View Full Version : Long in tooth and short on memory PB Defiant

16th Feb 2015, 19:18
I may have asked this question here before and if I have I apologise. Mods will no doubt pounce. Question when did the last Defiant fly in UK? Year is 1971. RR Hucknall just before company went bust. Turning into work I can here a Merlin land and taxi in. (a/c out of sight behind hangers) Not unusual as we had our own tame Spitfire. As I turned the hanger corner what greets me on the pan is a Defiant, oily to the extreme and jut sat there quietly clicking and clanking as the engine cools as only a Merlin can.Polish markings, turret fitted but no armament.

I never heard it depart and my so called friends in the tower throw me a sideways look per What Defiant? Ghost or crafty visit by Cranfield's wee beastie that was not supposed to be airworthy.

16th Feb 2015, 19:53
What is a PB Defiant? I'm well aware of the Boulton Paul Defiant.

16th Feb 2015, 20:21
Interesting... AFAIK the only surviving Defiant in 1971 was N1671. According to http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documents/collections/74-A-16-BP-Defiant-N1671.pdf it was at Finningley (one of the regional collections) from 1968 - in Polish markings - and moved to Hendon in April 1971.

Dr Jekyll
17th Feb 2015, 11:03
Is it possible it was transported by road via Hucknall and did an engine run there which happened to coincide with another Merlin machine landing?

17th Feb 2015, 11:31
The last Defiants were struck off RAF charge in 1947 and the last one to regularly fly was reputedly the Martin Baker operated aircraft which was used until 1948.

If the sole survivor was at Hucknall in 1971 en route south, it wasn't in flying condition. Had it been, it would have made the aviation and enthusiast press at the time and I can't find any references.

19th Feb 2015, 21:15
No definitely saw a Defiant at Hucknall in 1971 as did one of our flight line mechanics who wandered past me and must have seen me scratching my head for he turned towards me, flapped and oily rag at it an muttered, ' sa Defiant mate', 'I can see that I replied, but where's the damn thing come from'? It was parked well up the pan near the ill fated hyfil shed so it wouldn't be obvious to anyone on the airfield proper. I recall the machine was dripping oil and wondered if it was a case of 'If I brings you me Defiant will you bodge the Merlin for me! A not unheard of bit of blagging

PS I won the East Midlands Wing ATC Aircraft Rec competition in 1964 so I knows a Defiant when I sees one!

19th Feb 2015, 22:13
While Hucknall would have been vaguely enroute for N1671's journey from Finningley to Hendon in 1971, it's hard to imagine what would be the point of stopping there, bolting the aircraft back together, and trying to coax back into life an engine that probably hadn't run for 25 years.

20th Feb 2015, 08:08
I may have asked this question here before

Yes, in 2007. That discussion was equally inconclusive:

(http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/273267-defiant-last.html)Can someone out there please confirm that in the early 1970's there was still a Defiant wandering around in night fighter black I was working at the old Rolls Royce Flight Test Establishment at Hucknall just before the infamous company crash and am quite certain that one lovely early spring morn, our 'merlin moment' was the arrival of a Defiant. (Spitfires and the odd Mosquito were common as muck!) I distinctly recall standing by the rather worn port tyre and thinking 'Crikey I wouldn't fly on that'
Trouble is there didn't appear to be a Defiant on the civil register and sure as heck it wasn't still serving. The questions are therefore. Just where did it come from and to whom did it belong? Or was I standing by a rather solid ghost?

And an almost identical question was raised way back in 2002 by another PPRuNe member:

Time and place. RR Flight test establishment Hucknall. Sublime early morn, early 1970's. Of all things turn corner of hanger and fall over a Defiant someones left lurking unattended. SATCO, Geroge by name is dragged from his morning sport chipping glof balls into the signals square. Where's the Defiant from George ?
'What Defiant, wake up lad your dreaming'

Was I ? Someone please confirm that in early 70's a B roundeled night fighter black Defiant was still airworthy 'cos I never sawthe damn thing leave.

Davjen was from Nottingham too, perhaps you should get together and compare notes ...