Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Tim Moore (Skysport Engineering) has reportedly sold his Bristol Beaufighter project in Australia, and it is expected that it will be shipped there during 2011. The project is a substantial collection of Beaufighter parts, based on a Old Mixon-built Mark IF fuselage and centre wing section (serial X7688), which had been used by No.1 School of Technical Training at RAF Halton as a instructional airframe. From the early 1950s through to 1971 the aircraft, which was attached to a brick hut, was used to train apprentices on engine start up and running procedures. Prior to this, the Beaufighter was an engine test bed at Filton, and it retained its unique four-propeller Hercules 130 configuration during its years at Halton. Tim had also acquired the rear fuselage of an Australian Beuafighter (serial A19-148). At this stage it is not known who has bought the project or what their intensions are, but it is well known that Tim was very keen for the aircraft to fly one day. One considerable stumbling block (as with the Duxford Beaufighter project) is sourcing suitable Hercules engines.
Plans have been unveiled to restore Bristol Sycamore HR Mk.52 HB-RXB to flight. For many years this helicopter was the last airworthy Sycamore in the world, and was owned and maintained by Peter Schmid at Altenrhein in Switerland. Having not flown for several years, this Sycamore has been puchased by The Flying Bulls and moved to their facility at Salzburg in Austria in November 2010, for a complete overhaul and return to flight. Although HB-RXB is a former West German Forces machine, it was flown in ‘mock’ 32 Squadron RAF colours as ‘XG 544’. Its new home in Austria is fitting as the Sycamore was designed by Austrian Raoul Hafner during his tenure at Bristols.
The remains of the sole surviving Brigand, RH746, left Kemble in May 2010 for the RAF Museum at Cosford. It had been in storage with the Bristol Aero Collection, as there was not enough room to display it following their move to a smaller area a few years ago. It is hoped that some restoration work can now take place.