Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Fasten your seatbelts!
This is my friend Duncan's private aeroplane. It's in North Roe, Shetland.
It's a little tricky to explain why Duncan has a four-engine, 16-seat passenger aircraft sitting next to his house. To be exact, it's a French-made Potez 840, one of only three ever manufactured. And yes, he has the wings, the wheels and most of the other bits and pieces.
Until a few months ago, the Potez was at Sumburgh Airport, having been used for fire crew training since it crash-landed there in March 1981. Duncan, who has always been interested in aviation, discovered that the aeroplane was to be dismantled and scrapped, and decided it would make the perfect addition to his garden.
Much discussion over health and safety, a load of heavy lifting and other shenanigans, there is an aeroplane at the bottom of the garden. It is, shall we say, an unusual sight.
Plans for the future include obtaining engines. Working ones. No, it will never fly (the driveway isn't long enough) but the old Potez seems set to become one of the most unusual garden ornaments in Shetland. Or make that Britain.