A Boeing 727, once flown by Japan Airlines, will soon become an office and event space in Bristol. A businessman by the name of Johnny Palmer has purchased the out-of-service jet and will move it from Cotswold Airport, 35 miles down the road to outer Bristol. Let’s find out more about Palmer’s plans for the 53-year-old trijet.
A local businessman by the name of Johnny Palmer made big news in Bristol after he purchased the old Boeing 727 from Cotswold Airport (formerly known as RAF Kemble). 37-year-old Palmer is the Managing Director and Founder of Pytch – a UK-based event production company.
According to Bristol Live, the aircraft will be transported some 35 miles down the road to Brislington Trading Estate along the M4 and M32 in February. Its new home will be near Pytch’s existing office space at 21-25 Bonville Rd, Brislington, Bristol.
The aircraft will be set in place at its new home in Bristol, installed on top of shipping containers. These containers will be covered with paintings of clouds to “make it look like it’s flying.”
Our fourth studio venue is now live! 'Virtual Venue XL' is our largest studio yet with big-scale production to create compelling shows, amazing experiences and sharing vital messages. Get in touch to arrange a viewing! #hybridevents #virtualevents #eventprofs #broadcast #film pic.twitter.com/9k66SHgivN
— Pytch (@pytchuk) October 13, 2020
Known as ‘PytchAir,’ the aircraft will be used as office and event space for Pytch, but it’s expected that other firms will want to hire it for their own events. Palmer had secured planning permission for the project from Bristol City Council in October 2020 – but the businessman has been developing the idea since 2018.
“The idea came to me two years ago when a friend of mine said he’d done a film shoot on an aircraft at Kemble…I went over to the airfield to take a look at all these old aircrafts and realized it could be possible to buy one…It’s really cool that Bristol City Council were willing to give the green light to this exciting project – I don’t think councils in other major cities would have done so.” -Johnny Palmer, Pytch via Bristol Live
Palmer also hopes to also use the space for private dining events, arranging to have local chefs take over the kitchen (or should we say galley?). This, of course, will only take place after COVID restrictions are lifted.
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While the aircraft’s future is perhaps the most exciting part, we would be neglecting our duty as an aviation-focused website if we didn’t also discuss the aircraft’s flight history and operational life.
The Boeing 727 was first delivered to JAL (Japan Airlines) in December of 1967. According to JetPhotos.com, the aircraft was originally registered as JA8325. The 727-100 is 133 ft (40.5 m) long and typically flew 106 passengers in two classes. This particular jet would have likely flown domestic services. However, it’s possible the 727 was also put on regional international service.
After flying for the Japanese carrier, the jet was re-registered in September 1975 in Germany as D-AHLQ. It flew for international shipping and transportation company Hapag Lloyd until May 1981.
After this, it was used as a corporate jet flying under the registrations N4245S, VR-CBE, VR-CLM, VR-CMN, and finally, VP-CMN.
The aircraft’s new livery
The aircraft, with its engines and wings removed, will be given a new ‘livery,’ a mural painted by Bristol street artist Jody Thomas. Thomas is known for his mural of Greta Thunberg on the side of a tobacco factory in Bedminster. No word yet on what will be painted on the aircraft…
— Charles Arthur (@charlesarthur) December 12, 2019
The official launch for ‘PytchAir’ is set to be March 2021.
What do you think of this form of aircraft repurposing? Should this be happening more often? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.