On wings of an aircraft restoration at Yorkshire Air Museum

Volunteer Steve Hill working on the Avro Anson.
Volunteer Steve Hill working on the Avro Anson.
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A second World War plane manufactured in Leeds is undergoing a loving restoration project at a museum in Yorkshire.

Inside a hanger at the Yorkshire Air Museum, at Elvington, near York, among a variety of aircraft restoration projects, a Second World War-era Avro Anson, first manufactured at Yeadon, is taking shape.

Volunteers are lovingly working on different projects in an aircraft restoration workshop at the museum.

Projects include a First World War SE5a biplane replica, which has been brought into ‘live’ condition but is having further work done to make it run better, an Eastchurch Kitten, a little known First World War fighter plane, and work is taking place on its replica of Amy Johnson’s Gypsy Moth Jason.

Mr Ian Richardson, communications manager at the museum, said: “Restorations and reproductions such as these projects are very important as they help to preserve the nation’s design and technology heritage as well as the aircraft themselves and they result in interesting artefacts for our visitors to appreciate.”

The Avro Anson, which first flew in March 1935, was used by the Royal Air Force and many allied Air Forces for numerous tasks throughout the war. Once hostilities had ended many were then used in a civilian role.

A total of 3,881 Ansons were manufactured at the Avro factory at Yeadon, next to the present Leeds Bradford Airport. When the Avro arrived it was just the framework, and it was in a poor state of repair. A lot of preparation work had been carried out on the shell before work on areas like the panelling could be commenced, which has now been largely done on one side.

It will be a long-term project and is not envisaged to be a runner with live engines.

Mr Richardson added: “Aircraft come from a variety of ways, many donated, but some purchased or acquired through grant funding applications.

“Preserving aircraft such as these presents a stimulating challenge to our team of volunteers and they love to see the public enjoying the fruits of their efforts, particularly with the ‘live’ propeller driven aircraft that have been brought to ground running condition over the past two years.”

He said restoration projects could take any length of time.

Work on the Eastchurch Kitten began in spring 2011, so far taking almost two years, after lying in storage for so many years.

Mr Richardson said the museum was reliant on volunteers, some of whom have built up their skills from personal interests but others come from an engineering background.

Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

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