HE'S best known as the fly-by-night salesman that is Derek Trotter.

But actor and flying enthusiast Sir David Jason hit a more sombre note yesterday during a visit to North Yorkshire.

Sir David paid tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the RAF at the opening of an exhibition in York highlighting the contribution of bomber crews during the Second World War.

The Only Fools And Horses and Touch Of Frost star arrived by helicopter at Elvington's Yorkshire Air Museum to officially open the Against The Odds exhibition.

The exhibition stands in an original wartime building at the site and looks back at Bomber Command's history.

More than 55,000 air crew personnel were killed in action, or as prisoners of war, as the RAF launched strategic bombing raids across Nazi Germany.

Sir David said: "Places like this are very, very important, not only for us but for future generations because we should pay tribute and remember those young people and young men and air crews who gave their lives for us to have the freedoms that we have."

Sir David, an honorary member of the museum and a keen flyer, said he felt a particular affinity to the RAF.

"I feel very close to them being a pilot myself. This museum is a living memorial to those guys."