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Remains from cockpits of fighter aircraft found in field to go on display in museum

PUBLISHED: 08:39 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:02 16 September 2019

Jeremy Eales, Carl Lamb, and Jim Cooper from the museum with one of the two Lightning cockpits
Picture:  Neil Perry

Jeremy Eales, Carl Lamb, and Jim Cooper from the museum with one of the two Lightning cockpits Picture: Neil Perry

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The remains of two cockpits from Lightning fighter aircraft found in a farmer's field are set to take pride of place at a Norfolk museum.

Jeremy Eales, Carl Lamb, and Jim Cooper from the museum with one of the two Lightning cockpits and the iconic nose cone
Picture:  Neil PerryJeremy Eales, Carl Lamb, and Jim Cooper from the museum with one of the two Lightning cockpits and the iconic nose cone Picture: Neil Perry

They arrived at the RAF Air Defence Radar museum in Horning on Friday, September 13, and will be stored in sheds until they are cleaned up and ready to be moved.

They were transported to the site on lorries from Brisley, near Fakenham, where they were found, just a few miles from their former base at RAF Coltishall.

Jeremy Eales, museum duty manager, said: "One of them will be the gate guard at the museum while we'll find a space in the museum for the other one. It will join the Jaguar cockpit we've already got.

"We hope to have them on show in the museum by this time next year, and hope they will be another attraction."

Jeremy Eales, Carl Lamb, and Jim Cooper from the museum with one of the two Lightning cockpits
Picture:  Neil PerryJeremy Eales, Carl Lamb, and Jim Cooper from the museum with one of the two Lightning cockpits Picture: Neil Perry

While the Lightning was a single-seater fighter, one of the cockpits was a rare two-seater version from an aircraft used for training pilots,

Carl Lamb, who found and owns the cockpits and is a trustee at the museum, said: "Each one weighs about two tonnes. They are both Lightnings, but one of them is technically a T5. The other is a F2A used for gun trials on Tornados.

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"They had been kept for about 25 years in a field in Brisley, wrapped in tarpaulins. We had about 18 months of negotiations to buy them.

Two Lightning cockpits are delivered to the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead 
Picture:  Neil PerryTwo Lightning cockpits are delivered to the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead Picture: Neil Perry

"They are in reasonable condition. We are bringing them home, as RAF Neatishead was in charge of Lightnings at the height of the Cold War.

"We are now looking for volunteers to help restore them.

"They are iconic aircraft and there are not many of them left. There were only 24 T5s built for the RAF. They are part of our heritage."

Mr Lamb, who was stationed at RAF Neatishead, added: "It was like an Indiana Jones' moment when we found them in the field."

Two Lightning cockpits are delivered to the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead 
Picture:  Neil PerryTwo Lightning cockpits are delivered to the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead Picture: Neil Perry

Now a director of Norwich-based financial advisers Smith and Pinching, Mr Lamb lives in Norwich.

The first aircraft arrived at RAF Coltishall in December 1959 and the last Lightnings left in 1974.

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