British Phantom Aviation Group

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BPAG
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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Good afternoon everyone. Firstly, thank you to you all for your interest in the BPAG, our aircraft and our preservation work. It is very much appreciated. We have come a long way in the past few years, have seen some highs and lows and dealt with a particularly difficult 2020/21 season due to Covid-19.

We are now making headway though and with XT905 and XT597 having safely arrived at Cotswold Airport and the disassembly of ZE360 progressing nicely, it is time to turn our attention to the long term arrangements at the airfield and our plans for the future. We are therefore pleased to announce our intention to establish the UK Phantom Heritage Centre, which will be our combined HQ, workspace, visitor centre and museum at Cotswold Airport. However, the very nature of aircraft restoration and the space and facilities it requires to be done successfully means that this will be an expensive undertaking.

We have therefore today launched a crowdfunding campaign in order the support the work needed to get the project rolling and you can find details of the proposed plan and how you can help here- https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uk-phanto ... age-centre

We realise that what we are proposing is ambitious but we hope you will agree with us that it is worthwhile. We are in a position to make a significant contribution to the preservation of the UK’s aviation history. With the success of our previous projects, the BPAG have proven that we have the skills, knowledge and motivation to make it happen, but this time around we need the finances. We therefore ask you to consider donating to this campaign and as a result help to secure a future for our projects and keep the history and memories of these iconic aircraft- and the people who flew and maintained them- alive, not just for all the current generations but also for those yet to come.

Thank you.
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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We have today received the artwork proofs for the crowdfunder campaign supporter’s patch. The aircraft illustration is a tribute to Wilf Hardy's 1985 RAF Yearbook graphic of an RAF F-4 (and represents a generic UK Phantom rather than any particular variant or Sqn). This is set against a backdrop of the British flag. The patch itself measures approximately 8.5cm diameter/3.5inches (the standard military patch size) and has a merrowed edge, to strengthen and avoid fraying.

You obtain one of these exclusive patches by pledging a £20 donation to our crowdfunder campaign. Your donation will also entitle you to certificate, signed by the BPAG chairman, acknowledging your contribution to the campaign as well as an entry into a prize draw with a chance to win one of many Phantom related prizes.

Just follow this link to take part- www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uk-phantom-heritage-centre

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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Hello All,

So, the first week of the campaign has ended and we are pretty knocked out by the response. Many thanks to everyone who has pledged a donation so far.

As the total reached 18% on Saturday lunchtime, we wondered out loud on social media if it would be possible to reach 20% of our goal by midnight on Sunday. We are delighted to report that we surpassed that amount and the total at the moment stands at 21%, meaning that we have received over £5400 in only five days. Its a great start and a real boost in morale for us to see how much support there is out there.

We have also now received an artist’s impression of the final appearance of the site once all the work is complete, which should give you a good idea of what we are aiming for.

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If you have not pledged yet but would like to (or would like to encourage friends/family or colleagues to) here is the web address for the campaign home page- www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uk-phantom-heritage-centre

Thank you once again.
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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We still have four places available on our private tour of the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at the RAF Museum, Cosford. The MBCC is at the very heart of the preservation work undertaken by the museum and is a fascinating place, full of atmosphere, dedication and a passion for preserving our National Military Aviation Heritage. The facility is not a public part of the museum (with the exception of an open week once a year) so this is a rare chance to see behind the scenes. Furthermore, our tour will be personally conducted by Conservation Centre Manager Darren Priday.

You can claim a place on this exclusive tour by pledging a £70 donation to our crowdfunder campaign. Your donation will also entitle you to certificate, signed by the BPAG chairman, acknowledging your contribution to the campaign as well as an entry into a prize draw with a chance to win one of many Phantom related prizes.

Just follow this link to take part- www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uk-phantom-heritage-centre

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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Well, we know it’s not quite our era, but we have been invited and it is on our home turf now, after all. So, we so we are pleased to say that the BPAG will be attending the Battle Of Britain Fly-In at Cotswold Airport on Saturday 18th of September.

We will have our merch stall and a few Phantom related display items onsite and of course the BPAG crew will be available to chat to all you prop-driven types about proper aircraft. We look forward to seeing you there.

Check out the event details at the Cotswold Airport Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/events/1042183689854712

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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A BPAG team have spent the weekend tidying a storage building in the north and we now have access to the fin we will use for the ‘Your Name On A Fin’ crowdfunder reward. As soon as the rudder is re-attached and the paintwork touched up, this genuine ex-Luftwaffe F-4 fin will be ready to have your name (or any name you prefer) painted on its flanks for all to see.

This fin will be on display next to the aircraft at the UK Phantom Heritage Centre and will also accompany the BPAG to any events we attend from 2022 forward. Your name will be honoured as a BPAG supporter forever- this offer does not expire.

