Monday, June 16, 2008

Omaka Freighter comes back to life

Following the recent news that Alistair Marshall has been working on the Bristol Hercules engines of the Bristol Freighter at Omaka in New Zealand, the port engine successfully run up on 13th June 2008. The Starboard engine was briefly run a few days later. Click below for video of the event.

A high resolution version of this video is available at

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mk.I nose trial fitted to Duxford Blenheim

A significant moment in the restoration of the Duxford Blenheim took place in May 2008, when the Blenheim Mk.I nose was trial-fitted to the Blenheim fuselage. The aircraft, which had represented a 'long nose' Mk.IV Blenheim since its first post-rebuild flight in 1993, was damaged in a landing accident in 2003. This gave the team the opportunity to incorporate the short nose of a Mk.I Blenheim in the repairs. Other major components such as the centre wing section, rear fuselage and outer wings had been restored and mated previously. The addition of the Mk.I nose gives a shape that has not been seen for many decades.

The Mk.I nose is still just a shell, and there is much work to do in fitting it out with equipment and cabling. It will be detached from the fuselage soon so the rebuild work can continue.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Plans to bring Omaka Freighter back to life

A member of the Marlborough Aero Club at Omaka in New Zealand has started the huge task of bringing the clubs Bristol Freighter back to life. The aircraft, ZK-CPT, arrived at Omaka in 1986, and the engines were inhibited in the 1990's. The intention is to get the Bristol Hercules engines running, and it may even be possible to taxi the Freighter in the future. Progress is regularly reported on the
Wings Over New Zealand Aviation Forum

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sycamore swap at Weston-super-Mare

The Helicopter Museum have recently acquired a VIP Sycamore HR.14, but have disposed of their existing Sycamore HC.14. The Sycamore HR.14, serial XJ829, had previously been not far away in the Bristol Industrial Museum, which has closed for major renovation. It was formerly with the RAF 32 VIP communications Squadron, and arrived on 17th October 2007, going on display on 12th January 2008. For details and photos of the delivery, see

The museum has taken the opportunity to exchange their existing Sycamore, XG547, with a type they don't have - an ex-Belgian Army Alouette II. A lowloader arrived at Weston-super-Mare with the Alouette on 19th February 2008, and returned to Belgium with the Sycamore on 21st. XG547 will go on display in the Royal Army and Military History Museum in Brussels in due course. The Belgian Army operated three Sycamores in the Belgian Congo, but none of these survive.

Click here for BBC news video.