Retired Dereham pilot set to soar in WW1 aircraft in Great Yarmouth air show
PUBLISHED: 14:19 01 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:22 05 June 2018
Darren Harbar Photography
A retired pilot from Dereham is set to take to the skies as part of the Great Yarmouth air show.
Peter Bond, 58, who builds replica First and Second World War air crafts in his home workshop in Southburgh, has loved flying since he was a young boy gazing up at aeroplanes in the sky.
He said: “It’s always been flying for me - I can’t really explain it.”
“Flying is fantastic.”
He added: “I have always been interested in the First and Second World War, from watching films.”
Mr Bond recreates the 1910 era air crafts in his workshop, an old building which is part of his house, and “pretty cold in winter.”
And the planes he makes are not restored but built from scratch.
“You just start making parts and you keep going until you run out,” he said.
“You get to some hard parts and you do mess them up a couple of times before you finish.”
After finishing a Fokker fighter plane in 2010, Mr Bond is now working on a Sopwith Camel.
“This is the second aeroplane I have built,” he said.
“I started about a year after I finished the other one, in 2011.
“The first aircraft took me five years to build but that was a simpler aircraft. The Camel is quite a complicated plane to build.
“The whole thing is all held together by a lot of metal fittings.”
However, Mr Bond added that his work on the planes is a hobby, saying: “I am not working 24/7, I pick it up here and there.”
One of the many challenges is keeping the plane as original as possible and finding the original instruments for the cockpit.
He said: “People do sell antiques and things on eBay, so sometimes you might get a bargain and sometimes you might have to pay a lot of money.
“It is a pretty expensive hobby.[The wood] has to come from the states so you end up paying huge import costs.”
Mr Bond’s interest in flight was sparked by air shows as a child.
He recalls playing with metal and remote control airplanes, before learning to fly, getting his pilot’s licence and joining an airline, which became KLM.
He moved to Norfolk in 1987 and to near Dereham in 1993, where he now lives with his wife, Helen Bond, a beauty therapist.
He will take part in the Great Yarmouth air show with The Bremont Great War Display Team, on Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Dereham Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.