Preparations for RAF100, 2018 Shuttleworth dates and other news
The Shuttleworth Collection’s annual two-day behind the scenes ‘open workshop’ event was held on 29-30 December 2017. It gave visitors the chance to see up close some of the current restoration and repair work and chat to the aircraft engineers and volunteers about the vintage aircraft that they maintain in airworthy condition. The vehicle workshop team also talked about how they preserve and run the Collection’s historic veteran, Edwardian and vintage cars and bikes including the 1903 De Dietrich – last year’s Shuttleworth entry in the London-to-brighton veteran vehicle run. An agricultural display featuring the living van, chaff cutter, tractors, and other exhibits also featured.
There was a good deal of interest in Spitfire Vc AR501’S progress towards flying again after its lengthy rebuild. It had initial engine runs in November 2017 but is unlikely to feature in any display until mid-summer. Sad-looking Bristol M1C replica C4918 had its engine removed and wings off. Back in mid-july, it made a heavy landing after its 110hp Le Rhône engine failed to pick up on final approach. Pilot ‘Dodge’ Bailey just managed to scrape through the top of the boundary hedge during the 15 July evening display. Upon examination, the M1C was found to have a cracked front upright on the port side of its fuselage. Repairs necessitated the removal of its engine, which was transferred to the Avro 504K (also present in the workshop along with the Tutor and Blériot – the latter also with its engine removed). Hurricane I R4118, which was grounded last year with a crack on the port side of its single-piece Merlin III block, is receiving some attention to the fabric on its control surfaces while the engine is out. It is hoped it will be flying again later this year.
Elsewhere in the Collection’s hangars, BAE Systems’ Avro XIX Series 2 ‘Anson’ was showing preparatory work ahead of its
planned repainting in a Royal Air Force colour scheme to mark RAF centenary. It is widely reported that it will carry the markings of an Anson once with the RAF Coningsby Station Flight. Built in 1946 and registered G-AHKX to Smiths Aircraft Instruments as a civilian Avro 19 Srs 2, it was flown by Treffield Aviation from 1959 and used on various contracts by Kemps Aerial Surveys from 1968 to 1973 before purchase by Sir William Roberts in January 1974. With the sale of his Strathallan Collection in July 1981, British Aerospace at Woodford managed to secure the non-airworthy Avro 19 for just £600. Although it was originally planned that it should be restored by apprentices, this complex task was eventually completed by volunteer retired staff and it was flown again at Woodford on 8 March 2002. Since that time ’KX has been on loan to the Shuttleworth Collection and has regularly taken part in displays at Old Warden and elsewhere. It is expected that the Anson will make its first appearance in its new guise at Old Warden on Sunday 6 May in the ‘Season Premiere and RAF Centenary’ airshow.
The remaining flying events programme for 2018 include: 19 May — Evening Airshow; 3 June — Fly Navy; 16 June — Evening Airshow; 1 July — Military Pageant (WWI Centenary); 14 July — Evening Airshow; 5 August — The Shuttleworth Family airshow; 12 August — Gathering of Moths (DH Moth Club); 18 August — Flying Proms (21 Years); 2 September — Shuttleworth Heritage Day; 7 October — Race Day & Shuttleworth Sprint. www.shuttleworth.org
Shuttleworth’s Spitfire Vc edges ever-closer back to flight
Flashback to July 2017: ‘Dodge’ Bailey trims the hedge while arriving in the Bristol M1C replica — he was lucky not to trip over it!
Below: BAE’S Avro XIX being prepared for repainting, possibly in RAF Coningsby Station Flight colours
Above: grounded last summer, Hurricane 1 R4118 awaits a replacement Merlin engine