Last remaining Blackburn Beverley RAF aircraft in danger of being scrapped

An iconic military aircraft, which was once the RAF's largest plane, could be sent to the scrapheap by the end of the year.

The world's last surviving Blackburn Beverley XB259 has been based at Fort Paull, a former military museum in East Yorkshire, for nearly two decades.

However, the museum closed down in January 2020 and the aircraft was sold in an auction to businessman Martyn Wiseman for £21,000.

Mr Wiseman, who runs Condor Aviation, has until the end of the year to find upwards of £100,000 to move the plane out of Fort Paull or it could be scrapped.

He told ITV News: "I'm desperate, absolutely desperate. Twelve months from now it'll either be refurbished or it'll be scrapped and cut up.

"If you want to save your heritage, step forward."

The original plan was to move the plane to Condor Aviation's airfield near Selby and convert it into a retreat for veterans.

However, Mr Wiseman said the six figure sum needed to move it keeps increasing and he needs financial support if the aircraft is going to be restored.

He added: "We don't expect to get our money back, it was bought to save the aircraft because it's the last one.

"I've offered it to every museum in the country for free. Lots of people talk, but no one's actually come up with the goods."

The 35-tonne aircraft, produced in Brough, was briefly taken control of by the late Duke of Edinburgh in 1956.

It went on to transport up to 90 paratroopers at a time in RAF humanitarian missions in Africa and Asia before its military service came to an end in 1974.

David Lloyd, a former RAF engineer, told ITV Calendar: "It's part of my history. If the Beverley goes it's a big part of my history gone."

Mr Wiseman is now fundraising to raise the money needed to move the iconic aircraft and save it from being lost forever.

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