Gary Parsons reports on shuffling goings-on at the IWM
Thursday 13 January saw the last major 'decanting' move of aircraft from the old Superhangar as Concorde G-AXDN emerged into sunlight for the first time in many years. Its move is the culmination of months of manouevering aeroplanes out from underneath and around it, and signifies the last movement out of the Superhangar before work starts in earnest on the new 'AirSpace' development.
Also moved out just before Concorde was Comet G-APDB, making for a unique pairing of two great British airliner designs for a short while. The dust that had accumulated on the Comet is sure to blow away in the next few months, but its immediate appearance was one of a dusty model after a few years on the mantlepiece!
The Superhangar is to be greatly extended and increased in size, with many of the future exhibits suspended from the ceiling, as has been done in the American Air Museum. Concorde will be one of the main aircraft featured at ground level, the whole exhibition detailing the British aviation industry and its achievements.
Many of the future exhibits are in the process of renovation in other hangars, with the recently refurbished Buccaneer being one of the first. The next few months will see the Mosquito and TSR-2 re-appear and a brief opportunity to capture them outside before being prepared for display. AirSpace will later include an area devoted to aircraft conservation, where visitors will be able to see work taking place - one of the first aircraft to benefit from this will be the Victor, which for years has been the subject of much debate amongst enthusiasts on its condition - fear not, it will be in safe hands!