Roger Cook/Pynelea Photo Bureau reports on some new additions at the Imperial War Museum
On Tuesday 28 March the Imperial War Museum at Duxford rolled-out three more aircraft that have been restored to be part of the AirSpace exhibition due to be opened in 2007. These aircraft represent three training aircraft used by the RAF - the Miles Magister, the Airspeed Oxford and the De Havilland Tiger Moth.
The Magister joined the Duxford collection in 1978. It was originally built as a Hawk Trainer, the civilian version of the Magister, registered G-AFBS and is the sole surviving example of its type. It was requisitioned by the RAF in September 1940, allocated the serial BB661 and first served with 8 FTS at Woodley. It has been restored in RAF markings, but carries its original civil registration. The restoration work has been extensive with a complete rebuild of the rear fuselage.
The Oxford was built in 1940 and registered as G-AHTW, but it never saw RAF service. It was used as company communications aircraft until 1960 and came to Duxford in 1978. Oxfords were used extensively by the RAF during the Second World War as aircrew trainers, light transport, air ambulance and radio calibration duties. The aircraft has been restored in RAF markings with the serial V3388.
The restoration work on the Magister and Oxford was ably led by Andy Robinson and his restoration team were supported by a group of eager volunteers.
The Tiger Moth was the RAF's basic trainer from 1934 until the late 1940s. Duxford's aircraft is painted to represent the Tiger Moth flown by 'Johnnie Johnson', the highest scoring RAF fighter pilot of the Second World War, when he was training at what is now Cambridge Airport. It carries the serial DE998. The restoration work was carried out by Aeroplane Restorations Ltd, although Andy Robinson was responsible for the final painting. This restoration has been sponsored by Marshall Aerospace.
The AirSpace exhibition, costing £25m, will tell the story of Britain's aviation industry from its earliest beginnings to the present day. It is set to fully open in the Summer of 2007, although there will be some limited access from the Summer of 2006 via the mezzanine floor. Some aircraft that have been temporarily stored in the exhibition hangar will shortly be moved out to allow the suspension of exhibits from the roof.