In order claim this reward and help the UK Phantom Heritage Centre become a reality, just follow this link- www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uk-phantom-heritage-centre

Many thanks to you all for your generosity and support so far.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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Due to the enthusiastic demand for some of our crowdfunder rewards, many of which sold out very quickly, we have decided to bring forward something special that was initially pencilled in for later this year.

We are delighted and honoured that artist Chris Draper (a member of the Guild Of Aviation Artists) will be producing an exclusive watercolour illustration for the BPAG. This will show XT597 and XT905 airborne on an imaginary flight in their fully restored colours. The original work is currently being created but the artist has allowed us to share his preliminary colour study, which is a rough sketch that shows the vision of the final piece.

We are offering reproductions of the work as rewards in our crowdfunder campaign. But that is not all. These will all be signed by Laurie Hilditch and Jon Millo, who were XT597’s aircrew on its final flight, which was the last flight of any Spey powered Phantom.

These prints will be available in A3 size, on heavyweight authentic fine art paper and will be limited in numbers. You can claim one for yourself by pledging here- www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uk-phantom-heritage-centre

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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We are delighted to say that our fundraising campaign passed the £10,000 mark over the weekend. We are now 42% toward our final target with two weeks still to go. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.

If you are considering pledging but haven't yet, then please head over to the campaign page here- www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uk-phantom-heritage-centre There are plenty of rewards still to be claimed- patches, exclusive prints, our special mounted SUU gun rounds, plus the chance the have your name enshrined on a genuine F-4 fin.

Please help us secure a future for these iconic aircraft. Thank you.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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CROWDFUNDER PRIZE DRAW

As part of our rewards program, some levels automatically enrol you in an entry into a prize draw where you can win one of many Phantom related items. The actual list of prizes is kind of hidden away in an early update post so many users may have missed it. So here is the full list of what you may win if you pledge £15 or more-

Framed photo of XV424 with signatures of Tony Alcock & Norman Browne
Hobbymaster 1/72 F-4J(UK) ZE354 Die-cast model. Brand new in box, which has been signed by Dick Northcote, Cliff Spink and Graham Clarke (74 Sqn COs during the F4J era)
1 hour Tornado Simulator session, conducted by Dave Gledhill (ex F-4 nav and successful author/journalist)
Wooden F-4 Phantom desktop model
Signed copy of ‘F4 UK Phantom’ by Ian Black (2 x available)
Signed copy of ‘True Colours’ by Caroline Paige
Copy of ‘The Phantom In Focus’ by Dave Gledhill (signed by the BPAG team at Cosford 2018)
RAF issued ‘XV582’ Speed Run postal covers (2 x available)

Head over to our crowdfunder page to take part- www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uk-phantom-heritage-centre

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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A poignant moment at the recent CockpitFest was the official handover of Chris Draper’s watercolour portrait of our friend and associate Dave Gledhill. All done in the shadow of XV490, which was a nice touch. You can check out more of Chris’s beautiful work here- www.chrisdraperartist.com/aircraft

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Also, copies of Chris's exclusive illustration of XT597 and XT905 are available as part our crowdfunder campaign. The original piece is still being created, however below is the preliminary sketch that shows the vision of the final item nicely. The first 50 copies will be signed by Laurie Hilditch and John Millo (aircrew of XT597 during its final flight) and can be obtained here- www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uk-phantom-heritage-centre

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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Hello everyone. So this is the final week of our crowdfunder, the campaign ends at noon on 13th September and the total raised currently stands at £13,040. Huge thanks to everyone who has pledged or donated so far, you are a vital part of what we are trying to achieve and you can be justifiably proud of your role in helping to preserve these examples of the UK’s aviation history.

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There are still some excellent rewards to be claimed during the next seven days, including the last two places on our exclusive private tour of the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at the RAF Cosford Museum on 3rd December 2021, a chance to have your name enshrined on a genuine F-4 fin forever, signed prints, patches and we can even help with your holiday plans for 2022- a week’s accommodation at a private apartment in Calpe, Spain is on offer at a third off the usual price.

To sign up for any of our remaining rewards, head over to our crowdfunder page here- www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uk-phantom-heritage-centre
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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Good afternoon everyone. The final 24 hours of the British Phantom Aviation Group’s 2021 Crowdfunder campaign is finally upon us. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far, your support is very much appreciated. The amount raised currently stands at £14,896. At noon tomorrow, we will automatically be unable to accept any more pledges or donations.

The aim of this campaign is to fund the construction work needed at Cotswold Airport, as part of the establishment of the UK Phantom Heritage Centre. This will be the BPAG's headquarters and workshops but the intention is also for it to be a lot more. It will also be a museum, a meeting place, a venue, a school and a repository of knowledge. It will be the only place in the world where examples of all three marques of the UK version of the F-4 Phantom can be seen together. It will also be the only place in the world where a F-4J(UK) is on display in its original RAF colours.

