BA Collection at RAF Cosford under threat (Merged)
This press release was issued by the RAFM:
THE BRITISH AIRWAYS COLLECTION
The Board of British Airways and the Royal Air Force Museum board of Trustees, is currently reviewing the status of the aircraft in the British Airways Collection, within the context of the new National Cold War Exhibition at Cosford.
The new development at Cosford will enable the Museum’s externally displayed RAF aircraft complete protection within a covered enclosure, whilst keeping them accessible to the public. These aircraft, which up till now have been subject to adverse weather conditions, will be housed under perfectly suitable conditions which will enable their preservation and display for future generations.
The aircraft in the British Airways Collection held at Cosford includes the VC10; 707; BAC 1-11; Trident and Viscount. The collection, which is rendered incomplete without the Concorde, has up till now been on external display in the areas surrounding the main Museum site. The board of Trustees is now considering their future as part of the Royal Air Force Museum collection, as they do not qualify for protection within the Cold War museum.
Reading between the lines it basically says that they want five aircraft off their property.
BA have no interest, no monies and few engineering staff to attend to these aircraft. I guess that unless someone can come up with cash they will be disposed of eventually. Is it really a surprise to anyone as companies nor the government have little interest in history.
I have been in touch with the RAF Museum on this and they replied that:
The press release ... was an unauthorised and therefore inaccurate release.
At the moment, I can confirm that both British Airways and the Royal Air Force Museum Board of Trustees are together, currently reviewing the future status of the aircraft in the British Airways Collection at the Museum's site in Cosford. Discussions have barely started and the review is ongoing.
While this doesn't tell us much that is new, I find it surprising that a press release, however inaccurate it seems to be, did find its way out. The basic message also seems to be the same: 'we are reviewing the future prospects'. I guess it still makes sense to keep an eye on the developments, and perhaps to let the RAFM and BA know that we are concerned for the future well-being of the airframes.
Ah yes, Cosford. I remember many happy hours wandering round the museum as a nipper, and the shock of being charged £2 for a couple of cans of coke at the airshow!
I also remember when I was in the RAF cadets doing a First Aid exercise one evening in the Nissen Huts whilst on camp at Cosford. As we drove back to our digs in the bus the sun was setting behind the VC10's huge T-tail and one of those childhood images of the beauty of aviation was etched onto my mind. I recall thinking how sad it was that those aircraft would never take the skies again.
Daft question, CAA permissions and permits notwithstanding, would it be totally beyond comprehension that some of these aircraft might be moved somewhere else under their own power? I know next to nothing about the effects of decades of storage on an airliner so stand ready to be flamed into submission for my extreme ignorance. Surely a bit of grease on the control cables, a thorough inspection and a slosh of gas and you'd be away?
I think you will find many of the key bits are missing and the airframes would be riddled with corrosion. Besides, back to the same problem who would pay. On an aside, a positive note, Qantas plus others are trying to get the resident B707 at SEN airborn and back to Aussie for their museum. This a/c has been a non-starting resident since 1999, so I suppose there is the odd few around that still value these old aircraft. I for one look forward to hearing it start up later this year and take to the air.
Maintaining the airframes which make-up 'The British Airways Collection' is very important as a group they form a significant slice of post-war British civil aviation history. The fact that BA has at least once in the past been careless with its own history, should and indeed must not affect the future of this collection. Although a BOAC/BEA/BA Collection and therefore 'Company Based' if Cash is required then this one for an urgent appeal for Lottery Funding and if that means some of the AIrcraft have to be repained in other carriers colours then so be it.
Individually most of the Aircraft Types can be viewed elsewhere, it is their value as a single collection which makes them important.
I am really annoyed that it appears corrosion is a problem and key bits are missing and the fact that they have been allowed to deteriorate has me spitting feathers.. .. expletives deleted ..... Dried Frog Pills to the rescue
There seems to be a suggestion in the Flypast magazine forum under the title "Miles Monarch to be ejected from East Fortune Museum" that part of the BA collection is to be moved to East Fortune. after a clear out of some of the less interesting to the casual visitor aircraft which are cluttering up the hangars there at present. Its not backed up by any official comment that I can see - anybody else heard this.
