Forgotten Fairley in a Field

Nose of the plane minus one of its two contra-rotating props

This forgotten Royal Navy Fairley Gannet sits abandoned in a field next to a former Second World War airfield in Perthshire.

Built in 1956 for the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, the plane – XG882 – served at RNAS Culdrose, Cornwall, from 1959 before being upgraded and returned to service in 1966 at RNAS Lossiemouth, Moray.

Constructed by the Fairley Aviation Company, the Gannet was a mid-winged monoplane with a double turboprop engine driving two contra-rotating propellers mounted on the nose. It had a crew of three.

Originally designed as a high performance, carrier-borne aircraft for anti-submarine warfare, the plane was later adapted for electronic counter-measure work and carrier delivery services.

Retired in 1976, XG882 was used for target practice before being acquired for preservation. Although badly damaged, two other aircraft, XA463 and XG889, were cannibalised to create a complete plane.

Thereafter efforts to save her appear to have stalled and she has spent recent years sat out in a field bordering the former Second World War airfield at Errol (now home to car auctions and car boot sales), in the Carse of Gowrie, where she has slowly deteriorated.

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