A GROUP of aircraft fanatics have created a memorial to mark one of the most significant events of the past century.

The staff and members at Rules of Engagement, in Benfleet Road, have spent the past three weeks designing and building a lifesize replica of a First World War plane, to commemorate 100 years since the start of the Great War this summer.

The bi-plane, which measures 10m by 6m and is made of scrap metal, will be placed in the middle of the Vic House Corner roundabout so the rest of the town can enjoy it.

Robert Drury, joint manager of Rules of Engagement, which sells airsoft guns, in Hadleigh, said the staff took great pride in creating the plane.

He added: “It looks fantastic, considering we only started building it at the start of the month. It’s an idea we’ve been mulling over since the start of the year, but it only came into being after we put our heads together.

“The only item we had to buy was the propeller, because we picked up the tyres from a local breakers yard.”

The staff enlisted its members, with the society’s oldest member, aged 86, also helping out.

Children as young as six helped to paint the bi-plane.

The store has been given permission by EssexCounty Council to put the plane on the roundabout and it will be moved to the Airsoft Plantation, in Goatsmoor Lane, Billericay, afterwards.

As the plane is so big, the company is still working out how it can be moved into position on the roundabout.

Mr Drury added: “The feedback from the community has been really positive as everyone acknowledges this is an occasion which needs to be remembered.

“If people want to talk to us about it they are more than welcome to drop in and have a chat.”