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Farmer buys bomber and displays it on Norfolk roadside

PUBLISHED: 08:41 17 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:41 17 October 2020

Thomas Hurn has a Jaguar Jet bomber which flew from RAF Coltishall on his farm at Tattersett, near Fakenham  Picture: Chris Bishop

Thomas Hurn has a Jaguar Jet bomber which flew from RAF Coltishall on his farm at Tattersett, near Fakenham Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

You might not expect to see a supersonic jet bomber by the roadside as you drive through a quaint Norfolk village.

Farmer Thomas Hurn has a Jaguar jet bomber which flew from RAF Coltishall in one of his fields at Tattersett, near Fakenham  Picture: Chris BishopFarmer Thomas Hurn has a Jaguar jet bomber which flew from RAF Coltishall in one of his fields at Tattersett, near Fakenham Picture: Chris Bishop

But a farmer has bought an iconic Jaguar aircraft and parked it beside a rape field near one of its former Norfolk bases.

David Hurn, 62, is allowing people to view the aircraft on his land at Tattersett, near Fakenham, in return for a donation to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

“Having friends and relatives in the RAF since the days of Bomber Command in World War Two has given me an interest in military aircraft,” he said.

Thomas Hurn has a Jaguar Jet bomber which flew from RAF Coltishall on his farm at Tattersett, near Fakenham  Picture: Chris Bishop  Thomas Hurn has a Jaguar Jet bomber which flew from RAF Coltishall on his farm at Tattersett, near Fakenham Picture: Chris Bishop

“I farm around the western perimeter of Sculthorpe air base and have seen several aircraft types over the years which further fuelled my interest in military aviation.”

When the Jaguar came up for sale at a dealer specialising in military surplus, Mr Hurn decided to take the plunge.

“I decided it was the right time to buy and keep the aircraft in Norfolk,” he said.

Thomas Hurn has a Jaguar Jet bomber which flew from RAF Coltishall on his farm at Tattersett, near Fakenham  Picture: Chris Bishop  Thomas Hurn has a Jaguar Jet bomber which flew from RAF Coltishall on his farm at Tattersett, near Fakenham Picture: Chris Bishop

As well as its north Norfolk base, the Jaguar would also have flown from Sculthorpe while the runways at Coltishall were being resurfaced in the early 1980s - so Mr Hurn’s warplane may even have flown over its final resting place.

Mr Hurn said so far the aircraft XZ394 has stimulated a lot of interest, along with £700 in donations for the benevolent fund.

It is painted in the colours of 16 Squadron, nicknamed the Saints, which dates back to 1915 and was disbanded at Coltishall in 2008.

Farmer Thomas Hurn has a Jaguar jet bomber which flew from RAF Coltishall in one of his fields at Tattersett, near Fakenham  Picture: Chris BishopFarmer Thomas Hurn has a Jaguar jet bomber which flew from RAF Coltishall in one of his fields at Tattersett, near Fakenham Picture: Chris Bishop

Prior to its arrival in Norfolk, the aircraft stood for a time as the ‘gate guard’ at RAF Shoreham in Sussex.

The supersonic Jaguar, conceived in the 1960s as a ground attack aircraft, had been ungraded to nuclear strike capability by the time it entered service with the RAF in 1973.

The first Jaguar squadron arrived at the now defunct RAF Coltishall in Norfolk the following year, while the aircraft would go on to see service in the 1991 Gulf War and the Balkans.

Coltishall was once home to the Jaguar squadrons  Picture: ArchantColtishall was once home to the Jaguar squadrons Picture: Archant

Jaguars were taken out of service around 15 years ago as the Eurofighter Typhoon entered service.

Coltishall was not chosen as a base for the new aircraft and it closed in 2006 after a proud history which included the Battle of Britain.

Mr Hurn would love to hear from any ex-air or ground crew who were connected with his aircraft via enquiries@norfolkholidayhomes.co.uk.

RAF Coltishall, Jaguar aircraft taxi out to the runway Picture: Sam RobbinsRAF Coltishall, Jaguar aircraft taxi out to the runway Picture: Sam Robbins

Under grey skies the last Jaguar aircraft to leave RAF Coltishall takes off on Saturday 1st April 2006. Photo: Bill SmithUnder grey skies the last Jaguar aircraft to leave RAF Coltishall takes off on Saturday 1st April 2006. Photo: Bill Smith


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