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Wartime aircraft’s cockpit has new home

A PROJECT to recreate a substantial section of one of the Royal Air Force’s forgotten wartime aircraft has received a big boost, from a Pembrokeshire aviation collection.

Andrew Clark, of Johnston, has donated the cockpit of a Miles Martinet which he has had for nearly 50 years.

Tim Bishop travelled from Consett, near Newcastle, to collect the cockpit, which will be incorporated in the Martinet cockpit and fuselage section he is building.

The single-engined Martinet performed a mundane but vital role – in World War II and afterwards – towing targets for air and ground gunners to practice their shooting skills. Only one of the many Martinets produced survives today in a museum so Tim’s creation is very rare.

Tim, who was joined by daughter Eloise for the county visit, said: “The cockpit is in very good condition and so many parts will be vital for my project, adding originality. It has taken 13 years so far and this has come as a big boost.

“I have been fascinated by the Martinet for many years and my uncle, an RAF pilot, flew the type at the end of the war.”

Added Andrew: “I have had the cockpit since the 1970s and am delighted that it has found a new role with Tim. I look forward to seeing the completed project.”

Benefitting from the transfer has been the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre of which Andrew is a long time supporter. He suggested a donation be made for the Centre, which has many aviation connections, and Tim was very pleased to do this. The generous donation was received by John Evans, Patron of the Heritage Trust.