There’s more good news for flight fanatics, as the tiny Stirlingshire village of Thornhill is set to become home to Scotland’s only plane glamping experience.
A Scottish farmer who put Thornhill on the map by converting a Royal Navy Sea King Helicopter into glamping accommodation, has added a Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer to his fleet. Martyn Steedman has lofty plans to transform the classic high-winged plane into a holiday home.
Designed and built in Prestwick in 1959, Twin Pioneers were Scotland’s most successful aircraft of the era. Their unique design meant they were able to take off and land within an area of just 30 metres by 275 metres.
Martyn Steedman is set to create Scotland's only plane glamping experience. Picture credit: Craig Stephen.
Martyn said: “G-APRS, or Primrose as she is affectionately known by those who flew her, was one of last flying Twin Pioneers in the world. She faithfully served on civilian and military missions for nearly 50 years, before being retired because of her ageing wing struts. We’re delighted to be bringing her back home Scotland where we’ll convert her into a first-class glamping experience. We’re sure that like our Sea King she’ll attracts tourists and aviation enthusiasts alike, which is great news for the rural economy and local jobs.”
The distinctive red, white and blue plane has an impressive 76ft wing span and comes complete with engine, full cockpit and 14 passenger seats. Martyn’s first job will be to reassemble the aircraft, which will have had its wings and tail removed for transportation. He said: “We’re hoping it’ll just be like a giant Airfix model, just with lots of bolts and bit less glue.”
Once manoeuvred onto the Mains Farm Wigwams site, Primrose will be given a first class upgrade. Her passenger seats will be removed to make way for a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. There are also plans to light up the field at night like a runway.
Martyn hopes the conversion will be plane-sailing: “We’ll be drawing on our experience of converting the helicopter and preserving as much of the interior as possible for future generations to enjoy, including the stunning two-seater cockpit. Primrose will turn 60 next year, so we’re hoping to get her into tip top shape for her big birthday. We’d love to track down the team who built her and involve them in her transformation.”