You will be in one of our FV (Fighting Vehicle) 432 Armoured Personnel Carriers - a light (?) 15 ton tank. If we have a large group on the day, we may run two simultaneously - a Mk I and a Mk II - with a third in reserve. Now, that IS fun! Drivers need not hold a Driving Licence but good upper body strength is important for pulling the non power assisted steering levers/brakes. After a short introduction to the 432 and its history (they continue in use in the Army, in specialised roles), you’ll be shown around the APC to understand how it works as the instructor carries out a “First Parade Inspection”. Then, it’s all aboard and he’ll move the APC to the Start Point for driver training. One by one, you’ll take the controls for a short session with the instructor in his vehicle commander’s position, communicating via your radio intercom. Then you’ll swap with another driver in the rear crew compartment when the ride and conditions for an infantryman will be experienced, before returning to the “hot seat” for a longer drive. You can expect this to normally take an hour or more.
Additionally, on returning to the farm base you’ll be able to get up close and personal with some of our military/engineering vehicle collection including a four wheeled M2 Rig which can swim across a river whilst carrying the FV 432 on its back, 65 ton Chieftain Armoured Repair and Recovery, Centurion ARV, several other armoured vehicles, ex RAF 6×6 Fire/Crash/Rescue tender, Foden 6×6 Gun Tractor used very recently by us in mine clearing trials - the list goes on. Some of these have been used for film and TV, and a BBC Look North feature in November 2010.
Pilot House, 85 Corporation Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5QF