An Indian restaurant owner has purchased a 49-foot Hawker Siddeley HS125 jet for 500 curries and 1,000 poppadoms.
Shajahan Chowdhury bartered with the spicy fare to get his hands on the shell of the plane which he now plans to turn into a restaurant.
Aviation salvage company GJD Services were only too happy to swap the ex-charter jet for 150 vindaloos, 150 Bombay Aloos, 100 onion bhajis and a cockpit full of poppadoms. A promise of a further 200 tasty treats will follow on request.
Mr Chowdhury , who is originally from Bangladesh, yearned to be a pilot when he was a young boy, is hoping to revamp to he plane so it looks like a private jet. As as chef he has worked all round the country, and during his career he has cooked for stars such as Cliff Richard, the Spice Girls. Aswad, Soul 2 Soul and Chaka Khan.
The father-of-five, from Keighley, West Yorks. said: “I am so excited I haven’t been able to sleep.
“I had an ambition to one day and grow up to be a pilot but that position is only for the wealthy and influential people in my home land.
“I finished high school and college and came to the UK in 2000. I worked as a kitchen porter as my first job and worked my way up to Chef before I opened my first restaurant 2004.
“I’ve always loved aircraft and often take my sons to Leeds Bradford airport. My friends Azim helped me broker a deal where I got the opportunity to exchange 500 curries for a shell of a HS125 800, like the one used in The Da Vinci Code film.
“I have already given one installment of 50 currys and a more 450 left to go on a payment plan. It is like a dream come true. I feel I have fulfilled my ambition. I just need to find a suitable restaurant where I can place my plane but it will be in the district and am going to have a meeting with Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns soon.”
Mr Chowdhury is organising the novel venture alongside friend and colleague Adnan Ahmed, who also runs a restaurant, and is currently looking at venues around the Bradford and Keighley where the plane will be attached to the outside of a restaurant and accessed from inside.
Friend and pilot Mustafa Azim, who co-owns aviation salvage company, Imperial, and works with Gary Spoors of GJD Services Ltd helped Mr Chowdhury find the plane of his dreams.
“The craft was involved in an accident when it crashed at Biggin Hill six months ago. The landing gear did not work but fortunately no one was injured,” said Mr Azim.
Mr Ahmed said his pal’s dream has inspired him to buy a plane and plans to purchase a Boeing 737 and place it at a restaurant he is looking to take over. However, he has not yet worked out how many curries it will cost.