Replica First World War fighter plane on show in Sunderland

A replica Morane Saulnier Type N fighter aircraft.
A replica Morane Saulnier Type N fighter aircraft.

Shoppers will be able to see a replica First World War fighter plane close up.

The replica Morane Saulnier Type N fighter aircraft will be on display in Wessington Square at The Galleries in Washington on loan from the North East Land, Sea and Air Museum.

A replica Morane Saulnier Type N fighter aircraft.

A replica Morane Saulnier Type N fighter aircraft.

Volunteers, dressed in period uniforms, will lay a commemorative wreath at 11am on Sunday, November 11, and observe a two minute silence.

The original Morane Saulnier Type N entered service with the Royal Flying Corps in 1916 as a fighter aircraft.

Volunteers will be dressed as members of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air service (RNAS) which merged to form the Royal Air Force on April 1, 1918.

Sunderland’s Claude Ridley, one of the North East’s greatest pilots, would have flown a Moranne in battle against German Zepplins.

We know our visitors will appreciate this remarkable display

David McNee

Born in Fulwell in Sunderland, Claude, became the youngest station commander in the Royal Flying Corps.

David McNee, centre manager at the Galleries Shopping Centre, said: “We look forward to welcoming the North East Land, Sea and Air Museum to the Galleries to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and Armistice Day and we know our visitors will appreciate this remarkable display.”

David Charles, chairman of the North East Land Sea and Air Museum, added: “The display of the Morane as centrepiece of the Armistice commemoration, in this the 100th anniversary year of the guns falling silent on November 11, 1918, provides a fitting tribute to the bravery of those service personnel in the First World War.

“I am particularly proud of the work that is being carried out to commemorate those who served our country and region such as Claude Ridley.

“This year is also the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force. Hylton Aerodrome, now the site of the Nissan Car Factory and the museum, was operational during the First World War and played an important role in defending the area from attack by German Zeppelin Airships.”

The Centre is open 10am-4pm on Sunday with a two minute silence taking place from 11am.

On Saturday members of the Royal British Legion, the Durham Light Infantry Association and the Air Cadets will also host a two minute silence at the shopping centre from 11am with standard bearers in attendance.