View Full Version : Why were (some of) the airliners at Cosford cut up?

12th Apr 2012, 21:05
I have searched for "Cosford" on this forum before starting this thread, but forgive me if the subject has already been discussed here and moderators, please feel free to merge this thread with an existing one, if you think that necessary.

I was lucky enough to visit Cosford in 1994, when the "BA Collection" of airliners was intact and-thank goodness, in view of what happened 10+ years later-took photos of all of them.

I was dismayed some years ago however, to hear that several of these were to be (and were) broken up or reduced to forward fuselages only. I believe the airframes concerned were a (pretty rare) 707-436, a Trident 1 and a standard VC-10. Any others-did the Super One-Eleven get the chop too? Tho admittedly, I 'd find it a bit hard to shed too many tears over that one.

And I know that Viscount G-AMOG went to East Fortune, where I saw it three years ago, in pieces, with its fuselage indoors but the wings outside. Has this changed since? I hope so. And the forward fuselage of the 707 was there too.

I have seen various explanations/excuses over the yeasrs for why this was done: BA "disowned" their collection on money-saving grounds (that sounds very likely); Cosford needed the space occupied by the airliners to build their-far more sexy-"Cold War Jets Hall;" some, if not all of the airframes were badly corroded after many years of display outside.

So, what do people here know about this sad episode?

Harley Quinn
13th Apr 2012, 05:15
No idea what the reasons were for the loss of these aircraft, but if you have good photos could you post them here, or in the museums thread, so others can enjoy them?



13th Apr 2012, 08:24
It cost too much to maintain them! BA, MOD, RAF Museum?

tristar 500
13th Apr 2012, 14:19
As far as I remember BA pulled the plug on support for Cosford, including the working parties that went there to carry out maintainance tasks.

Two of the aircraft G-ARGU the Viking & G-ARVM ended up at Brooklands Museum www.brooklandsmuseum.com (http://www.brooklandsmuseum.com)

tristar 500

13th Apr 2012, 15:39
I visited East Fortune last year and unfortunately the situation with the Vickers Viscount remains the same, fuselage indoors, wings parked outside. I think the BAC 1-11 they have there, G-AVMO, is the ex Cosford aircraft.
The BOAC 707-436 forward fuselage section is in the Concorde hangar. However the fact that Concorde has a hangar all to itself is one of the reasons that the Viscount sits in pieces, theres very little room left to put it together in the remaining hangars where all the other exhibits are squeezed in.

13th Apr 2012, 16:38
It was very simple really. The RAF Museum had given space and some help to allow the BA Historical chaps to display their wares.

British Airways pulled the plug on giving any support to their own team and it was palpably inappropriate to ask the RAF Museum to take over the expense of preserving aircraft at the RAF Museum that had nothing to do with the RAF!

British Airways does not have a good record of tooking after their old aircraft. Does anyone else remember the Heathrow Argonaut that they refused to rescue? And then there was the Trident IIIB etc etc.

Blame Willy Walsh but do not blame the RAF Museum.

Skipness One Echo
13th Apr 2012, 17:30
Post 9-11 and the BA apprentices which used to give the aircraft some TLC had not been up for a while as BA cut costs in attempt to stem losses. After a period of time, the aircraft needed some money spent on them that BA were not going to spend, as they'd been neglected a little. So they were offered then scrapped. Tragic, I was there in 1993 and in the Easter of 2006 just as they were pulling the engines of the B707. Utterly heartbreaking as the VC10 and the rest looked in great shape.

People think I am a BA fan but there are times they are just stupid and short sighted beyond belief.

13th Apr 2012, 20:14
If you want to do a bit of reading about this have a look at this thread: A Little VC10derness • View topic - Aircraft at RAF Museum Cosford under threat? (http://www.vc10.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=125). I've put up the major press releases as well as links to various debates on PPRUNE and other forums. To see what became of the VC10 have a look here; Histories - G-ARVM (http://www.vc10.net/History/Individual/GARVM.html)

13th Apr 2012, 21:41
In the VC10derness thread the overnight demolition of the Pirelli building on the A40 is described....I think they mean the Firestone Building on the A4 (Great West Rd, Brentford)

14th Apr 2012, 09:45
Thanks for the replies and it was as I thought-BA pulling the plug. Huge credit to the RAF Museum for taking on the ex-BOAC Brit and re-painting it in RAF colours: fair enough, even tho it never served with them and this outcome was 1000% better than it being broken up with the others.

HQ: here are links to the photos of the lost or moved airliners that I took during my visit to Cosford in 1994:


ScanImage9a | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/48975048@N06/5306142570/)


ScanImage9a | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/48975048@N06/5306142570/)


JetPhotos.Net Photo G-ARVM (CN: 815) British Airways Vickers VC-10 by Michael Blank (http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=6125757&nseq=3)

G-AOVF when it was in BOAC colours:

ScanImage13 1024 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/48975048@N06/5324612408/)


455Cosford140894707G-APFJ | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/48975048@N06/5324824636/)