Black Mike F4 Phantom fund

Profile picture for user Mostlyharmless

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12 years 4 months

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Not seen this mentioned on here yet (though I might be wrong) but a page has been set up to buy Black Mike and take it to Bruntingthorpe. http://www.gofundme.com/save-black-mike Just in case it helps with raising the funds, would be great to see happen. MH
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Profile picture for user 1batfastard

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6 years 8 months

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Hi All, This is a worthy cause, I actually e-mailed RAF Leuchars about the up coming Auction of these magnifiscent aircraft on offer in particular Black Mike and how the Phantom needed to stay alive being an important part off the RAF's QRA history and the perfect place was Bruntingthorpe along with a link to the group concerned, that was two weeks ago never heard a bean. Do the RAF ever respond to e-mails or are they just to busy to reply ? Geoff.

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The sale is being handled by a department of the Mod. Once the disposal process began RAF Leuchars gets no input apart from hosting interested parties on the viewing days.
Profile picture for user Wyvernfan

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Geoff, the link seems to say £5300 raised of £75k. So I'm presuming that's the total required ! Rob
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So how do the sales work, are they fixed prices, auctions, sealed bids, or just a brown envelope job

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They do deal with ' preferred bidders' and I have that in writing from them . They also do tenders of which this is one . In terms of the price maybe they should offer the Phantom to the group they feel can preserve it best at the price they have sold others . Having to accumulate a fun of 75K to buy an aircraft worth realistically 10K is sickening and a very poor reflection on the department involved.
Profile picture for user Bruce

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David, the value is in the eye of the beholder. We now know that the value of a good Harrier GR3 is 100k plus, as that's what it sold for at auction. The days of cheap aeroplanes are over now.
Profile picture for user j_jza80

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I would suggest a few letters to local MPs are probably a good way to go with this. I take it this is the last Spey engined 'toom capable of ground running?

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The 'days of cheap aeroplanes' are over so long as the RAF destroys 95% of all its aircraft, preserves 4% of its aircraft in a few selected museums and then offers the remaining 1% to private parties. The RAF / FAA started off with over two hundred Harriers / Sea Harriers and, apart from those lost through accidents and combat, most of the remainder were deliberately destroyed (often for beneficial training reasons); although in the case of the Harrier / Sea Harrier (thankfully) a far higher proportion made it into preservation. Supply and demand; if the RAF had sold twenty Harriers at once, none of them would have fetched £100K.
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Whilst the latter statement is undeniable, it is worth looking at what happened with the Sea harrier when that aircraft was retired. Quite a few aircraft did make it into preservation, but a number were also sold to dealers who went on to sell them for sums of up to 100k, so the market was there. Prior to that, the GR3 fleet didn't make it into preservation, although some few were still available. I paid 15k for a pretty stripped out example for a client, and about 20 for another that was externally complete. Market forces are not good for preservation sadly.
Profile picture for user Junk Collector

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I think the numbers of buyers of airframes is very limited, the air and ground F4 didnt sell (but it had its wins cut) and the FG1 at Everetts is I think still for sale. While that Harrier made £100k the Tornado excuse the phrase bombed, for the condition it was in it's sale price was low.

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The 'value' is subjective! If another GR.3 is put on the market it might well fetch 25-50K ! The fact that a couple of people were prepared to bid against each other to 100K doesn't mean that the market has established that level -it might just mean that the next that comes on the market might just have one buyer who isn't going to pay 100K !
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Also remember the publicity those airframes got before the auction, as I'm sure that added a few grand to the final sale price. The fact that the Tonka made less than anticipated maybe due to it arguably being less iconic - for the time being anyway. I wonder if the £75k mentioned for Black Mike includes transport and initial restoration, or is just the expected purchase price?! Rob

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It is interesting to reflect on the fortunes of various RAF / FAA types making it into preservation. The Sea Harrier should perhaps be regarded as a special case; it is unique to the United Kingdom and has become something of a legend following the Falklands conflict (it is one of the few post-war British aircraft to have actually shot anything down)! Budgets are under increasing pressure and ensuring a supply of aircraft for preservation is not the main aim of the MOD but it is worth speculating about the economics of the disposal policies; would it be better to sell twenty aircraft at a lower price than to hope that a single example makes a killing? Surely some of the traditional wastage of airframes are less relevant in the modern age; fire and rescue training rigs taking the place of actually burning redundant airframes, for example. And couldn't maintenance training airframes be made suitable for onward sale as part of the maintenance training? Maybe I am dreaming with the above but I read recently that tourism is the second biggest industry in Britain; more people visit London that the whole of India! Shouldn't 'joined-up' government thinking try to ensure 'best value' for all government departments? Surplus airframes could be traded with other nations to bring exotic foreign types to our museums; why shouldn't the FAA museum have an F-14 Tomcat or even an 'Argentine' Super Etendard, Mirage or Skyhawk? As we approach the end-game for manned combat aircraft shouldn't more make it into preservation?

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What happens if the Phantom is not bought by Bruntingthorpe. Do the funds raised thus far go to the upkeep of the museum?
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Surplus airframes could be traded with other nations to bring exotic foreign types to our museums; why shouldn't the FAA museum have an F-14 Tomcat or even an 'Argentine' Super Etendart, Mirage or Skyhawk?
It is my understanding that a Tomcat was declined by some (?) national collections; plus at least one other UK museum! :apologetic:

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Whilst a Tomcat would have been technically interesting in the U.K - it's significance in Europe is incredibly small. Marking the involvement of the U.S in Europe would have been better served with the likes of an F-105 in a U.K museum .
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I cannot doubt your rationale – but I was merely pointing out that there had been an opportunity, and I’m certain for one location that the opportunity was declined – difficult decisions and all that! ;)

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I too don't doubt your rationale but it is the significance of the F-14 Tomcat as a tourist attraction rather that its significance to Europe; how many are preserved outside the USA? Where is the only place in world that you can see a Concorde and Tu-144 side by side? Germany! And what is the 'significance' of either of these two aircraft to Germany?

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I have been to see the TU-144 -Concorde combination in Germany and whilst they are undoubtedly an attraction -its somewhat difficult to see how in the long term they will survive . The question is do we want museums to acquire aircraft in the hope that they bring the public flocking through the door or do we want to preserve aircraft that reflect the area they are in and are significant to British aviation?
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I too don't doubt your rationale but it is the significance of the F-14 Tomcat as a tourist attraction rather that its significance to Europe; how many are preserved outside the USA?
When I did the ROI calculation in 2006/7 (based on an airframe lying at NAS Oceana) – NAM needed an extra 7,000+ adult visitors just to cover the estimated move costs. :eek: