Beccles author lands exciting TV role on the History Channel

Historian Ian McLachlan from Beccles has landed a television role

Historian Ian McLachlan from Beccles has landed a television role - Credit: Archant

A Beccles aviation author has landed his first major television role.

Ian McLachlan is resident historian for a new series of programmes produced for the History Channel by an East Anglian film company.

Plane Resurrection from Nik Colman Films was initially filmed in the region and dramatically illustrates the endeavours and ingenuity of individuals and organisations restoring the remains of ancient aircraft to pristine condition.

Mr McLachlan, whose books and lectures describe many thrilling East Anglian aeronautical episodes has helped to convey the rich talent dedicated to resurrecting historical flying machines and returning them to the skies.

His job was to place each aircraft in its historical context, supplying information about its designers, factory workers, engineers and heroic aviators. One such restorer is Suffolk based Hawker Restorations, which is currently turning its attentions to the restitution of a wartime Hawker Hurricane, used during the Battle of Britain to destroy enemy aircraft.

Rex Ford and his aviation team at Seething Aviation are breathing new life into the world’s last remaining Percival Q6, alleged to have rescued General De Gaulle to freedom after the fall of France in 1940.

A Fokker Triplane, used in the first world war by German pilot Manfred von Richtofen is also being restored at a garage in Holt by Peter Bruggemann.

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Mr McLachlan said: “I took part in a couple of Time Team episodes a few years ago and Nik had seen it and asked if I would do a trial for the Plane Resurrection series with the option of a further six episodes, which I have done. “My job is to put the aircraft into historical context and provide a strong human interest element. I am quite passionate about remembering the airmen and air women who flew them. It was fantastic to go behind the scenes with some of the aircraft and to go where the public normally wouldn’t go, to be in the cockpit and get the feel of the machine.”

Plane Resurrection is currently showing on the History Channel in Australia and China, but there are hopes to bring it to the UK later this year.

There are also plans to film further episodes in America.

Mr Colman said: “Ian’s contribution to the series has been pivotal to our success, as he uncovers facts and stories that in many cases have never been published or aired.

“That brings a real edge to Plane Resurrection and I think it’s that information and history that our international broadcast partners really admire.”

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