Spitfire Project

Find out about our project to restore a MkVb Supermarine Spitfire

Panther Project

Recreating a full sized, non-flying replica of this innovative aircraft design

Parnall Aircraft

Innovators in Aircraft Engineering

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Spitfire Project

In an ambitious feat of passion and expertise, the Parnall Aircraft Company Ltd is restoring a MkVb Supermarine Spitfire.  The aircraft is already registered with the CAA as G-CJWO and carries the military serial no. BL688, which was operational during the Second World War.

about parnall engineering
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the parnall engineering advanced story

Parnall Advanced Engineering Ltd (PEAL) is the home of a range of innovative projects in design, engineering, technology and business. We offer young people opportunities to build skills, develop knowledge and experience the real work environment through employment and experience on pioneering projects.

Located at Trelonk, on the beautiful Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall, PEAL provides opportunities for young people to contribute to the development of revolutionary projects through practical work and skills sharing from mentors. 

Parnall Engineering Advanced Ltd works on behalf of the Parnall Foundation to deliver real experience of the workplace with the support of leading business leaders and mentors.

our projects

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our programmes

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meet our team

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Tim Fane – Chief Engineer (Historic Aviation)

Tim’s aviation career started in Sept 1979 when he joined British Airways at Heathrow straight from school, undertaking a four-year apprenticeship. Here he gained his Civil Aviation Authority licenses leading to work on the Boeing 747 carrying out major maintenance. His passion for old aircraft, stemmed from having lived near Booker Aerodrome in Buckinghamshire, where the hangars were full of interesting aircraft including MH434, probably the most well-known Spitfire.

Leaving British Airways in 1991, Tim joined The Old Flying Machine Company (OFMC) at Duxford Airfield taking on the duties of Deputy Chief Engineer. Work here involved the operation and maintenance of various warbird aircraft including some early jets and also MH434, now owned by OFMC. These were flown for air shows and film work. Nine years later, Tim took up the role of Deputy Chief Engineer at The Fighter Collection (TFC), Europe’s largest and most varied collection of historic aircraft ranging from WW1 to the Korean War era. Here Tim also worked with a small team to look after the 2 seat Spitfire operated by Carolyn Grace.

After six years at TFC Tim moved to work for The Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford, helping lead a team undertaking the major maintenance of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fighter aircraft. Two Hurricanes and three Spitfires later, Tim left Duxford for a career change – helping his wife Ange run their gardening business. It did not take long for aircraft to come calling again as Chief Engineer at OFMC at Duxford, again looking after MH434, the very Spitfire he had helped push into a hangar at Booker 40 years previously.

A spell at Coventry airport working for Classic Flight Maintenance led to work at Newquay Airport when he and Ange made the move to live in the West country when the museum opened in 2012. Here Tim was employed looking after the aircraft used for pleasure flying duties and also met Paul Case, now working with Tim in the workshop at Trelonk, until the operation ceased 2 years later.

A meeting with Mark Parnall led to Tim joining the team here setting up the Aviation project and later Parnall Aircraft Company, leading the team as Chief Engineer (Historic Aviation)  

Throughout his aviation career Tim has been fortunate to work with some of the best people in the industry and some of these contacts are greatly assisting us in our venture here. 

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Paul Case – Senior Aviation Supervisor

Paul is perfectly positioned to mentor and coach the aviation apprentices working alongside him as he was once an apprentice himself as well as having achieved a range of qualifications in aircraft and mechanical engineering. His military career in the Royal Air Force started in 2002 as an Airframe Technician working on Sea King aircraft for the RAF Search and Rescue fleet, based RAF St Mawgan.

Paul’s career in the RAF continued, moving to RNAS Culdrose, maintaining the UK Merlin helicopter fleet as well as providing front line engineering support to the detached Merlin Flight in Iraq where he had full responsibility for all pre and post flight servicing and aircraft handling. In 2009, he then moved to RAF Lyneham work on Hercules C-130J aircraft carrying out engineering duties as part of a team of propulsion specialists providing trade support to first line aircraft operations.

A return to RNAS Culdrose in 2010 saw Paul working once again on Merlin aircraft where he provided engineering support under harsh environmental and operational conditions whilst deployed to Afghanistan. A brain injury sustained during this period, resulted in Paul taking part in a rehabilitation programme. During this time Paul used his organisational skills and attention to detail to assist local service families through the Armed Forces charity, SSAFA to raise awareness, promote events and implement PR campaigns. He finished his military career with the RAF Careers Office in Redruth, helping potential recruits at the first stages of their career.

After being medically discharged in 2014, Paul joined the team at the Classic Air Force museum at Newquay providing maintenance on a range of operational vintage aircraft as well as later working on static aircraft exhibits.  It was here that Paul met Tim Fane, our Chief Aviation Engineer and he soon moved to Trelonk as senior supervisor for the aircraft engineering work carried out in the Hangar and providing mentoring to the apprentices.

