Dili­gent in Don­caster

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS - www. southy­ork­shireair­craft­mu­seum.org.uk Re­port & pho­tos: Paul Fid­dian

Rang­ing from 1936 HM14 Pou-de-ciel G-AEJZ to 1981-built ex-ar­gen­tine Navy Aer­ma­c­chi MB-339AA ‘0767’, the South York­shire Air­craft Mu­seum’s (SYAM) eclec­tic col­lec­tion oc­cu­pies and sur­rounds the for­mer RAF Don­caster’s fi­nal re­mains. Es­tab­lished at Fir­beck on the Not­ting­hamshire/south York­shire bor­der, SYAM was re­lo­cated in 1999. The new site im­por­tantly pro­vided op­por­tu­ni­ties for cov­ered ex­hi­bi­tion and ex­pan­sion. To­day, with around seventy com­plete air­craft, sec­tions and re­pro­duc­tions on show−many with lo­cal con­nec­tions−the mu­seum is flour­ish­ing but also has nu­mer­ous restora­tion projects on­go­ing be­hind closed doors. 20 Oc­to­ber’s Back Lot Tour and Stor­age Ar­eas Day was the pub­lic’s sec­ond and fi­nal op­por­tu­nity of the year to view them.

In­side the main work­shop is Auster J/1N Al­pha G-APKM’S fuse­lage frame. Built in 1958, dereg­is­tered only in Oc­to­ber 2015, the four-seat tourer is a re­cent ar­rival from Span­hoe and is mak­ing steady progress to­wards join­ing Auster 1 (Tay­lor­craft Plus D) LB314 and the fuse­lage of Airedale G-ARYZ in the main ex­hi­bi­tion hall. Hav­ing for­merly equipped No 654 Squadron at Fir­beck be­tween Septem­ber and De­cem­ber 1942, LB314 ar­rived in Fe­bru­ary 2018 and be­came SYAM’S first ‘war­bird’. It rep­re­sents, with the Airedale, the be­gin­ning and end of Auster’s air­craft pro­duc­tion.

1946-built Cessna 140 G-BTYX’S cock­pit re­fur­bish­ment is an­other work­shop ven­ture. The mu­seum al­ready has Cessna F150G G-AVAA on dis­play. Placed on blocks in a prom­i­nent cen­tral po­si­tion, this is an im­por­tant GA rep­re­sen­ta­tive among the wider UK preser­va­tion scene’s overtly mil­i­tary con­tent. Also be­ing brought up to dis­play stan­dard are Sy­camore HR14 XE317’S ro­tor blades which, ow­ing to space lim­i­ta­tions, will be reat­tached to the all-yel­low, for­mer RAF search and res­cue he­li­copter’s ro­tor head in a folded-back po­si­tion. Royal Navy

En­durance Flight Whirl­wind HAR9 XN386’S main fuse­lage sec­tion is a cur­rent out­door ex­hibit but its tail boom is be­ing worked on in an­other build­ing. The mu­seum has no less than ‘four-and-a-half’ Whirl­winds in all in­clud­ing the York­shire He­li­copter Preser­va­tion Group’s HAR1 XA870 in its strik­ing or­ange and black HMS Pro­tec­tor ‘ice pa­trol’ mark­ings and HAR10S XJ398 and XP345. The ‘half’ is the YHPG’S Whirl­wind HAR1 XA862 front sec­tion. For de­tails of win­ter open­ing times, check the web­site

Sy­camore HR14 XE317 mi­nus its ro­tor blades with Airedale G-ARYZ'S fuse­lage and the nose of HS748 G-OPFW be­hind

Cessna F150G G-AVAA has a cen­tral dis­play po­si­tion in the main hangar

The tubu­lar frame­work of Auster J/1N Al­pha G-APKM un­der restora­tion at Don­caster

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.