Sheffield man restores jet plane to former glory

The restored plane

The restored plane

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People must have thought Paul Flynn was completely mad when he bought a jet training aircraft as a wreck.

He was living in Chapeltown at the time and purchased the plane from a scrapyard in Ipswich for £400.

Former Sheffield man Paul Flynn hard at work restoring the plane

Former Sheffield man Paul Flynn hard at work restoring the plane

Now, after 10 years of hard work by Paul and a team of nine other enthusiastic amateurs, the Jet Provost is regarded as one of the highest quality restorations in the UK.

It is stored next to Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre, near Lincoln, and is now fully restored to the stage where it can be started up for taxi runs.

Sadly it will not be allowed to fly due to regulations and will remain a grounded exhibit.

The former Parson Cross man, aged 53, said: “It is generating quite a bit of interest – as some say it is the best restored Jet Provost in the country.

“I moved the aircraft to Lincolnshire and started the restoration with the help of a volunteer crew who I formed over that period.

“The restoration was completed this year.”

When the work was finished, a crew member recorded the sound of the jet starting and sent the recording to Radio Four.

Paul added: “Eddie Mair on Radio Four played it as part of Listeners Sounds along with many others such as bumble bees, a water drain, gibbons singing earlier this year.

“An award-winning composer Tom Harrold heard about the many different sounds and between them Radio 4 and Tom decided to include the best 20 sounds in a new classical piece that was composed and included in the BBC Proms.”

The team was invited to the performance and was interviewed on the BBC Radio Four show, as it is quite rare to restore a jet to working order.

The Jet Provost Mk4 was retired in 1968 and from then until 2004 languished in a scrap yard.

A replacement engine had to be found for it and Paul found one, complete with engineer’s log book, which revealed it was one of six specially made by Rolls Royce for use in Prince Charles’ aircraft when he was training at RAF College Cranwell.

Paul, who now lives in Ruskington, Lincolnshire, said: “I am a complete amateur, but have always been into aviation and rebuilding aircraft, doing much of the re-spraying - and it has all been outdoors.”

The group have their own website - jetprovostxs186restoration.com – and have also met some of the former pilots who flew in the jet.

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