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

Associated Legal Designations or Protected Status

  • SHINE: Structures, above- and below-ground remains of Greenham Common Airbase (RAF Greenham Common) used by RAF from 1941 and USAF 1951-1992

Monument Type(s):

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

Full Description

A mock up metal plane in the form of a Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft was made by Ray Theodore Welding in Newbury (at a cost of £15,000) and installed at Greenham Common airbase in August 1986 <5>. The structure is c 14m in length and is located in a fenced circular compound and was used for fire fighting training by airfield fire crews and Newbury Fire Brigade <5><6>. 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 <5>. 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) <1>.

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 Cold War heritage.

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 [Unpublished document / SWB148355]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. 17/00012/LOCAL. [Unpublished document / SWB148860]
http://info.westberks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=39243&p=0 (Accessed on 04/09/2019)
<05>Sayers, J J. 2006. In Defense (sic) of Freedom; A History of RAF Greenham Common. www.lulu.com ID 310488. [Unpublished document / SWB146796]
<06>Hawkings, D. 2003. Greenham: a common inheritance. http://www.greenham-common.org.uk. Accessed 20/03/2008. [Website / SWB13700]
http://www.greenham-common.org.uk (Accessed 11/01/2012)

Related Monuments

MWB6570Greenham Common Airbase (RAF Greenham Common) (Monument)

Associated Excavations and Fieldwork

EWB1256Historical Environmental Survey and Management Plan for Greenham and Crookham Commons