About Us

gnat-profileTHE GNAT DISPLAY TEAM CHARITY

The Heritage Aircraft Trust is a UK registered Charity (No. 1134981 – registered in 2010), which promotes its work under the Gnat Display Team brand. It has the following charitable objectives:

TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT GNAT AND OTHER HISTORIC AIRCRAFT AS HSTORIC AIRCRAFT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC AND TO DEMONSTRATE AND DISPLAY SUCH AIRCRAFT AT PUBLIC EVENTS AND TO CONSERVE THEM AS HERITAGE ASSETS

TO ADVANCE THE EDUCATION OF THE PUBLIC IN GNAT AND OTHER HISTORIC AIRCRAFT

The Folland Gnat aircraft has a unique space in British aviation history. Most famously used by the Royal Air Force Red Arrows aerobatic team, it was also used to train more than 1400 fast jet pilots for the RAF. Given its supersonic speeds and superb handling capabilities, it was also used as a fighter jet by several foreign Air Forces.

For many years the Charity has maintained several Folland Gnat aircraft and displayed them on the European Airshow circuit. The team includes experienced ex-service engineers who run the Charity’s own Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved maintenance organisation, as well as experienced current and ex-military pilots who hold CAA Airshow Display Authorisations.

The Charity also consists of volunteer Trustees, who oversee the operations of the Charity. The Trustees long term aim is to restore and maintain in flying condition as many vintage jet aircraft as possible for the education and enjoyment of future generations.

Darren Harbar

gnat-profile GET INVOLVED!

The team of Pilots and engineering staff want to share their passion for the aircraft they preserve and operate at either private displays or airshows across the UK.
Full group 8 s

Here are some suggestions if you want to be involved with the trust.

Become a trustee. The current team are always keen to share their enthusiasm with people who wish to add to their range of skills and who would like to fly these wonderful fast jets. Monthly subscriptions help keep the team flying.
Become a volunteer or engineering apprentice. There is always something to do to keep the aircraft flying.

Book the team for your own private “fly by” display. You can book a display for special private events such as weddings, anniversaries and birthdays. Have the fun of one or a formation of Gnats perform especially for you. Just ask for a quote. Your money will help us keep these fantastic aircraft flying!

Become a volunteer or engineering apprentice.  There is always something to do to keep the aircraft flying.

Training for Pilots. If you are looking for fast jet training or jet aerobatic training as part of your advanced flying repertoire, this can also be arranged through the Charity.

For any of these opportunities please contact Oliver Wheeldon:
+44 7880 506 144
chief@gnatdisplayteam.com

 

gnat-profileHOME BASE

The Gnat Display Team has its home base at North Weald Airfield in Essex, near London in the UK. North Weald Airfield was first established in 1916, only 13 years after the Wright Brothers made the World’s first powered flight. It initially served to protect London from the Zeppelin raids in the First World War. North Weald’s finest hour came in the summer of 1940, when it served as a front-line airfield in the Battle of Britain.

During the Second World War, North Weald played host to Squadrons made up of many foreign nationals, including Americans, Czechs, Poles and also Norwegians, to which the airfield and village maintain special links to this day. Hurricanes, Spitfires and Blenheims were the most common types to be seen at North Weald.

In the 1950’s the RAF’s fast jets moved in. The airfield was put into care and maintenance in 1964, but came back to life when it had a starring role in the epic film “The Battle of Britain”. In the early 70’s a number of major airshows were staged at North Weald, including the very first International Air Tattoo in 1971.

The airfield remained active throughout the 70’s and 80’s, with several private collections of classic aircraft moving to the airfield. Airshows continued to be organised at North Weald into the late 90’s, and today North Weald continues to host a wide and varied range of aircraft, with much activity centred around the Squadron, with its historic atmosphere and period buildings. The airfield museum is based in the former station office, outside which, is a memorial to all those who gave their lives while based at North Weald.

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