A Bristol based entrepreneur has purchased a long term resident Boeing 727 from Air Salvage at Cotswold Airport to expand his company’s office space in Brislington, Bristol. A lot of people are bemused and intrigued about the story of this iconic aircraft being moved to the offices of Pytch in Bristol dubbed as “PytchAir”.
What is the history?
The Boeing 727 aircraft originally flew in 1968 for Japan Airlines as JA8325 flying domestic routes around Japan. In 1975 the aircraft was re-registered as D-AHLQ in Germany and flew for Hapag Lloyd until May 1981. After this it was used as a private jet flying as N4245S, VR-CBE, VR-CLM, VR-CMN and finally as VP-CMN.
After decades of reliable flying work the aircraft flew for the final time in 2012 to Filton Airfield in Bristol, Filton is the home of the Brabazon and current home to Concorde G-BOAF. From here it was transported by road to Cotswold Airport to be salvaged and for some of the aircraft’s important elements to be re-purposed. The fuselage, stub wings and landing gear were re-attached after having been removed for transportation. At Kemble it remained for many years where it became a much-loved piece of aviation history by Air Salvage, the previous owners.
How did this all come about?
We sent Johnny some interview questions regarding the aircraft and project PytchAir to find out more about how the decision was made and why.
What made you decide to choose an aircraft to expand your office space?
I wanted something iconic and to grab attention, I also wanted something interesting and excites me to walk into every day at our offices in Brislington.
Did you pick the Boeing 727 in particular or was it simply available?
This aircraft was available and was suitable for my needs, but if I had to choose I would have picked the 727 anyway as the aircraft as a private jet is an icon, and the fact we are using a 1970s/80s icon and upcycling it into a modern office environment.
Do you have an interest in aviation, if so how did it start and what does it extend to?
Totally! Whats better than machines that fly, who doesn’t love them? If you are into aviation you are also into the engineering and technical aspects of how the aircraft works and flies. I’m not keen on aircraft for their environmental impact but the fact we have metal machines flying in the air still blows my mind.
What are your plans for the aircraft once on site?
The aircraft will be craned onto containers, a stair case will be made to access the back of the aircraft and then make it immaculate inside keeping in mind its 1970’s decor and then use it as a office and meeting space. It will get a lot of uses in a variety of ways and open up many avenues as a resource for my business to use.
Do you have more details on the move, how and when it will arrive?
Originally the plan was for the aircraft to be moved and into position by the end of January 2021, but due to Covid-19 restrictions this was somewhat delayed. The remaining parts of the wings will be removed, craned onto a lorry before driving to the site in Brislington via the M5, M4, M32 and Bristol ring road. This is now planned for the move to happen on Feb 27th and lifted into position on Feb 28th 2021.
Can enthusiasts get involved or visit?
Definately! We want to get volunteers and enthusiasts involved, if you want to be involved with cleaning the cockpit get in touch, also the baggage hold needs bringing back to factory immaculate condition to really look after this iconic aircraft and preserve it for the future. Visitors can get in contact for a tour and a chat, just bring a bottle of wine in return!
Will you be adding more aircraft to your fleet in the future?
I like your style! I have a fair bit of land and a lot of containers so if another aircraft came available, then maybe. Planning permission might be easier next time.
Can we see some photos of the aircraft?
We have been kindly sent some photos of the aircraft whilst at Cotswold Airport, these photos include the aircraft just after sale and it being readied for its move to its new home in Bristol. Check back later for more updates and photos as this story develops. Stay up to date on the PytchAir Facebook group.
Simon has been writing aviation articles for nearly 10 years and is the senior article writer at Fresh Aviation, with a background in aviation and a commercial pilot Simon knows his stuff in the aviation world. Simon has spoken on BBC Radio, contributed to Bristol Post and has various aviation articles on various websites.