News on BA.com A collection of former British Airways aircraft is to be moved from the RAF Museum in Cosford to new homes. The five historic aircraft, known officially as The BA Collection, have been resident at the RAF Museum for the past few decades. Following a review of the aircraft's future by the RAF Museum and British Airways it was decided that they had to be found new homes. The five aircraft will be moving to: Vickers Viscount 701 - The aircraft will be dismantled and reconstructed in full at The Museum of Flight, East Fortune - part of The National Museums of Scotland. BAC 1-11 - The aircraft will be dismantled and reconstructed in full at The Museum of Flight, East Fortune. Boeing 707-436 - The front fuselage (forward of the wings) will be transported to The Museum of Flight, East Fortune. Vickers VC10 - It is intended that the front fuselage (forward of the wings) and some parts of technical interest will be moved to Brooklands Museum in Surrey. Hawker Siddeley Trident - The cockpit and nose section will be transported to The Museum of Flight, East Fortune. Geoff Want, British Airways' director of ground operations, said: "I am pleased that we have been able to find good homes for these aircraft.
"We have developed strong links with both museums following the move of Concorde Alpha Alpha from Heathrow to Scotland and the move of Concorde Delta Golf from Filton to Brooklands.
"We are sure that both museums will give the same levels of care to these historic aircraft as they have shown to our Concordes.
"These aircraft are an important part of the UK's aviation heritage and will hopefully add extra interest to both museums' current aircraft displays.
"I would like to thank the RAF Museum for all their support and for all the care they have given to these aircraft over the past few decades.
"In the coming months we will co-ordinate the deconstruction and reconstruction of these aircraft with all the museums to ensure that the new displays will be of the highest possible quality." The aircraft will be disassembled and re-assembled at their new homes by Air Salvage International. The company worked closely with British Airways and the two museums during 2004 when it deconstructed and reconstructed Concorde Alpha Alpha and Concorde Delta Golf.
Thanks. It didn.t occur to me to look at the BA web site.
If EF can get them indoors fairly quickly then this actually looks like a good move. The Viscount and 1-11 are very relevant to Scotland (although I'l bet BA wont let it be repainted to B Cal livery) as is the Trident. The 707 less so but it will relate well to the Comet.
I was initially very sceptical about Concorde coming to EF but it does seem to have given it much needed publicity and funding with a major development plan on the way. Hopefully this can only be beneficial as well.
So the decision has been made and the Museum of Flight at East Fortune (which is one of my top five UK museums - it's rank varies, according to mood, the number of pints consumed, or dried frog pill intake) gets 2 Complete Aircraft and bits of another two. Whilst Brooklands (another good home) gets the bits of a fifth.
Hmm, I assume that corrosion and cost have meant that the VC10, 707 and Trident were beyond saving as complete aircraft.
So what about the Britannia?
Also although not part of the British Airways Collection two more aircraft were/are in company livery: Comet 1A - BOAC and Westland Dragonfly - BEAH. I wonder what the future holds for them?
I am saddened this has happened, whilst caring for Company Heritage can be taken to extremes that overall it has a negative effect on the Company, in this case I think BA's stewardship (or lack of it) of the Collection that bore its name has gone too far the other way.
I would love to see a BAC1-111 in BCAL Colours again, in any UK Museum, but even if BA Waived it through, as far as I am aware the Aircraft going to East Fortune never served with any carrier other than BEA/BA, so it would be a bit of cheek to paint it BUA, or BCAL Colours
(nice thought though :-) DIH
- The local Edinburgh newspaper 'Evening News' refered to the pending Viscoount arrival at East Fortune as the 'Scottish Prince', G-AMOGs name when it operated BOAC (later BA) feeder services from PIK to BFS, EDI & ABZ, during the period 1972-76. - Hope they re-paint it in the BOAC colours! (Viscount 701 G-AMON who shared the duties with 'OG was the the 'Scottish Princess')
The Royal Air Force has an excellent VC10 museum going in Oxfordshire. Unfortunately its not open to the public, though you can watch the frequent flying displays from outside the wire. I believe they are going to dispose of some of the exhibits soon and most of them are still 'airworthy'. I do hope that one of our better aviation museums can find a place for at least one of them.