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XM496

Hello from Kemble in Gloucestershire, UK

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Hello! There are three reasons why I've registered here: 1) I do like historic military vehicles and admire the efforts of everyone who runs them, especially the heaviest and thirstiest vehicles, 2) I have a weakness for Series Land Rovers and after years of owning classic cars, I feel a powerful Landy urge coming on, and 3) I'm currently helping to restore a rather different military machine which I hope might be of interest to HMVF members.

 

It has ten wheels, four engines and when operational, would fill up with about 100 squaddies, or 53 casevacs including 16 stretcher cases or about 15 tons of supplies. It would cruise along at about 360mph and also has two wings. So by now you've guessed it's an aircraft: it's an ex-RAF Transport Command Bristol Britannia, the only genuine survivor anywhere in the world, and it's based at the Cotswold Airport (better known to many as Kemble Airfield) near Cirencester in Gloucestershire.

 

XM496 was in service with the RAF from 1960 to 1975 and in that time military vehicles obviously played a significant role in supporting her - not just the RAF tenders and transports, but Army vehicles too. She was capable of carrying a Lightweight Land Rover and trailer, and if I can find a picture I'll post it.

 

So we're always pleased to be visited by military vehicles - have a look at our website, www.xm496.com, for opening dates (usually the first and third Sundays of each month) and also check us on Facebook: RAF Bristol Britannia. If there's a group of you who'd like to visit, get in touch via our website and we'll see if we can arrange a special opening.

 

Finally, we're marking Armed Forces Day with a special opening on 30th June, and we'd like historic military vehicles to join us and display. There's no charge and we'll show you around the Brit (including the flight deck). I'll post separately under Events with more details.

 

I guess I should point out we're all volunteers, and not a business! Cheers everyone!

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Good call! Here's one for starters, I'll add a post in the Aviation section and put some more photos there. This is the old girl as she looks at the moment.IMG_2158.jpg

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Isn't there an identical aircraft as a entrance feature at RAF Cosford?????

 

Haven't got a picture, but sure looks similar???

 

Welcome to the Forum ;)

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HIYA , i live in Chipping Sodbury , not far from Kemble &

i own a Daimler Ferret ...we were at Kemble last yr for the Airshow ...

had a great wk/end ,

i dont think we can come on 30 june for ur meet as we are doing the armed forces day in Bristol

but we are coming to the best of britain show on aug bank holiday at Kemble

tony

my ferret with DC3.jpg

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Britannia, beautiful aircraft. When I started my -spotting- years in the beginning of the 60s there were loads of these going. You would see maybe 20 or so during a day at LAP (Heathrow). Mostly frieghters but even a few charter firms. Haven´t seen one since the 70s. Has anyone saved an Argosy?? They ended up in the same boat as the Britannia but were phased out later, and replaced by the Hurc. Managed to do a few jumps from an Argosy before they suddenly disappeared. Lovely aircraft and a pleasure to jump from. Although you had to really push out of the door to avoid a -rivet inspection-:-D The Hurc is a great aircraft but deffinately designed as a load carrier. Frieghting pork and beans rather than troops. After 8 hours in one of those there was absolutely no refusals to jump when the time came:red:

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A couple of Argosy ended up with a company called British Air Ferries, or frieght. They operated from Castle Donnington now East Midlands Airport during the late 1960's. I flew on one once bringing horses into Jersey. Checking up the operator must have been BEA. Good old British European Airways, now just plain BA.

Edited by Tony B

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Has to be one of the prettier aircraft produced by Bristol. We had argonauts (Argosy) flying here for many years and still have one on display near our airport. Along with a Bristol Freighter at our local aeroclub. Have very fond memories of thundering Bristol Hercules Engines.

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Isn't there an identical aircraft as a entrance feature at RAF Cosford?????

 

Haven't got a picture, but sure looks similar???

 

Welcome to the Forum ;)

 

Hello, thanks for the welcome!

 

Yes, you're right - there's a Britannia painted in RAF Transport Command colours, but she is in fact an ex-BOAC civilian Brit - distinguishable externally by the lack of a large cargo door surrounding the forward port cabin door. Most (but confusingly, not all) the RAF Brits had the large cargo door through which a crew of hard-pressed loads could just about squeeze a Lightweight Land Rover.

 

Cosford has done a great job of saving their Brit, after British Airways lost interest in it. Unfortunately though she's gutted inside and has no engines. That's why we can say ours is the only genuine surviving RAF Britannia, complete with engines and fully fitted out inside. We'd be delighted to show you round!

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HIYA , i live in Chipping Sodbury , not far from Kemble &

i own a Daimler Ferret ...we were at Kemble last yr for the Airshow ...

had a great wk/end ,

i dont think we can come on 30 june for ur meet as we are doing the armed forces day in Bristol

but we are coming to the best of britain show on aug bank holiday at Kemble

tony

 

Hi Tony,

 

you're a local! Pop over and see us sometime - we're open this Sunday (13th) and should have some visitors from the Italian Car Club as an added attraction. We're not sure yet what our involvement will be with the Best of Britain Show - unfortunately the location of the aircraft means we can't currently get her onto the show ground, so it might just be our Transport Command liveried van and possibly a display propeller (not easy to miss, it's 16' diameter). Once we've finalised out plans I'll post them here.

