Amazing pink plane spotted above Nottinghamshire that looks like a flying van

PINK Skyvan plane painted with large grin painted on its nose, with its shining teeth, big red lips and flailing tongue, with two propellors on front, on ground, with people standing behind
-Credit: (Image: Skydive Langar)

A Ford Transit-van-style plane with a smiley face on has been spotted in the skies over Nottinghamshire. The remarkable aircraft - a Short SC.7 Skyvan - is being used at Langar Airfield for skydiving.

Nicknamed the Flying Shoebox, the iconic Skyvan is well-known amongst aeroplane enthusiasts. But the layman may wonder what exactly the quirky vehicle orbiting Nottinghamshire is when they look up this week.

Skydive Langar's Laura Hampton explained that the PINK Skyvan - one of only 149 Skyvans in the world - is one of three travelling Skyvans stationed at Klatovy in the Czech Republic when it is not in use. When it is, it tours the world for use, particularly as a skydiving plane - hence its presence in Langar.

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With its funny shape and, in this case, its striking rhubarb-and-custard paintjob, the PINK Skyvan is very popular with skydivers. Laura explained that in the last few days, the business has been inundated with skydivers from all over the country travelling from afar for a jump out of the famous flying object.

She said: "It's caused a lot of excitement. It's the first time we've had a Skyvan here for about fifteen years, so it's pretty cool. It looks hilarious. It doesn't look like it's airworthy at all but it is. Jumping from one is amazing and a lot of fun."

The Skyvan's unique design makes it different to aircraft usually used for skydiving. Instead of the exit point being from the side of the plane, the Skyvan has a tail gate, which opens at the back and allows multiple people to pile out at the same time.

It's typically used for world records due to the speed at which it allows people to get out, and features such as a bar underneath the back door are used to hang on to, dangle from, and roll off from. But numbers of the aircraft are dwindling, with the youngest Skyvans now turning 38 years old and the oldest turning 61.

The planes, which seat 19 people, were developed by the Short Brothers company in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The PINK Skyvan, completed by the large grin painted on its nose, with its shining teeth, big red lips and flailing tongue, will be at Skydive Langar until 3pm Thursday, July 11.