Campaign launched to rescue one-of-a-kind aircraft

A campaign has been launched to rescue a one-of-a-kind aircraft with costs expected to reach £60,000.

The Blackburn Beverley is the only one of its model and is currently partly dismantled near Hull.

The Solway Aviation Museum has bought the plane but say transport and restoration costs could reach as much as £60,000.

Dougie Kerr from the Solway Aviation Museum, said: “When it was flying with the RAF when it started in 1956 it was the largest aircraft that they had.

"It flew on until 1967 delivering troops, bulldozers, everything you could get in the back of it really. You could even get single decker busses in the back. It took them all around the world in different conflicts including Vietnam, it went everywhere."

The average age of volunteers at the museum is around 70, but they say that they're fighting fit and eager to be busy with the new craft.

Dougie Kerr added: "Back in 2020 when it was up for sale we put a bid in but were out-bid by the chap who owned it up until we acquired it.

The Blackburn Beverley will be the largest plane at the museum. Credit: ITV

"He became stuck and couldn’t move it, so we have almost come to the rescue now.”

The Beverley will be the biggest plane the museum has acquired, being slightly bigger than the Avro Vulcan XJ823.

It is an enormous job just to paint the Vulcan as it can only be done outside when the weather isn't too wet or too hot with the last full repaint of the Vulcan taking 18 months.

David Kirkpatrick the Procurement Director at the museum said: “It has got to be one of the biggest engineering jobs that we have ever actually undertaken.

"Our other large aircraft is the Vulcan which was actually flown in by the RAF and parked, which was very easy. We will have to organise transport to bring it up and it will be several artic wagons.

"We will need cranes there and once we get it disassembled then it will be loaded onto the wagons and transported. We will have to negotiate with the police for an escort. It will come to the airport and then we will repeat the process in reverse and build it back up."

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