 

Have a great day with your Ferret in Bristol.

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Has to be one of the prettier aircraft produced by Bristol. We had argonauts (Argosy) flying here for many years and still have one on display near our airport. Along with a Bristol Freighter at our local aeroclub. Have very fond memories of thundering Bristol Hercules Engines.

 

God, a trip down memory lane! The old Bristols, a 1919 aircraft flying in 1960's. High wing fixed undercarriage bloody draughty noisy and uncomfortable.

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Hello, thanks for the welcome!

 

Yes, you're right - there's a Britannia painted in RAF Transport Command colours, but she is in fact an ex-BOAC civilian Brit - distinguishable externally by the lack of a large cargo door surrounding the forward port cabin door. Most (but confusingly, not all) the RAF Brits had the large cargo door through which a crew of hard-pressed loads could just about squeeze a Lightweight Land Rover.

 

Cosford has done a great job of saving their Brit, after British Airways lost interest in it. Unfortunately though she's gutted inside and has no engines. That's why we can say ours is the only genuine surviving RAF Britannia, complete with engines and fully fitted out inside. We'd be delighted to show you round!

 

I would very much like that. When my father was alive his days off were to take me and my brother to Ringway Airport and spot with CAM's, Binos and Radios.....Happy Times.....

 

When he passed away back in 1991 I got approval from the CAA to scatter his ashes aside runway 1.........

 

My 2 year old son LOVES aeroplanes and I must arrange to accept your kind invite.....It would make his day, month & probably year..........

 

I live in Cinderford so not far away at all. Great to see these old aircraft saved and there for us to visit and go inside....Great work saving and caring for the old girl.......

 

Best wishes

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I would very much like that. When my father was alive his days off were to take me and my brother to Ringway Airport and spot with CAM's, Binos and Radios.....Happy Times.....

 

When he passed away back in 1991 I got approval from the CAA to scatter his ashes aside runway 1.........

 

My 2 year old son LOVES aeroplanes and I must arrange to accept your kind invite.....It would make his day, month & probably year..........

 

I live in Cinderford so not far away at all. Great to see these old aircraft saved and there for us to visit and go inside....Great work saving and caring for the old girl.......

 

Best wishes

 

Hi Wayne,

 

it would be good to see you and your son. We regularly have children visit (as long as they let a grown-up come along too!), and we like to think letting them sit in the pilot's seat might just be the catalyst for an aviation career!

 

One of our members, an ex-Loadmaster, lives in the Forest of Dean too.

 

Cheers.

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Hi Wayne,

 

it would be good to see you and your son. We regularly have children visit (as long as they let a grown-up come along too!), and we like to think letting them sit in the pilot's seat might just be the catalyst for an aviation career!

 

One of our members, an ex-Loadmaster, lives in the Forest of Dean too.

 

Cheers.

 

In the pilots seat......OMG he would go bonkers to be the man at the front as he puts it! Please keep me / us informed of the next play day for kiddies old and small............

 

There are a few HMVF members scattered around the forest.......

 

Kindest regards

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Maybe a MV meet up and tour?

 

Welcome aboard!

 

Hello, thanks for your welcome. Now a tour is a really tempting proposition, but I'm afraid the Brit is grounded until I guess the Lottery numbers correctly!

 

However you're very welcome to come to us. I've put a post in the Events section about Armed Forces Day, 30th June - we're hoping some MVs will display in front of the aircraft and of course all drivers and other ranks can come on board and have a good look around. There's also a restaurant and bar at the airfield. And if you have other plans for Armed Forces Day, we'll be pleased to see you another time.

 

Cheers.

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In the pilots seat......OMG he would go bonkers to be the man at the front as he puts it! Please keep me / us informed of the next play day for kiddies old and small............

 

There are a few HMVF members scattered around the forest.......

 

Kindest regards

 

By rights we should be opening again this Sunday (20th), but we're actually supporting another event and at the moment there aren't enough of us to cover both locations. If we can open, I'll put a note here - otherwise we're next open on Sunday June 3rd.

 

Cheers.

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What is the admission cost please etc.

 

We don't charge for admission. We rely on donations for our funding - there are boxes at strategic points inside the Brit, and we leave it to our visitors to decide what we're worth!

 

Cheers.

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The RAF flew me to Cyprus in 1970 in a Britannia, it wasbleeding freezing and took forever. The trip back a year later was a bit morecomfortable in a VC10. Two great aircraft.

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We don't charge for admission. We rely on donations for our funding - there are boxes at strategic points inside the Brit, and we leave it to our visitors to decide what we're worth!

 

Cheers.

 

Thank you for confirming.....I very much hope to bring Jnr on 3rd June

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