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World War One Plane Flies Above Northampton

A First World War replica plane has been seen in the skies above Northampton after being rebuilt from a pile of scraps.

The plane was first built in Northamptonshire around 40 years ago for a film about fictional RAF hero Biggles. It was shipped to America for the film and then left in pieces in a barn for more than 20 years after a crash landing.

Matthew Boddington, whose late father Charles built the plane, was alerted of the wreckage by a friend, who came across it by chance in New York.

Mr Boddington spent six years restoring the plane before test flying it from Sywell Aerodrome, from where it also made its first flight.

He said: “The BE2 is part of our family history, I even had one of the wing struts on my bedroom wall. We always wondered what had happened to it.

“When it crashed, the plane hit the ground head on and luckily the pilot escaped with a broken leg, but the front was crushed. It was in a very bad state and it had been lying in the back of a shed for 23 years, so when we pulled it out all the parts were rusted.

“The wings were in the worst condition, they were just big bags of wood and canvas. It was pure chance we managed to track it down at all. It has taken a long time to restore and prepare the plane for flight because we kept discovering more and more problems.

“Knowing my father had made the same flight almost 40 years ago made taking off a bit of an emotional experience.”

 

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