In addition, it will be home to two other British Phantom cockpit sections and will also form a display space for our growing collection of Phantom parts, components, related equipment and supplies, uniforms, memorabilia, rarities and much more. We intend to support enthusiasts, fans, researchers, students and just the plain curious in their quest for knowledge of the UK F-4 and classic jets. We particularly look forward to welcoming veterans of the forces and respecting and celebrating the past and their traditions, honouring those who have served and remembering those lost. The BPAG will also work in co-operation with other restoration groups to share and preserve all existing mechanical skills, provide technical support and advice and offer training to a new generation of engineers interested in STEMS, modern and general aviation and heritage jets.

All this is feasible and within our grasp but there is much to do to make it happen. If you love classic jets and would like to see them restored and on display for all to enjoy, please consider supporting our cause. Head over to our crowdfunder page to help- www.crowdfunder.co.uk/uk-phantom-heritage-centre There are still a number of desirable rewards to be claimed.

Thank you.
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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Good afternoon all. Here is the final crowdfunder update, now that the campaign has ended. The total raised was £16,558. Although short of the target, this is enough to ensure that the majority of the preparation work at Cotswold Airport can go ahead. We have other fundraising sources to pursue in the meantime, and we are confident that we can make up the shortfall. With a slight juggling of the timeframe, we will still achieve our aim.

Huge thanks go out to everyone who contributed, your generosity has ensured that the UK Phantom Heritage Centre is on its way to becoming a reality and we are grateful for your faith in the BPAG. We will start fulfilling the rewards over the next couple of weeks, so if you claimed you should be hearing from us via crowdfunder soon.

Once again, our sincerest thanks to you all.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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Saturday the 18th of September saw the BPAG roadshow roll into Cotswold Airport to attend the Battle Of Britain Vintage Fly-in. Although fielding a slightly stripped down version of our stand at Abingdon, the more intimate nature of the event, the quality of the display and a favourable location all meant our volunteers were kept busy. Despite much lower attendance than the last two events, we had a very successful day, enjoyed some great conversations with members of the public who were all very interested in our plans and happy to support us by purchasing merchandise. Thank you to everyone who stopped by.

Another useful aspect of these events is the chance to meet new, potential volunteers and this one did not disappoint on that front. It was wonderful to meet so many enthusiastic people who want to give up their time and talents to help restore and preserve our aircraft, we took many contact details and will be in touch in the near future. However, whilst not wishing to detract from anyone else we spoke to, one person does warrant special mention. The gentleman stood next to the seat is former Group Captain Laurie Hilditch, who- among his many other achievements- holds the distinction of being the last man to fly a Spey powered Phantom, when XT597 made its final flight on 28th January 1994. Mr Hilditch still has a great affection for 597 and will be working closely with us in the future. Watch this space.

This event will be our last public appearance for 2021, but we will be back next year, bigger and better. Once again, thank you to everyone who came and talked to us, offered their services or parted with their money to help us fund our projects. Finally, many thanks to our volunteers for their hard work and dedication.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group

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While the focus of recent attention has been the relocation of XT597 and XT905 and the associated activity at BPAG’s new home at Cotswold Airport, the last few weeks have also seen work restart on ZE360 at Manston.

Following on from the aircraft’s initial arrival at the airport in April 2021, on 11th September ZE360 was relocated to the Y-Pan to allow the working parties regular access and extra space. Engineering work subsequently recommenced with the process of clearing the wing and fuselage boundary in preparation for the wing/fuselage split.

Access to the D22 bay where a majority of the work is required is cramped and confined. With limited space to move around, this task only required a small crew to attend over the weekend of 9/10th October. Gaining access to the structure joining the fuselage to the wing was obtained by clearing a multitude of hydraulic and fuel lines and their associated valves while the removal of both the leading edge ducts and airbrake closure panels were finally completed- frustrating but vital tasks. The latter now means that hydraulic pipework can be accessed at a later date to drop the flaps. The weekend finished with minor maintenance on both of the trolleys currently stored on site, releasing three wheels that had seized up.

With plenty more to do before the aircraft will be ready take its turn to move to Cotswold Airport, we’d like to invite anyone who may be interested in gaining some hands-on time and becoming involved with ZE360 to email the group at bpagvolunteers@gmail.com

Special thanks go all our volunteers for their time, energy and assistance over the last few weeks. An honorable mention in dispatches goes to Sean Kemsley for supplying a towing vehicle at short notice. We’d also like to take the opportunity to thank Polar Helicopters and Manston Airport for their involvement and help in setting up 360’s new temporary home.

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