Sunday, June 10, 2007

Restoration of Finnish Blenheim starts

Restoration work on Blenheim Mk.IV BL-200, the sole surviving 'true' Bristol Blenheim, has started in Finland. The aircraft has been in storage at Tikkakoski in Finland, but spent many decades on display at the main gate there and in other museums. Work started on 18th May 2007, with a paint strip and preparation work. On completion, the aircraft will be housed in a dedicated building at Keski-Suomen Ilmailumuseo (Aviation Museum of Central Finland).

55 Blenheim Mk.Is and IVs were assembled in Finland by Valtion Lentokonetehdas at Tampere, using many components from Yugoslavia. BL-200 was built in 1944, and flew on in peace time doing survey work. It was withdrawn in 1956, making it one of the last 'true' Blenheims to fly. Several present-day aircraft have been painted up or structurally modified to become Blenheims, but these are infact Canadian-built Fairchild Bolingbrokes, a licence built Blenheim with a few home-grown differences.

Blenheim BL-200 under restoration -

The restoration project has its own internet Blog to show progress. It is in Finnish, but still worth a look even if you don't know the language! -

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