The plane that defected

In May 1943, a German Junkers Ju88R-1 night-fighter with a crew of three took off on a mission from Denmark. Two of the crew decided to defect and flew to Scotland, where the plane was escorted to Dyce airfield by Spitfires. The third crew member wanted no part in the plan and had to be held at gunpoint during the flight. Getting the plane was a major coup for the British, as it was fitted with the latest German radar – and now that aircraft is being restored at RAF Cosford Museum.

The restoration is being carried out by GJD Services. GJD’s Gary Sporrs has a personal connection to Ju88s, as he explained; “When I was 12, I worked at the RAF base at St Athan doing odd jobs, and they were restoring Ju88s, so it’s great to be working on one of those now. Like a lot of Second World War aircraft, the Junkers is relatively simple in construction, which is a benefit we inherit as restorers.”
Tickets for the 2017 Cosford Airshow on 11 June are now on sale; visit


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