There are numerous companies and individuals throughout the country rebuilding aircraft, from the Cambridge Bomber and Fighter Society (CBFS) based at Little Gransden Airfield rebuilding a Hawker Hurricane up to taxiable condition, to a major company such as Marshall Aerospace at Cambridge Airport who undertake major overhauls on the C-130 Hercules and TriStar aircraft for the RAF.
If you are aware of any ongoing restorations feel free to email us with any details, photographs, websites etc.
VTTS Canberra B.2 WK163 Press Launch – Coventry Airport
By Luke Webster
Thursday 19th of May marked yet another historic day for the Vulcan To The Sky Team. Canberra B.2 WK163 was officially rolled out and presented to Dr Robert Pleming, CEO of the VTTS trust, as to what will be the next ‘return to flight’ restoration aircraft.
On hand was Trevor Bailey, CEO of Air Atlantique to officially mark WK163 a ‘peoples aircraft’ from private ownership to a registered charity for the benefit of the nation. The first stage in the restoration project will be to transport the aircraft by road to Hanger 3 at Robin Hood – Doncaster Sheffield Airport where they expect to receive the aircraft in the second half of July.
Canberra B.2 WK163 was built at Avro’s site at Woodford, where some five years later, Vulcan XH558 would be assembled – with Bristol Siddeley using a Canberra to flight test the Olympus Engine. This Direct connection in itself makes WK163 the perfect aircraft to follow in the footsteps of Vulcan XH558.
WK163 started her flying career in January 1955, being utilized as a powerplant testbed at Luton Airport. The Napier Double Scorpion, a Rocket Motor was being developed as a way of boosting thrust for the English Electric Lightning prototype, and it was that very rocket that allowed WK163 to capture the world altitude record of 70,310 feet, piloted by Mike Randrup, which markings still sit proudly on the Canberra today.
WK163 was acquired by Classic Aviation Projects at Bruntingthopre where she was returned to her original B.2 configuration and joined the air display circuit in 1997, her last flight being in 2007, where she was grounded as the result of an engine fire and the impending need for a major service – this which still stands today. WK163 accumulated flying hours very slowly which still gives the aircraft a lot of structural flying hours allowing WK163 to grace the flying display circuit in the near future.
The skills and experience built over the past eleven years make the VTTS Team uniquely suited to return WK163 to the skies and is expected to be a lot less complex than the Vulcan.
Talking on the restoration of Canberra WK163 CEO of the Vulcan To The Sky Trust said “We want WK163 to be as much a People’s Aircraft as is XH558 – our team love talking about Vulcan XH558 – and now Canberra WK163 – so we hope many more people will come to see us and these two very special aircraft”.
It looks as if The Vulcan To The Sky Trust will carry on to inspire people both young and old for many years to come especially with the new exciting project – returning Canberra WK163 to flight!!