Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Saturday, 28 June 2008 15:42 UK

Oldest veteran visits Eurofighter

Henry Allingham
Mr Allingham was given a personal guided tour

The last surviving original member of the Royal Air Force, Henry Allingham, has been taking a guided tour of the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

Mr Allingham, who at 112 is Europe's oldest man, visited BAE Systems in Warton, Lancashire, as part of the National Veterans' Day celebrations.

He was given a personal guided tour of the RAF's newest multi-role combat aircraft, at his request.

The Eurofighter can fly at 65,000ft (19,800m) at twice the speed of sound.

'Wonderful human being'

Mr Allingham, who lives at St Dunstan's home for blind ex-servicemen, in Ovingdean, near Brighton, was taken into a hangar where he saw a line-up of the aircraft in the final assembly stage and test facility.

A spokesman for BAE Systems said he spent about 45 minutes looking round the aircraft and posing questions to engineers.

"We were honoured to be able to show him round, he was a wonderful human being," he said.

Mr Allingham is the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland in 1916, and also fought at the Somme and Ypres where he was bombed and shelled.

He has joked that the secret to his longevity is "cigarettes, whisky and wild women".

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27 Jun 08 |  Lancashire
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06 Jun 08 |  England


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