bought the very first piece of this Mosquito (the cockpit section) at the same Blackpool auction attended by the late Fred Panton who intented to purchase Just Jane.  Andrew, Fred’s grandson, expressed how he believed that this development has a feeling of divine interventions.

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The cockpit section of Tony Agar’s Mosquito HJ711

The aircraft will be available to view at next weekend’s air show (August 5th, 2017), before the rebuild commences in following weeks. Primetime will be there to document this remarkable event for inclusion in a forthcoming DVD, due October 2017. Watch this space!

To find out more about the Aviation Heritage Centre, East Kirkby and their new addition please visit their news blog here.

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PRINCE WILLIAM VISIT TO CONINGSBY

Tuesday 11th July saw a visit to RAF Coningsby’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.  His visit marked the 60th anniversary of the ‘BBMF’, and he was joined by veterans from the Second World War and their families to enjoy a spectacular flying display from the station’s aircraft.  Prince William is Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Coningsby and is believed to take a keen interest in the BBMF and it’s aircraft, following his time spent in Lincolnshire during his early officer training in the RAF.

ITV Yorkshire’s Calendar, along with our cameraman Simon White, went along to film the event and interview veterans and guests who joined the celebrations:

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TOP GUN AT RUSTA THEORY COURSE

Joanna White with her class, and instructor

Primetime’s Joanna White has been awarded 100% in her SUAV drone operators license training this week, only one of small handful to do so with Rusta at Lincoln.  This fulfils the first of three qualifying tasks, with the generation of an operators manual next and a final flight test at the old RAF Swinderby.

Joanna said: “Taking the theoretical examination and studying towards this pass has really opened my eyes to the complexities of owning and operating drones commercially.  As a private pilot I have often considered UAVs as a dangerous hazard to low flying light or military aircraft – so participating in this course has been reassuring.  I think in the long run I’d be happier if these safety courses were compulsory for all drone owner/operators so we can avoid many of the dangerous incidents regularly reported on national news.  I’m very excited to be taking this course, and naturally delighted to have scored 100% in my exam – though pressures on to make sure the rest of my submissions and flight test are equally to that standard.”

Once completed Primetime Media will be able to offer commercial drone video and surveillance operations to our clients at very competitive rates, so please do get in touch to discuss the possibilities with Joanna.

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JUST JANE STRIPPED

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From this… Credit: Primetime Video

Primetime have been busy recording the deep restoration currently underway on Just Jane at the Aviation Heritage Centre, East Kirkby.  This restoration has been dubbed “NX611 Return to Flight?” by the team at East Kirkby, leading many to believe it’s the beginning of the final stage for returning this bomber into Lincolnshire skies.  Insipration for this latest push may have come from the recent sight of BBMF Lancaster PA474 in the skies with the visiting Canadian Lancaster, the first time two flying Avro Lancaster bombers seen airborne together in many decades.

 

To this... Credit: Primetime Video
To this… Credit: Primetime Video

The Panton family, who own the museum and Lancaster, began the restoration late this year, removing the upper and rear gun turrets, engines, elevators, undercarriage and many other components.  Most recently all of Just Jane’s iconic paintwork has been removed and a thorough inspection of the skins is underway.

We’re documenting this process for the continuation of our DVD series, and we’re providing mini cameras for 24/7 visuals inside the hangar at East Kirkby.

To find out more visit their website where regular updates are given and from where you can order our previous DVD titles.

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