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Chris Burnett –Aviation Supervisor

Chris served nearly 13 years in the RAF as an Aircraft Trade Mechanical and has worked on a wide variety of aircraft during his career including Westland Sea Kings, Lookheed C130J&K Hercules, Boeing C17 Globemasters and Vickers VC10’s. As part of this service, Chris was posted to Afghanistan five times between 2007- 2009 working as part of a close team as well as progressing to a supervisory role.

His role as part of the aviation team at PEAL includes the supervision of employees, trainees and apprentices working on the Supermarine Spitfires, carrying out fabrication, fitting and repairs to airframe components. He also ensures that all parts and work carried out comply with Civil Aviation Authority and Health & Safety guidelines.

Chris has strong practical mechanical engineering skills which have been developed throughout his military career and in subsequent roles in civil aviation and more recently for the world’s number three brewery, Molson-Coors. Here he serviced and maintained all equipment across the South West.

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Laurent Tredez – Sheet Metal Worker

Laurent joined the Parnall Aircraft Company in December 2018, having travelled all the way from Brittany, France where he had previously worked in car and aircraft restoration as a sheet metal worker. Laurent has specialised in the restoration of the Citroen DS, a car which was originally designed in the 1950s.

Laurent enjoys the team spirit as well as being able to pass on his knowledge and experience to the highly motivated aviation apprentices and trainees.

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David Oakley – Sheet Metal Worker

David joined the Parnall Aircraft Company during December 2018, after relocating to Cornwall from Wolverhampton. Having previously worked as a lead technician in aerospace engineering as well as completing sheet metal work and hydraulic actuations, David has a lot of knowledge to pass on to our trainees.

David loves working in such a beautiful location with the opportunity to work on two Mk Vb Supermarine Spitfires, whilst teaching apprentices crafts and skills. And he looks forward to seeing the BL688 take off one day.

In his spare time, David is kept busy with his family and six Newfoundland dogs.

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Lawrence Bysouth – Aviation Apprentice

Realising that the skills achieved in aviation could lead to opportunities in the hugely demanding world of motorsport Lawrence decided that an Aviation Apprenticeship would be a great career choice for him.

With his main passion being motorsport, Lawrence has been able to have many new experiences at Parnall Engineering including a trip to Bahrain to be part of the Aston Martin World Endurance Racing team.

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Murphy Ransley-Miles – Aviation Apprentice

Murphy is a talented young man, whose skills include engineering, martial arts and gliding. He’s also a sergeant in the air training core.

But his passion is in historic aircraft, so when the opportunity to be an apprentice rebuilding Spitfires came up Murphy didn’t hesitate to show his desire to get involved. The Parnall team have created a once in a lifetime opportunity for Murphy to work on his passion project.

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Angela Fane – Horticulture Lead

Responsible for developing the gardens and grounds at Trelonk, Ange’s role includes the planning, planting and maintenance of a wide variety of external and internal planting areas. Her ethos is focused on retaining the natural features of the site and continuing to provide a wildlife friendly habitat at the same time as a productive vegetable and fruit garden for the hospitality team.

Ange started her career in banking and worked her way through various retail and corporate roles until she was asked to be in a team of three identifying potential clients in order to introduce online banking into businesses which was subsequently rolled out across the country.

At this point, Ange took a different direction utilising her knowledge and skills in finance and administration to assist two small aviation related companies; The Plane Picture Company and the Aircraft Restoration Company which quickly grew to become a full-time role working directly with owner, John Romain.

A move to Cornwall has resulted in her working once again with her husband Tim, for the Parnall Aircraft Company and Trelonk.

Parnall aIRCRAFT cOMPANY- Innovators in Aircraft Engineering

Parnall evolved from a weights and measures manufacturer, to experts in shop fitting, to an aircraft production company, as well as establishing ourselves as a legal firm in the 1920s, our roots are firmly planted in the early years of military aviation history.

Parnall AIRCRAFT

Parnall’s chapter in aviation history doesn’t end with the manufacture of components. We designed many models, including the Panther, a two-seat carrier-borne Fleet Spotter reconnaissance biplane with a 230hp Bentley BR 2 rotary engine.

Panther Project

Alongside the work of the Parnall Aircraft Company on the Spitfire Project, we are also building a full sized, non-flying replica of a Parnall Panther.

The Panther was a very early carrier reconnaissance aircraft designed by Harold Bolas and developed by Parnall & Sons in the latter years of World War One. A wooden, single bay biplane which, unusually for the time, was built as a folding plywood monocoque structure – the fuselage being hinged aft of the observer’s cockpit.

An ambitious and challenging project, due to the lack of any technical drawings or existing aircraft to work from. Extensive research has provided a lot of historical published material and a wealth of fine photographs are gradually filling the gaps in the design data.