Sunday, March 05, 2006
The Historic Aircraft Collections Bristol F2B Fighter is set to take to the air some time in 2006. The aircraft has recently had its Rolls Royce Falcon engine fitted, by Skysport Engineering in Bedfordshire. The Falcon, restored by Vintec at Little Gransden, is thought to be the oldest running Rolls Royce engine. The Fighter will be based at Duxford, and will hopefully form a threeship with Fighters of the Shuttleworth Collection and The Fighter Collection. The latter is also due to fly this year, having been grounded since 2001 with engine problems.
Following recent rumours on the Flypast forum, The Fighter Collection has confirmed “it is quite possible” that the Beaufighter project at Duxford “may move to new owners later in the year”. There are several comings and goings anticipated this year, and the sale of the Beaufighter will make space for the new arrivals. The project has been a complex one, and has been underway for around 15 years. Much has been achieved, but there is still much work to do before the Beaufighter will fly. One of the biggest problems has been sourcing engines. No suitable military Bristol Hercules engines have been found, and later versions used on commercial transports would require major modifications to the aircraft. Restoration work is still continuing, and it is hoped that the new owners can accelerate the pace of restoration.