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The Historic Environment Record is the primary index about the physical remains of past human activity in the unitary authority of West Berkshire. Not all records are published on the Heritage Gateway. Please read the important guidance on the use of the West Berkshire HER data.

HER Number MWB20643
Record Type Monument
Name Fire plane, RAF Greenham Common
Grid Reference SU 492 642
Map Sheet SU46SE
Parish Greenham, West Berkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap


Locally listed mock up metal plane in fenced circular compound on military air base, used for fire fighting training in late 1980s

Other Statuses and Cross-References

    Monument Types

    • FIREPLANE (Late 20th century - Present - 1986 AD to 1992 AD)

    Full Description

    Mock up plane in form of C-130 (c. 14 metres in length) made by Ray Theodore Welding in Newbury (at a cost of £15,000) and installed in August 1986 (Sayers 2006). This is located in a fenced circular compound and was used for fire fighting training by airfield fire crews and Newbury Fire Brigade (ibid.; and Greenham A Common Inheritance Website). It was fitted with dummy seats and passengers prior to a training exercise and was linked with a pipeline allowing the fuselage to be sprayed with aviation fuel (Sayers 2006). The circular compound is shown on the 1994 masterplan of RAF Greenham, labelled 'Fire fighting exercise area' (RAF Greenham Common Masterplan Sheet 5 of 7). <01>

    The plane is clearly seen on 21st century air photographs <2><3>. It was added to the Local List of Heritage Assets in 2017 <4> as a unique example of a Cold War structure.

    Sources and further reading

    <01>Berkshire Archaeological Services. 2011. Historical Environmental Survey and Management Plan for Greenham and Crookham Commons. online. Gazetteer ID 461. [Unpublished document / SWB148355]
    http://www.westcombe.org.uk/appindex.html (Accessed 07/09/2015)
    <02>GeoInformation Group. 08/04/2003. West Berkshire Council Aerial Survey 2003 (digital aerial photographs). Aerial Photo. Digital. 1:7000. [Photograph / SWB146766]
    <03>2010. West Berkshire Council Aerial Survey 2010 (digital aerial photographs). Aerial Photo. Digital. [Photograph / SWB148137]
    <04>West Berkshire Council. 2015-. West Berkshire District Council in partnership with the West Berkshire Heritage Forum - Local List of Heritage Assets. pdf online. [Unpublished document / SWB148860]
    http://info.westberks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=39243&p=0 (Accessed 18/04/2016)

    Related Monuments

    MWB6570Greenham Common Airbase (RAF Greenham Common) (Monument)

    Associated Excavations and Fieldwork

    EWB1256Historical Environmental Survey and Management Plan for Greenham and Crookham Commons