The site became privately owned by the Chrysler Motor Corporation in 1973, and was then used for high-performance car testing, the testing of other vehicles, and vehicle storage. These activities still take place under the ownership of the Walton family company, the former airfield having been bought from Peugeot-Talbot (Chrysler's successor), in August,1983. Various circuits are available, from 4.2 miles (6.8 km) to 0.9 miles (1.4 km) loop; or the former runway, just under 2 miles (3 km) long. Bruntingthorpe also includes storage, security, and a covered hangar.
Bruntingthorpe houses a Cold War jet-aircraft museum with about twenty aircraft from that era. It is open on Sundays from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, and the aircraft, including the Lightning Preservation Group's pair of English Electric Lightning F.6s, XR728 and XS904, are brought out to demonstrate fast taxi and takeoff runs on the two open days held each year, usually the end of May bank Holiday Sunday and the end of August Bank Holiday Sunday. Aircraft currently in a taxiable state, besides the two Lightnings are:
- Handley Page Victor, XM715
- De Havilland Comet, XS235
- BAe Nimrod, XV226
- Hawker Hunter T.7, XL565
- Hunting Percival Jet Provosts, XN542,XN584 and XN635
- Blackburn Buccaneers XV544, XX894,and XX900
- English Electric Canberra WT333
- PZL Iskra, 1018 (ex Polish AF).
Also present and being restored to taxiable condition are a De Havilland Sea Vixen, XJ494, Hawker Hunter GA.11, WT 806, Hawker Hunter T.7 XL605, Lockheed F-104G Starfighter,22+35 (ex Luftwaffe), and Folland Gnat, XP534. Static aircraft include a Aero Spacelines Super Guppy, F-BTGV, a fourth Buccaneer, XX889, a second Gnat, 'PF179', Dassault Mystere, 85, Aero L.29 Delphin 395189 (ex Romanian AF), and a Cessna 152, G-BAXX. There are two nose sections, Handley Page Victor, B.2, XM592, and English Electric Lightning, XV328.
Beech Restorations restore aircraft to flying condition. Permanently based at Bruntingthorpe will be Beech 18, G-BKRN a North American T-6 Texan, G-TOMC, and a Cessna 120. Another T-6,G-CCPM, ex Canadian AF, is being restored to flying condition, and there are two others waiting restoration, as is a Fairey Battle. A Max Holste Broussard is awaiting its airworthiness certificate when, and it will then return to Norwich Airport. (Information correct as at 15th January, 2012).
The most notable aircraft at the aerodrome was the Avro Vulcan XH558, it having been restored to airworthy condition over a period of eight years at a cost of about GBP6,000,000. Its first flight was from Bruntingthorpe on 18 October 2007. The Vulcan left Bruntingthorpe at the beginning of the 2008 flying display season, was temporarily based at RAF Brize Norton as a flying base, and RAF Lyneham as its winter maintenance base. It is now permanently based at Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster, formerly RAF Finningley 'V Bomber' base.
As well as car testing, Bruntingthorpe offers storage of cars and aircraft, film production facilities, and military/civilian defence testing. Within the airport is a repair facility for Ferraris and Maseratis. The site benefits from planning consent for Proving and Testing of Vehicles.
Read more about this topic: Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome
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