Fighter jet in Control Tower

Fighter jet in Control Tower

The only lamp in the world created from a Tornado fighter jet’s fuel tank is on show at the Control Tower in Kings Hill.

It was created by Bertie Meeks of Staplehurst-based dVine Designs from the externally mounted auxiliary drop tank of a former RAF Tornado GR4 and took three weeks to complete.

The tank, which would have held 2,250 litres of fuel, went through a 13 stage polishing process to create a glistening mirror finish. The racking used at the airbase to store the tanks has been redesigned and welded together to create the lamp’s upright.

“We buy aircraft that are about to be scrapped and make something new and exciting out of them,” said Bertie. “The lamp is totally unique and has a gold plated plaque displaying the serial number 001/001.

“As soon as I saw the tank I knew it would make the perfect lamp and I have retained the tail fins to add to the character.”

Kings Hill was formerly RAF West Malling, a key night-fighter station during World War II. The aircraft flown from the airfield in those days included Spitfires, Hurricanes and Bristol Beaufighters – one of whose pilots was Dambuster Guy Gibson when he was stationed there.

“It is fascinating and very fitting to have part of a modern jet fighter in the Control Tower, bearing in mind its former military role,” said Andrew Blevins, managing director of Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust. “I am pleased that the gallery is providing the community with the opportunity to see such innovative and unusual artworks on their doorstep.”

The lamp, which is for sale for £5,500, is part of the current art exhibition in the Control Tower which runs until the end of May and is open to the public between 9am and 5.30pm on Monday to Friday.

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