Hercules wing part auctioned after warehouse discovery
Part of a wing from a Hercules aircraft which faced being scrapped has been rescued by a former RAF serviceman and auctioned off for charity.
John Schofield found the 5m (16ft) long component - the front edge of a wing - when clearing a warehouse in south east England.
He said it was found "lent against a wall covered in dust" adding,"I knew we couldn’t possibly scrap it, so I offered to auction it instead.”
He raised £410 for the RAF Benevolent Fund, which had helped him nearly 40 years ago, when it was bought by a former pilot.
Mr Schofield said he thought it was probably from a Hercules C130 K, which entered service with the RAF in the 1960s.
He now works as an assembly manager at Devon engineering firm Centrax, having spent 22 years in the RAF before leaving in 2000.
In 1982, he needed the fund's help when his family were moving to Germany.
They lost all their belongings when two sea ferries collided with their possessions on board and the charity "stepped in and helped fund replacements".
He said: "I have never forgotten their generosity and the assistance they gave us.”
The auction was won by David Catlow, a former RAF Hercules pilot, who served in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr Catlow said he placed his bid "quite late at night after I’d been to the pub, and I was somewhat surprised to win".
He said he was "absolutely delighted", but had yet to decide "what it will become yet, but I’m leaning towards a table or desk."
the RAF Benevolent Fund offers financial, practical and emotional support to serving personnel and veterans, as well as their dependants.
The Hercules, which first took to the skies in 1956 and has been used by the RAF since 1966, external, is still the service's primary tactical transport aircraft.